MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018

New bait effectively kills malaria infected mosquitoes

Israel scientists have announced the creation of a powerful new bait that effectively kills malaria infected mosquitoes but is completely harmless to humans.

The toxic sugar bait was developed by scientists at Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem, according to VOA News.

The sweet bait is made of combination of fruit juice essences, which are mosquito attractants, and boric acid, which acts as a poison to insects.

A blend of boric acid with guava and honey-melon fragrances was recently tested in the semi-arid West African country of Mali, VOA News reports. It was applied on vegetation near a cluster of manmade ponds.

In addition to being an important dry-season water supply for local villagers, the ponds are also a breeding ground for Anopheles gambiae, a mosquito that commonly carries with it the deadliest form of malaria.

Josef Schlein, the medical anthropologist at the head of the study, told VOA News that after 38 days it was clear that the bait containing the boric acid and fragrances was effective at killing mosquitoes.

"In Mali, we got down by some 80 percent, the females, and 90 percent of the males," Schlein said, according to VOA News. "But the area is full of little ponds in there, so it is impossible to stop mosquitoes from flying from an untreated pond to a treated pond."

Schlein said that most of the time female mosquitoes feed on sweet plant nectars and they only feed on blood as part of the reproductive cycle.

The scientists say their new goal is to make the lure even more effective, VOA News reports.