To most British holidaymakers, the mosquito is an irritation, but it brings far more serious problems. Mosquito-borne infections affect hundreds of thousands every year, from the outbreak of the Zika virus in Brazil to a surge in cases of Dengue fever in South East Asia. But now a device that can be fitted to the backs of mopeds could provide a new way to repel mosquito’s from cities in Thailand.
MotoRepellent is a device that fits onto the back of motorbikes in Bangkok. The cylinder is filled with natural mosquito repellents that are activated by the exhaust pipe of the bike, spreading the insect repellent several meters around the vehicle. With millions of motorbikes in the capital, the device could crowdsource mass mosquito removal. The developers claim to have helped repel mosquito’s in slums across Bangkok and protected 80,000 people.
Last year, I saw street lamps in Malaysia being used to trap and kill mosquitos. Now we have motorbikes in Bangkok. I can’t help thinking there may be other common devices that have a dual use in mosquito control. And if there are, maybe there’s a money making application in countries where the insects are an annoyance rather than a threat to life.