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Using flower power to trap mosquitoes

. 3/26/2009

MOSQUITOES are infamous for sucking blood, but mostly they prefer sucking nectar from flowers.

Thomas Kollars at Georgia Southern University at Statesboro in the US is using flower power to trap mosquitoes, which spread malaria, dengue, yellow fever and other infections. He has designed a flower-shaped plastic trap in blue, green, red and black - all colours Kollars says attract mosquitoes. In the middle of the disc is a pad soaked in sweet fluid laced with Bt, an insecticide that is not toxic to other animals. A fine screen keeps out other insects but allows the mosquito's proboscis through. The discs have killed mosquitoes in lab tests and Kollars is now testing them in fields in Puerto Rico.

The results will be presented at a meeting of the American Mosquito Control Association in New Orleans next month.

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