Thursday, June 25, 2015

Mosquito Laser

Feeding on a human - Wikimedia
The rain and high humidity the last two weeks has been a perfect storm for the mosquito population.  While they are a total annoyance and bites from each individual female carries the chance of disease, like everything in nature, they have a role in the food chain.

Male mosquitoes feed on nectar and may have a minor role in pollination.  Mosquito larvae consume bacteria and algae in the water and in turn provide a food source for frogs, fish, spiders and other species.  Dragonflies a.k.a. "mosquito hawks" and damselflies eat their share and their larvae eat lots of the mosquito larvae which hang just beneath the surface of the water, breathing air from little tubes in their abdomens.  Bats and birds such as purple martins eat their share, but none of these species would be significantly harmed if mosquitoes suddenly disappeared from earth.

Orange Damselfly eating mosquito - emhughes.com
Almost all the advertised options for killing them are nonspecific, attracting and killing not only mosquitoes and biting flies but also a variety of moths and other innocent insects.  This all leads up to a video a friend sent me of a TED talk demonstrating a high tech laser system that selectively spots mosquitoes and shoots them down in mid-air.  If only this could be perfected we might have the first video game that actually does something worthwhile!  Watch it at thisYoutube link.

 Elijah Hughes at this link has a good review of  the options.

Coming soon- What is it?

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