Repelling Mosquitoes With A Natural Sticky Patch

Download Audio

Mosquitoes transmit some of the world's deadliest diseases, but someday a colorful sticker may be all humans need to keep the insects away.

Mosquitoes are drawn to the carbon dioxide we exhale. The Kite Patch releases odors that block the bug's carbon dioxide receptors, sending them in another direction.

Molly Schmid is vice president for life and health technologies at ieCrowd, the company that's developing the Kite Patch technology. She tells Here & Now's Sacha Pfeiffer how the Kite Patch works and what it will take to bring it to market.

Interview Highlights

On how the Kite Patch works

"We're hoping that Kite Patch serves essentially as an invisibility cloak — that is, it's blocking the ability of mosquitoes to detect carbon dioxide which we breathe and exhale and mosquitoes find that and zero in and come towards us as a result. So the Kite Patch emits odors that actually block the ability of mosquitoes to detect the carbon dioxide."

"These additional compounds will make the mosquitoes say, 'I thought I saw something, but I don't anymore,' and just turn and go a different way."

On the limitations of currently available insect repellents

"DEET, as a chemical, blocks some of the neuromuscular transmissions that are necessary and is thought to, in some people at least, cause some type of neuromuscular problems. There are safety challenges, sufficient that both Health Canada and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend limiting use in children. And netting, also, is a physical barrier. It's very effective, especially treated nets, but the chemicals wear out and also the mosquitoes become resistant."


This segment aired on August 29, 2014.


More from Here & Now

Listen Live