484 Hertz brings all the boy mosquitos to the yard

JAMES Cook University researchers have found sex sells when it comes to luring male mosquitoes.

Senior Research Officer Brian Johnson and Professor Scott Ritchie set out to make a cheap and effective audio lure for scientists collecting male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes - the species that carries dengue and yellow fever. 

They found a tone of precisely 484 Hertz, the frequency of a female Aedes aegypti's wings, brought 95 per cent of male mosquitoes to the trap. 

Mr Johnson said the device cost around $20 and could be run by itself for weeks. "We started with a cheap mobile phone and moved to an even cheaper MP3 player. There are no harmonics, it's a pure tone and very simple to produce."

The effectiveness of the audio lure is easy to see: when it's switched on, mosquitoes flock to the device, and fly away as soon as it's turned off, as can be seen in the video (link below).

The invention of the audio trap is timely: male mosquitoes do not bite, but new anti-mosquito strategies involve capturing and sterilising them before releasing them to breed unsuccessfully with females.

"There are a number of projects underway," said Mr Johnson. "They required capturing and releasing tens of thousands of male mosquitoes, but most traps are aimed at capturing females."

He said there was no chance of eliminating mosquito populations by trapping males alone, as only a few needed to survive to continue the breeding cycle.

The scientists also found that female mosquitoes were completely oblivious to the sound of male wing beats. "There's no real need for females to respond to male overtures," said Mr Johnson.

The team is now optimising the trap for field use and coordinating with trap manufacturers to add the feature to their products.

Topics:  james cook university mosquitos

Homeless man loses belongings after fire

BURNT REMAINS: Eseki Kaitani lost his makeshift home under the Tallon Bridge in Bundaberg.

Eseki Kaitani had lived under the bridge since January without issue

Foot stomping, eclectic gig coming to Bucca

GIG: 8 Ball Aitken will play at Bucca Hotel this weekend.

Blues artist plays at Bucca Hotel

Local Partners

Drop-in centre could help troubled youth

A COUPLE desperate to solve the problem of youth violence are starting up a not-for-profit organisation to push for a drop-in centre in the Bundaberg CBD.

Foot stomping, eclectic gig coming to Bucca

GIG: 8 Ball Aitken will play at Bucca Hotel this weekend.

Blues artist plays at Bucca Hotel

WATCH: NASA space station is live, see the view from above

In this picture taken from NASA's International Space Station from April 2015, the SpaceX Dragon is captured with the 57.7-foot-long Canadarm2 robotic arm before its installation to the Harmony module.

See the world from a new perspective as space station passes Rocky

Queensland's oldest pipe band needs your support

ALL THINGS CELTIC: The Bundaberg Caledonian Pipe Band is coming to the Moncrieff.

"Keep Bundaberg's Scottish band entertaining for many more years”

Tom Cruise credits success to Scientology

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise credits his success to Scientology

Hacksaw Ridge leads AACTA Awards nominations

Andrew Garfield and Teresa Palmer in a scene from the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

MEL Gibson's wartime drama opens in cinemas next week.

ABBA to reunite for virtual live experience


ABBA have confirmed they are to reunite - in virtual reality form

Experience all the razzle dazzle of '20s

Melissa Western will perform a 1920s spectacular show at the Paragon Theatre this weekend.

Stage show will have you in a flapper

Hugh Laurie receives star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hugh Laurie on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Hugh Laurie and his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Blake Lively hosts 40th party for Ryan Reynolds

Blake Lively throws husband Ryan Reynold's 40th birthday bash

Drop in rental vacancies for Bundaberg

ALL OVER: The decline was across the state.

Encouraging signs for market

6 houses in Gympie under $200,000

$170, 000, 9 Norman St, Gympie

These Gympie houses are perfect for investors or first home-buyers

Tough times in CBD: Woolies says goodbye Ipswich

Woolworths in the Ipswich Mall.Photo: Rob Williams / The Queensland Times

The last day of trading will be January 1

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available