Phone app claims to repel mosquitos - KCTV5

Phone app claims to repel mosquitos

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Looking for a chemical-free way to repel mosquitos? There's an app for that.

The most frequently used is called the Anti-Mosquito Sonic Repeller. Before being released as an app, the idea was attempted in radio broadcasts.

"It's really a sound that mimics the sound of a dragonfly's wings because that's what mosquitos are naturally afraid of, because they are enemies," explained Dr. Lee Norman, with the University of Kansas Hospital.

Norman is an expert on mosquito-borne diseases. He says the high-pitched tone, silent to the human ear, makes sense, but tests so far say it's a dud.

"It's been looked at in many different studies worldwide in both hemispheres against many different kinds of mosquito varieties and it just doesn't work," Norman said.

Why it's failed he can't say, but with all the diseases carried by these pests, he has a real concern about people relying on it, then contracting something serious.

He says the No. 1 proven product is a spray with DEET. Stick to a mild percentage for kids. Not quite as effective but chemical-free is wearing light-colored clothing and running a fan nearby.

"If there's even a gust of continuous breeze of 5 mph, which is what a patio fan normally does, that will keep mosquitos away as well," Norman said.

One thing he warned against was products that combine DEET with sunscreen. He says the sunscreen can mask the chemical that repels mosquitos and therefore make it less effective. Also, sunscreen needs to be re-applied more often than DEET, so applying a combination product as often as sunscreen needs to be applied can expose a child to excessive amounts of DEET.

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