Smelly Socks Are Fighting Off Malaria-Ridden Mosquitoes

Just you wait until the world's governments are putting out the call for smelly socks - suddenly that bulging gym bag hidden in your dormitory's wardrobe seems a lot more valuable. To Tanzania anyway, where they're fighting malaria with stenches.

The three villages that are taking part in the experiment have proven to be particularly prone to malaria bites in the past - around 350 bites a year, in fact. With dirty socks acting as the honey, mosquitoes are lured into the trap and contaminated, then killed.

So why socks, and why not just synthesise a similar smell to attract them to their deaths? Apparently mosquitoes are wise to that game, with the synthetic smell luring them in, but failing to pull them the last yard as they realise there isn't any blood on offer. Anything's better than actually offering up our own feet, it seems. [Washington Post]

Image: Shutterstock

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