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I am totally confused whether ask this question to physics or biology stackexchange.

I downloaded a mobile application which claims to repel mosquitoes. This application basically produces sound from 16kHz to 22kHz (I doubt that it even produces more than 20kHz because we can't hear more than 20kHz naturally).

I totally doubt this application. Do mosquitoes go away in higher frequency of sound?

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Try to ask one question per post. As is often the case with UPDATE titles, what follows should be its own question. –  Shep May 2 '12 at 17:54

1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

After seeing your question, I decided to do a bit of research on the topic.

First Source: EurekAlert!


"Mosquito repellents that emit high-pitched sounds don't prevent bites"

Some key-points from the webpage:

A Cochrane Systematic Review of the use of electronic mosquito repellents (EMRs) failed to find any evidence that they work.
To test these claims a team of Cochrane Researchers conducted a systematic review looking for trials conducted with EMRs. They located ten field trials that had been carried out in various parts of the world. None of these trials showed any evidence that EMRs work.
All ten studies found that there was no difference in the number of mosquitoes found on the bare body parts of the human participants with or without an EMR

Second Source: Wikipedia


These electronic devices have been shown to have no effect as a mosquito repellent by studies done by the EPA and many universities.

Third Source: CBCnews

http://www.cbc.ca/news/story/2007/04/18/mosquito-repellent.html Key points from the article:

"There was no evidence in the field studies to support any repelling effects of EMRs, hence >no evidence to support their promotion or use"             -Ahmadali Enayati, researcher

This is a major point as well:

The study also said that in 12 of the 15 experiments, the landing rates of mosquitoes on subjects was in fact higher than in control groups.

The article also points out that female mosquitoes can't hear very well- Which supports the idea that high-frequency repellents are ineffective; Much more than you probably think. Why? Well, it's pretty simple:

Female Mosquitoes are the only Gender that Bite.

Overall, when you consider the countless studies and research put in to the effects of high-frequency sounds on mosquitoes, it's pretty obvious that:


High Frequency Sounds do NOT repel mosquitoes

enter image description here

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All three sources reference the same study, and it's unfortunate that the details of the study haven't been made available for peer review. –  Daniel Standage May 3 '12 at 16:14
Ok, so the results were published (onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD005434.pub2/full), but access to the article is not provided with the basic Wiley subscription package that (I assume) is available through most universities. –  Daniel Standage May 3 '12 at 16:23

protected by Chris Jul 4 '14 at 14:04

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