Smelly socks prevent bites, says scientists

Published: 13th July 2011

Smelly socks prevent bites, says scientists
Scientists at the Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzania have revealed a smelly solution to prevent mosquito bites.

They suggest that by hanging out dirty socks, mosquitoes will be attracted to the unpleasant smell and can be easily trapped.

Research scientist Fredos Okumu claimed that the clothing was hung in front of boxes which contained insecticide and was found to kill hundreds of the insects in one night.

"The sock is attractive to us, not just because it's attractive to mosquitoes, but also because it's readily available," said Mr Okumu, who is completing a PhD at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

However, he added that the method can be just as effective when a cotton pad is worn in the sock all day and then removed at night, as people may not want to leave their socks outside.

According to the institute there are currently over 3,000 species of mosquitoes worldwide and are commonly associated with carrying diseases such as malaria and yellow fever in warmer countries.

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