Does the sound or the frequency to repel mosquitoes exist?

In summary: No. Sounds do not repel mosquitoes. Period. There are a lot of internet places making claims that certain frequencies repel female mosquitoes. Again, no.
  • #1
Vrbic
407
18
Hi,
I have heard much about this, but I'm not an expert. Now I know that mosquito hears by Johnston's organ at antennas. Also that mosquitoes have something like "sound/frequency filter", it means they listen to only some sound/frequency, especially other mosquitoes or other animals. Is it true?
I have read two other information, and I would like to discuss if it is true and if it is possible to use it to repel them.
1) The mosquito distinguishes the sound of other mosquitoes and when hears the sound of "running away - danger" from another mosquito, fly away.
2) A mosquito can hear sounds of bats and runs away from the origin of that sound.
Could be possible to use it to repel them?
 
Biology news on Phys.org
  • #2
Vrbic said:
Hi,
I have heard much about this, but I'm not an expert. Now I know that mosquito hears by Johnston's organ at antennas. Also that mosquitoes have something like "sound/frequency filter", it means they listen to only some sound/frequency, especially other mosquitoes or other animals. Is it true?
I have read two other information, and I would like to discuss if it is true and if it is possible to use it to repel them.
1) The mosquito distinguishes the sound of other mosquitoes and when hears the sound of "running away - danger" from another mosquito, fly away.
2) A mosquito can hear sounds of bats and runs away from the origin of that sound.
Could be possible to use it to repel them?
If the bolded part is true, then what do you think is the answer to your question?
 
  • Like
Likes sysprog
  • #3
phinds said:
If the bolded part is true, then what do you think is the answer to your question?
About bats: I also read that it may be useless if the source isn't moving. I wanted an opinion of some expert who knows everything around, not just presumptions and intuitive answers.
But thank you for your time, if you have anything else to the discussion, please write.
 
  • #4
Vrbic said:
About bats: I also read that it may be useless if the source isn't moving. I wanted an opinion of some expert who knows everything around, not just presumptions and intuitive answers.
But thank you for your time, if you have anything else to the discussion, please write.
Do you understand that motion is relative? That is "the source is moving and the mesquite is not" is identical to "the mosquito is moving and the source is not". Now granted, the relative motion of the two may be quite different depending on which is moving, since their motions are not similar, and that might matter.
 
  • #5
phinds said:
Do you understand that motion is relative? That is "the source is moving and the mesquite is not" is identical to "the mosquito is moving and the source is not". Now granted, the relative motion of the two may be quite different depending on which is moving, since their motions are not similar, and that might matter.
Yes, I understand. I've read that, I'm not a biologist. But your argument leads that the bat would not catch anything if he didn't stop. For me seems reasonable they may recognize if the source is moving (approach or recede) against them when they fly (move).
Anyway, my question if it is true they hear and react on bats is still here.
 
  • #6
Vrbic said:
Yes, I understand. I've read that, I'm not a biologist. But your argument leads that the bat would not catch anything if he didn't stop. For me seems reasonable they may recognize if the source is moving (approach or recede) against them when they fly (move).
Yes, towards/away-from is not relative.
 
  • #8
Let's get this thread on track.
No. Sounds do not repel mosquitoes. Period. There are a lot of internet places making claims that certain frequencies repel female mosquitoes. Again, no.
Unsurprisingly these same sites sell apps for cell phones and/or gizmos that "repel mosquitoes".

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0013465/ - literature review that shows no measurable effect of high/low pitched sound on female mosquitos at all.

Female mosquitoes bite humans. Most males of many species suck plant juices and, AFAIK per the literature(link above), do not bother people. So any claims about sound repelling females, as research stands today, are complete nonsense.
 
  • #9
This thread needs to stop. Thanks for your help folks, we are closing now.
 
  • #10
phinds said:
Do you understand that motion is relative? That is "the source is moving and the mesquite is not" is identical to "the mosquito is moving and the source is not". Now granted, the relative motion of the two may be quite different depending on which is moving, since their motions are not similar, and that might matter.
That's a bit of a stretch. You can distinguish reasonably whether you're moving relative to a stationary sound source, or a sound source is moving relative to a stationary you, or neither or both, just by alternating between moving and standing still compared to where you were a moment ago. Presumably a mosquito can distinguish between a stationary (with respect to the Earth and atmosphere) sound source and a moving one. A quiet erratically-moving drone with a speaker playing recorded bat vocalizations could perhaps scare away a mosquito better than a garage-roof-mounted speaker playing the same sounds could.
 
