Because their bite is unpleasant and can transmit diseases, mosquitoes are our summer nightmares. To keep them away, our smartphones now offer dedicated applications. But is it really effective?
An application to repel mosquitoes? This is the novelty of this summer 2023. These applications to be installed on your smartphone would broadcast sound frequencies identical to those of dragonflies or male mosquitoes, which would have the effect of repelling female mosquitoes, the only ones to bite.
The smartphone, a not really effective repellent
Indeed, female mosquitoes, which bite humans, would be repelled by these sounds, for two reasons: because they mate only once in their life, they would turn away when hearing a male mosquito or else for fear of meeting a dragonfly, which is one of their predators.
If the idea and its development are ingenious, no scientific evidence confirms the effectiveness of these apps. On the contrary, studies show that the waves capable of repelling mosquitoes are far too powerful to be reproduced by a smartphone.
According to Inserm’s Canal Detox, a literature review of ten solid studies, published by the Cochrane organization, already highlighted in 2010 a lack of evidence concerning the usefulness of wave-based mosquito repellents. The review even went so far as to deem further research on the subject unnecessary. Since then, no study has come to contradict these conclusions with more robust data.
Regarding the downloading of these apps, Inserm continues: “Experts therefore advise against their use, at best because they are of no use, at worst because they can provide a false sense of protection, which leads users to neglect other approaches to protect themselves from bites.“.
To avoid being stung, go out covered!
What are the remaining solutions to avoid getting bitten? There are many repellents, available on the market in different forms such as creams, to be applied to oneself or sprays, to be diffused also on oneself or in the ambient air, depending on the model.
Effective against mosquitoes but with a limited duration in time, these products are no less chemical and therefore to be used sparingly.
The most effective and least dangerous solution against mosquito bites remains the wearing of loose, covering clothing, as well as the use of a mosquito net, especially at night, when the insects are most active.
And to avoid attracting them, it is advisable to empty containers around your home that could contain stagnant water, such as flower pot saucers or gutters.