Dubstep fans are probably constantly mosquito-free as a new study reveals that Skrillex beats can help people steer clear of mosquito bites.
In the study, researchers tested how mosquitoes responded to electronic music, showing that Skrillex's 2010 hit "Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites" can actually keep mosquitoes from biting.
The findings could pave the way for sound- and music-based measures against mosquito bites and mosquito-borne diseases.
Sound and Mosquito Behavior
While mosquitoes are known to respond to sound, using music as control targets in affecting their behavior have been largely unexplored.
"Sound and its reception are crucial for reproduction, survival, and population maintenance of many animals," the authors wrote in the paper published in the journal Acta Tropica. "In insects, low-frequency vibrations facilitate sexual interactions, whereas noise disrupts the perception of signals from conspecifics and hosts."
Since these activities play a role in mosquitoes' transmission of diseases among humans, learning to control their behavior with music can result in controlling the spread of mosquito-borne diseases as well.
Scientists Pit Skrillex Against Mosquitoes
A team of researchers set out to determine whether electronic music has a significant effect on the foraging, host attack, and sexual activities of the species Aedes aegypti, which carries both dengue and yellow fever.
Scientists picked Skrillex's track "Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites" for their experiment due to its variety of high and low frequencies, according to BBC News.
To test out the effects of the song on mosquito behavior, the team played the song on repeat near a cage of female mosquitoes who have not eaten for 12 hours. A male mosquito and hamster was also inside the cage for sex and food respectively.
As the song played continuously, the scientists simply kept swapping out female mosquitoes in groups of 10 for 10-minute intervals.
When compared to a control group of female mosquitoes whose cage was completely silent, researchers reveal that the Skrillex-exposed insects engaged in a lot less sex and sucked less blood.
While it took the control group only 30 seconds to focus on the hamster and eating, the Skrillex mosquitoes didn't begin looking for food until two to three minutes into the song and made fewer attempts to bite the hamster than the others.
Furthermore, the Skrillex group had five times less sex than the control group.
The researchers attributed this effect to the song's loud and aggressive vibrations that may have made it difficult for the male and female mosquitoes to sync their wing beats. Since successful mating occurs with the perfect synchronization of mosquitoes' flights, Skrillex's song directly made it more challenging for the bugs to reproduce.