  • #11
phinds said:
Yes, towards/away-from is not relative.
I'm sorry, we probably don't understand each other. I can't realize, how back and forth can't be relative motion. Relative motion can be even in one dimension. The bat flies in one dimension x forth, mosquito in x dimension back. Does the mosquito have the relative velocity with respect to bat frame? YES. But, it isn't important to me.
 
  • #12
jim mcnamara said:
Let's get this thread on track.
No. Sounds do not repel mosquitoes. Period. There are a lot of internet places making claims that certain frequencies repel female mosquitoes. Again, no.
Unsurprisingly these same sites sell apps for cell phones and/or gizmos that "repel mosquitoes".

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0013465/ - literature review that shows no measurable effect of high/low pitched sound on female mosquitos at all.

Female mosquitoes bite humans. Most males of many species suck plant juices and, AFAIK per the literature(link above), do not bother people. So any claims about sound repelling females, as research stands today, are complete nonsense.
First of all, thank you for your comment. I'm glad I can read something about it. And also I don't believe mobile apps etc. are working. But I have some questions:
1) Unfortunately, I can't get the full article. From this, I don't know what exactly Electronic mosquito repellents (EMR) do. High‐pitched sounds almost inaudible to the human ear. It's a very poor description (young people hear up to 20kHz, older lower freq.). Did they variate frequency?
2) Does it answer at least to one my question? I suppose the sound of bats may be described as this. Right?
3) What about my point I've read (unfortunately in my language so the link is unimportant) that the source of bat's sound has to move otherwise it loses an effect.
4) Once again, do they react to another mosquito flying away from some danger? I mean the sound of such a mosquito? (I suppose it isn't high‐pitched sounds).
 
  • #13
Answers to your questions: again: EMR is fantasy. Yes, mosquitoes hear. Yes, male mosquitoes are attracted (NOT repelled) by sounds - see the mating links below.

This was a literature search, not original research. The methods and the "EMR" properties were apparently very different. Because they looked at results for 10 separate unrelated independent sets of experiments.

Result: There is no such thing as an EMR, it is some kind of a scam if you try to buy one.

So, the authors of the search report obviously felt there was no sense in even citing the papers. 10 complete independent sets of failures do not warrant anything. Except to debunk the EMR concept.

As to mosquito hearing: it it used to identify possible mates of the correct species -- some details:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2975882/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1636503/

If you want lots of detailed information research on mosquito hearing, use a google scholar search:
https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0,32&q=mosquito+hearing&btnG=

Most of it revolves around males trying to find females, a mating response.

Here is a simple EMR explanation with some history on using noise to deter mosquitoes:
http://www.mosquitoreviews.com/ultrasonic-mosquito-app.html

So please stop trying to ask what do EMR's do. They do nothing except waste your money and time.
 
  • #14
_if_ they were repelled by the sound of moving bats then it might be possible to fake the sound of bats moving.
 
  • #15
jim mcnamara said:
Answers to your questions: again: EMR is fantasy. Yes, mosquitoes hear. Yes, male mosquitoes are attracted (NOT repelled) by sounds - see the mating links below.

This was a literature search, not original research. The methods and the "EMR" properties were apparently very different. Because they looked at results for 10 separate unrelated independent sets of experiments.

Result: There is no such thing as an EMR, it is some kind of a scam if you try to buy one.

So, the authors of the search report obviously felt there was no sense in even citing the papers. 10 complete independent sets of failures do not warrant anything. Except to debunk the EMR concept.

As to mosquito hearing: it it used to identify possible mates of the correct species -- some details:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2975882/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1636503/

If you want lots of detailed information research on mosquito hearing, use a google scholar search:
https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0,32&q=mosquito+hearing&btnG=

Most of it revolves around males trying to find females, a mating response.

Here is a simple EMR explanation with some history on using noise to deter mosquitoes:
http://www.mosquitoreviews.com/ultrasonic-mosquito-app.html

So please stop trying to ask what do EMR's do. They do nothing except waste your money and time.
Thank you for comments and links.
Anyway, I never asked for EMR (existing fake gizmo). Primarily, I asked if the mosquito hears or reacts on bats or other mosquitoes.
 
  • #16
CWatters said:
_if_ they were repelled by the sound of moving bats then it might be possible to fake the sound of bats moving.
I agree, but I don't know if they are really afraid of bats, i.e. they hear them and fly away. I mean the real mosquito and the real bat. No experiments with ultrasound.
 
