Stagnant water is a magnet for mosquitos. It provides the perfect place for them to lay their eggs and spawn a new generation to terrorize us with their biting, itching, disease-carrying, menace. Fortunately, according to Wired magazine, Pranav Agarwal has developed the Solar Scare Mosquito, a solar powered device that aerates the surface of stagnant water. This helps prevent the proliferation of the mosquito population.

Female mosquitos need the surface of the water to be still in order to lay eggs. They can lay up to 400 eggs at a time. During the larvae stage, the mosquitos need to stay in contact with the surface of the water in order to breathe. The Solar Scare Mosquito is designed to curb the spread of mosquito borne diseases including malaria and dengue. Sometimes the simplest solution is the best solution. By disrupting the insects’ breeding grounds  this device cuts off these diseases at their source. The device generates air bubbles on the surface of the water to produce ripples. It has a radius of up to two meters.

Cost of Production for the Solar Scare Mosquito

Agarwal was able to build the device for less than $10 (£6). This simple — and cheap — device features a bubble aerator, an air pump and a solar charger. The Solar Scare Mosquito floats on the surface of the water. It runs at regular intervals to disrupt the stagnant surface of the water which kills off the mosquito larvae. In tests, the device dramatically reduced mosquito populations in a small pool to nearly zero within a week. Agarwal has outlined how to build the device in a blog post.

According to Wired magazine, he says; “Considering that every year, the global medical expenditure on malaria control amounts to over $6 billion, ubiquitously installing this device in villages and cities would cost only a fraction of that amount. I hope that, one day, this cost effective and sustainable device will save the world valuable money and priceless lives.”

Overall Impact on Mosquitos

While this device does reduce the breeding grounds for mosquitos, these insects are quite adaptable. They can deposit their eggs in tiny puddles of rainwater pretty much anywhere. Puddles formed in footprints, hoof prints, ditches, and even wheel ruts can incubate thousands of mosquito larvae. These types of temporary bodies of water are more more common hosts for the nesting grounds of mosquitos than established ponds, according to public health entomologist David Gaines. So, while the Solar Scare Mosquito is a great leap forward in combating mosquito borne diseases, there is still work to be done.

For more on the Solar Scare Mosquito, check out Wired magazine.

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