Infrared Force Field Keeps Mozzies At Bay

Summer's not far away and with it will come mosquitoes. Unless you're in Melbourne, in which case it's just flies. Lots of flies. For those of you north of the border (or in the west) preparing for the incoming mozzie invasion with DEET sprays, zappers and citronella candles, I have bad news.

They're all Stone Age tools compared to experimental physicist Szabolcs Márka's infrared light field. By covering an area in a specially-shaped wall of infrared light, Márka has -- at least so far -- succeeded in preventing mosquitoes from passing through the wall, making the area beyond it a bite-free zone.

The light wall works by confusing the mosquitoes, who rely on detecting the heat our delicious, blood-filled bodies radiate. Márka says that the wall won't harm the insects, simply throwing their senses into disarray is enough to ward them off.

It's no secret that deaths from disease-carrying mosquitoes is insanely high in countries such as Africa. So promising has this light field technology proven in combating the issue that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has provided Márka a grant of $US1 million to bring it out of the lab and into reality.

Sadly, it will be a few years yet before this anti-mozzie tech finds its way to third-world countries in dire need of its services, let alone an affordable option you can pick up from your local Bunnings.

[Columbia Technology Ventures via DVICE]