  • #17
Vrbic said:
I'm sorry, we probably don't understand each other. I can't realize, how back and forth can't be relative motion. Relative motion can be even in one dimension. The bat flies in one dimension x forth, mosquito in x dimension back. Does the mosquito have the relative velocity with respect to bat frame? YES. But, it isn't important to me.
Yes, you are misunderstanding me. What I mean is that BOTH will agree on whether they are moving closer to each other or moving farther away from each other.
 
  • #18
sysprog said:
That's a bit of a stretch. You can distinguish reasonably whether you're moving relative to a stationary sound source, or a sound source is moving relative to a stationary you, or neither or both, just by alternating between moving and standing still compared to where you were a moment ago. Presumably a mosquito can distinguish between a stationary (with respect to the Earth and atmosphere) sound source and a moving one. A quiet erratically-moving drone with a speaker playing recorded bat vocalizations could perhaps scare away a mosquito better than a garage-roof-mounted speaker playing the same sounds could.
Which is why I said

phinds said:
Do you understand that motion is relative? That is "the source is moving and the mesquite is not" is identical to "the mosquito is moving and the source is not". Now granted, the relative motion of the two may be quite different depending on which is moving, since their motions are not similar, and that might matter.
 
  • #19
phinds said:
What I mean is that BOTH will agree

These are bats and mosquitos. They process signals in species-specific ways, not necessarily according to human mathematical models.
 
  • #20
Grinkle said:
These are bats and mosquitos. They process signals in species-specific ways, not necessarily according to human mathematical models.
Agreed, but if they do have any sense of "closer" and "farther" (and bats certainly DO) then what I said stands.

We're just quibbling about details anyway since the OP's question has been emphatically answered.
 
  • #21
What if mosquitos don’t hear acoustically? Spiders fly great distances sailing their web using electricity in our atmosphere. What about mosquitos sensing electricity as we sense noise? Sharks use electricity to sense their environment.
 
  • #22
@Jackmakesitgo PF is educational. Those questions have been checked out and dismissed. Why? Because mosquitoes are a huge impact on humans worldwide - both economic and social. The scientific literature on mosquitoes and mosquito borne diseases is incredibly large.

Please do not speculate like that. We go with tested science. There are other avenues for speculating and philosophizing. PF is definitely not one of those avenues. If you want to speculate please go to our General Discussion forum. Not here.

This thread is closed.
 

1. Does the sound or frequency to repel mosquitoes actually work?

There is some scientific evidence that certain frequencies can be effective in repelling mosquitoes, but it is not a guaranteed method. Some studies have shown that certain frequencies can disrupt the mating and feeding behaviors of mosquitoes, making them less likely to bite. However, the effectiveness of these frequencies can vary depending on the type of mosquito and environmental factors.

2. What is the most effective frequency to repel mosquitoes?

There is no one specific frequency that has been proven to be the most effective in repelling mosquitoes. Some studies have shown that frequencies between 20-100 kHz can be effective, while others suggest that higher frequencies (such as 40-60 kHz) work better. It is also important to note that different frequencies may work better for different species of mosquitoes.

3. Can I use a smartphone app to emit mosquito-repelling frequencies?

While there are many smartphone apps that claim to emit frequencies to repel mosquitoes, there is no scientific evidence that these apps are effective. In fact, some experts suggest that these apps may do more harm than good by giving people a false sense of protection against mosquito bites.

4. Are there any potential side effects of using sound or frequency to repel mosquitoes?

While there are no known negative side effects of using sound or frequency to repel mosquitoes, it is important to use caution when using devices or apps that emit these frequencies. Some people may be more sensitive to certain frequencies and could experience discomfort or headaches. Additionally, relying solely on sound or frequency to repel mosquitoes may not provide complete protection against mosquito bites.

5. Can I use sound or frequency to repel mosquitoes indoors?

It is possible to use sound or frequency to repel mosquitoes indoors, but it may not be as effective as using it outdoors. Mosquitoes can easily enter buildings through open doors or windows, and the effectiveness of the frequencies may be reduced by walls or furniture. It is important to also use other methods of mosquito control, such as screens or insect repellent, when indoors.

Similar threads

Replies
1
Views
704
Replies
31
Views
700
Replies
4
Views
2K
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
3
Views
1K
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
20
Views
2K
Replies
20
Views
3K
  • Classical Physics
Replies
1
Views
922
  • Art, Music, History, and Linguistics
2
Replies
37
Views
3K
Replies
9
Views
1K
  • Biology and Medical
Replies
2
Views
4K
Back
Top