New Technologies in Development for Repelling Mosquitoes

Scientists are always thinking of new technologies when it comes to battling mosquitoes. The current trend is the use of nanotechnology and essential oil sprays. These options are effective in keeping mosquito-borne diseases away from you and your household. Know more about them and add them to your mosquito arsenal.

Aedes mosquito having a blood meal
Aedes mosquito having a blood meal

Essential Oils

These substances are volatile and complicated. They result from metabolizing plants, such as peppermint, cedar, thyme, and patchouli. Essential oils are derived from plant tissue as natural pesticides. When you break the plant tissue, you release the natural pesticide. The substance attaches to the sensitive receptors in the patient’s antennae or mouth. Mosquitoes become disoriented enough to leave. These insects do not eat the leaves of plants, which is why the plants do not have these essential oils. But because mosquitoes have plant-eating ancestors, they still have sensitivity to essential oils.

Essential oils for new technologies
Essential oils for new technologies

Having plants that produce essential oils will not be enough to protect you from mosquito bites. Mosquitoes do not really agitate these plants so that the repelling properties can diffuse. A mechanical way of doing this is to bruise the leaves of at least ten plants, two times a day. Here are some essential oils that you can look for in mosquito repellents:

  • Greek catmint oil
  • Lemon eucalyptus oil
  • Cinnamon oil
  • Lavender oil
  • Thyme oil
  • Citronella oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Neem oil
  • Geraniol

Nanotechnology and Essential Oils

New technologies are currently in development to improve the effectiveness of essential oils. Nanotechnology allows scientists to release powerful essential oils at a slow rate. One method is called high-pressure homogenization. Here, scientists use nanotechnology to release citronella microdroplets into larger glycerol drops.

Nanotechnology for essential oils
Nanotechnology for essential oils

A glycerol matrix positions and stabilizes citronella droplets. Their release is slower after spraying the citronella. This provides a more effective layer of mosquito bite protection that lasts for many hours.

Nanotechnology and Arboviruses

Zika, dengue, yellow fever, and chikungunya are transmitted by the bite of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Outbreaks often happen in tropical areas. These pathogens affect the people with draining symptoms. Despite many strategies, controlling the population of these mosquitoes has not been successful. Other strategies are still in development. Nanotechnology is one of them.

Nanotechnology is attractive to many researchers when it comes to the production of less toxic larvicides and repellents. New technologies like this can also help in the development of quick sensors for virus detection.

New technologies in the form of biosensors
New technologies in the form of biosensors

Biosensors can detect arboviruses on-site. This can result in rapid diagnoses and treatments. These new technologies can provide analyses without long sample treatments. Biosensors can detect arboviruses in low concentrations. They do so even in complicated samples, such as serum, saliva, blood, and urine. This can even happen without elaborate sample preparation.

The Need for More Effective Mosquito Repellents

Studies show that even the known least-toxic adulticides have strict thresholds and they are often a last resort. They pose a health threat to non-target animals and humans. These adulticides for mosquitoes can never be environmentally-friendly in managing mosquito populations.

Research goes on for new technologies in keeping mosquito-borne diseases at bay
Research goes on for new technologies in keeping mosquito-borne diseases at bay

New technologies can help improve the way we deal with mosquito-borne diseases. With fast-evolving methods, there could be more innovative ways to control mosquito bites. They can help improve the health of many communities and prevent more deaths.