mannerisms

Ruminations on the electronics industry from David Manners, Senior Components Editor on Electronics Weekly.

Blood-Sucking Females

On a BA plane I buy a solar powered mosquito repellent device. “Female mosquitoes normally bite during their spawning period, at this time they do not like being approached by male mosquitoes, so the repellent produces the same frequency of the male mosquito (around 5KHz – 9KHz) to repel the female mosquitoes,” runs the accompanying description of the rather witty principle on which the device works.

Apparently you don’t need to bother about male mosquitoes, because they’re all veggies and, rather poofily, feed off nectar from flowers and don’t go looking for human blood like the girls do.

 

What is this ‘frequency of the male mosquito?’ Well, it could be the frequency of its wing-beat, but Internet sources estimate this to be, for the male mosquito, only 600-900Hz.

 

Some Internet sources say the female wing-beat frequency is higher, some say it’s lower, but all sources are agreed that it is by the differing frequency of the wing-beat that male and female mosquitoes recognise eachothers’ presence.

 

Having involved myself in researching web-based bollox about mosquitoes, I find a study from the UK-based Cochrane Collaboration, described as a non-profit health research organisation, which reports findings by Ahmadali Enayati, a professor at Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences in Iran, that ‘conclusively showed the electronic repellents did not ward off female mosquitoes’.

Well, bugger that. Twelve and a half quid down the khazi.

Incidentally, there are blood-suckers apart from female mosquitoes. On a couple of US websites I find the device I have just bought being flogged for £3.50. BA’s price? £12.50.

Tags: bugger, female mosquitoes, medical sciences, mosquito, research organisation

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5 Comments

  1. September 04, 2008 21:02

    They are all written by Chinese guys. The software is able to use speaker/sound-card in your computer to emit wave which has the similar frequency to those of mosquitos, bats and flys…… If I put “mosquito-repellent software download” in google search (of coz in Chinese), I get 29K results. The first 10 results are:
    six results for mosquito-repellent software download, of which the first one is SUPER MOSQUITO KING…
    two results for such kind of software download for mobile phones
    the rest two are like your entry, saying the software is just useless.

  2. David Manners
    September 04, 2008 10:49

    Ah! I’d be very interested to hear what this software this. Thanks

  3. September 04, 2008 10:43

    Well, not so good for you. And I also know there are some softwares which can ward off mosquito and can be installed either in your mobile phone or in your computer. I never try them…simply doubt the theory behind but haven’t researched. Thanks for the entry.

  4. david manners
    September 04, 2008 08:54

    Ha ha. My company too. So many guys with agenda, minutes, meetings and zero involvement with the product. I guesss it’s endemic.

  5. Fresher
    September 04, 2008 07:48

    In my company, there would be workgroups
    set up to solve this issue. After a short
    period during which we would deny the fact.
    Or delay the conclusion (“we need and 8D !”).
    The answer would be a priori to train
    mosquitos so that they change their beating
    frequency.
    Joking ? Not that much: there are so many
    managers and pseudo marketing guys (which
    are in fact salesmen) around there that
    we put in ICs what we have at the decision
    time and not what the customer needs.
    But sometimes it matches. Hopefully.

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