Zapping mosquitoes with lasers

Shooting down mosquitoes with lasersThe Economist has an article about anti-mosquito laser defense systems.


The first device described is called a photonic mosquito fence:

  • A series of posts about 100m apart
  • Each post has a cheap camera and light source and is connected to a central computer
  • When a camera detects movements it analyzes the source (mosquito species have distinctive wing-beat frequencies)
  • If the source is a mosquito the computer “trains a laser onto the insect and blasts it into oblivion”!

That is awesome! Apparently the system is also cheap enough to compete with current malaria protection.

The other system described uses a ‘curtain’ of infra-red light to which mosquitoes are highly sensitive. Also very cool.

  • Guest

    I first heard of the idea of using lasers to zap mosquitos around 1985 at a Forth programming language conference. Chuck Moore, inventor of Forth, came up with the idea and mentioned it during a talk on possible computer applications.