Brazil’s Defense Against Zika: Billboards That Smell Like Humans To Attract – And Kill – Mosquitos

The signs are going up around Brazil in an effort to wipe out the mosquitos and their virus, which is linked to birth defects in newborns and nervous system disorders in adults.

Because the Zika virus can result in serious birth defects called microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects, it has become the mission of health professionals to dispel of mosquitos (which spread the virus) in inventive ways.

One of Brazil’s new tactics is to attract and kill the blood-sucking beasts by outfitting cities with unique billboards that smell like humans. At first, the concept may sound puzzling. However, authorities have thought this plan through and it appears to be an effective means of eradicating the bugs and their virus.

As the video above relays, the billboards emit a lactic acid and carbon dioxide (CO2) solution that smells to mosquitos like human sweat or an exhaled breath. Lights at night help attract the thirsty bugs with the promise of warmth.

Credit: Discovery


The billboards will attract mosquitos up to a one-and-a-half mile radius. Once they are lured into traps at the base, they then live out their natural lives inside the sign, unable to bite anyone.

Discovery News reports that the billboards were designed under a Creative Commons license, which means that they can’t be patented. This ensures that the plans are available for other cities and countries to duplicate and build free of charge.

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