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Mosquitoes Beginning To Ignore DEET Repellent 232

Posted by samzenpus
from the we're-doomed dept.
Copper Nikus writes "An article at the BBC makes a shocking claim about mosquitoes. It appears some individual insects in the wild have developed the ability to ignore the very popular DEET repellent after a first exposure. From the article: 'To investigate why this might be happening, the researchers attached electrodes to the insects' antenna. Dr Logan explained: "We were able to record the response of the receptors on the antenna to Deet, and what we found was the mosquitoes were no longer as sensitive to the chemical, so they weren't picking it up as well. "There is something about being exposed to the chemical that first time that changes their olfactory system - changes their sense of smell - and their ability to smell Deet, which makes it less effective."'"
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Mosquitoes Beginning To Ignore DEET Repellent

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  • Re:evolution (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ArsonSmith (13997) on Friday February 22, 2013 @01:00AM (#42976149) Journal

    Because we have a warning label on every item that could possibly cause injury no matter how obvious. We have tech that will insure the genetically weak will continue to breed. We have governments that cradle and encourage the simple minded to be more so.

    Without genetic engineering we are doomed at our current rate of evolution.

  • Re:Bow down (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bobstreo (1320787) on Friday February 22, 2013 @01:40AM (#42976375)

    I think it will take longer for them to become resistant to the lasers:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosquito_laser [wikipedia.org]

  • Re:evolution (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jbeaupre (752124) on Friday February 22, 2013 @01:53AM (#42976437)

    There was a sci-fi short story in Analog years ago that involved human evolution an junk food. The plot involved people getting mysteriously ill, even dying. Epidemiologists linked it to eating healthy. They discovered that humans had evolved to use caramel coloring as an essential vitamin. Eliminating it from your diet was as dangerous as eliminating vitamin C.

    I think about that story every time I see caramel coloring listed as an ingredient in food.

  • by Beeftopia (1846720) on Friday February 22, 2013 @02:06AM (#42976515)

    There's a device I've used with some success that works ONLY against bloodsuckers. It's called a "Mosquito Magnet" [mosquitomagnet.com].

    Mosquitoes are attracted to things with blood. They apparently track their food by warmth, exhaled carbon dioxide, and a few other chemicals. This devices emits warmth, carbon dioxide and a few other chemicals in an attractant. The device is quite sensitive though. I've placed a battery driven model outside, under a small wooden table, to protect it from the elements. It definitely captures mosquitoes but sometimes it makes a difference, sometimes it doesn't. Mine is 5 years old. Last year it was... eh. Not as dramatic as year 1. I need to get it serviced this year I suppose.

    Anyhoo, focusing on something like the mosquito's natural drives to attract them to a trap might be the Next Big Thing. Note that bug zappers don't attract mosquitos.

  • by future assassin (639396) on Friday February 22, 2013 @02:26AM (#42976609) Homepage

    Don't use the same chemicals too often as small insects adapt to it quite fast. Just ask weed growers how well their toxic miticides don't work on spider mites anymore. I bet the weed you're smoking has Avid, Floramite, Monitor, Forbid or othe rnasties on it as some are resorting to using them at WAY more potent mixes and past the residual time of the chemical.

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