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Detecting Mosquitoes - There’s an App for That!

Author: Mosquito Squad of South Central Texas

What don’t we use our phones for these days? We carry your banking info, our medical records, our coupon cards on our phones. We also play music, count our steps, and play games on our phones. Oh yeah… and making phone calls, but who does that anymore? We have a new one to add to the list that you may have never considered. There is actually a phone application to warn you when mosquitoes are in your area!

Detect Approaching Mosquitoes

It may seem far-fetched, but the science doesn’t sound so complicated. The sound that you hear when mosquitoes are around you, the whine or buzz, is caused by the movement of its wings. By recording this sound along with a mixture of other outdoor noises and turning them into frequencies, researchers were able to create an algorithm that can distinguish the sound of the mosquito. This app has successfully loaded on a rather inexpensive phone. But what if it could do more?

Yunpeng Li, from the department of machine learning at Oxford University, would like to take this further. He would like to be able to identify the kinds of mosquitoes.

There are 3,000 species of mosquitoes in the world, each with different shapes and sizes of wings. Therefore they each make a different sound. What if they focused on the 50 species that can carry malaria? “Hopefully this will save lives,” says Li. “If we can identify the species, we can tell people in areas where there is malaria that these mosquitoes are around and that they need to take care, to use bed nets and do on.” It will take 100s of hours of recording in labs and in the wild, but Li believes the algorithm can work. He believes that eventually, the app can not only help in malaria protection but also help in the tracking and real-time mapping of mosquitoes all over the globe.

Mosquito Squad of South Central Texas is devoted to the cause of eradication of malaria and every new idea that can help in that effort is interesting to us and hopefully, to you, that’s why we share them. However, we are also dedicated to keeping the homes and neighborhoods in SC Texas as mosquito-free as possible. Therefore we urge you as a family and a community to follow the 7Ts of mosquito control. When you get to the mosquito treatment let us take the wheel. Our barrier sprays eliminate 85/90% of mosquitoes on contact and continue to work for 3 weeks. Schedule today by calling (830) 254-5176!