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Skrillex dubstep ‘could protect against mosquitoes’

A study has found a track by Skrillex, the electronic artist known for his dubstep music, could be an effective way to protect against mosquitoes.

Insect and disease scientists from around the world played the electronic music to yellow fever mosquitoes (aedes aegypti) to investigate the effects.

The team said: “Sound and its reception are crucial for reproduction, survival, and population maintenance of many animals.

Skrillex's music is characterised by throbbing bass-lines and electronic melodies
Image: Skrillex’s music is characterised by throbbing basslines and electronic melodies

“In insects, low-frequency vibrations facilitate sexual interactions, whereas noise disrupts the perception of signals from conspecifics [members of the same species] and hosts.”

Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites by Skrillex has a mixture of very high and very low frequencies, and was chosen to see whether or not electronic music would be an effective way of repelling the insects.

Female adult mosquitoes that were “entertained” by the song attacked their “hosts” later and less often than those which were not exposed to the dubstep, the study found.

“The occurrence of blood feeding activity was lower when music was being played,” the team said.

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Another result was that the insects which heard the track “copulated far less often” than those not listening to it.

The scientists said: “The observation that such music can delay host attack, reduce blood feeding and disrupt mating provides new avenues for the development of music-based personal protective and control measures against Aedes-borne diseases.”

The mosquitoes attacked their hosts less quickly after hearing the track
Image: The mosquitoes attacked their hosts less quickly after hearing the track

The yellow fever mosquito is commonly found in more tropical areas of the world, and can be identified by white markings on its legs.

The insects are known for spreading potentially life-threatening diseases such as the zika virus, dengue fever and yellow fever.

Skrillex, real name Sonny John Moore, released Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites in 2010, with the track peaking at number 77 on the UK’s streaming chart.

http://news.sky.com/story/skrillex-dubstep-could-protect-against-mosquitoes-11681021

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