The World Health Organization has declared the Zika virus a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern,” so two advertising agencies decided to take a creative stand. Posterscope and NBS designed The Mosquito Killer Billboard to bait and kill mosquitoes in Brazil. The billboards release carbon dioxide and lactic acid to imitate human breath and sweat, and they’re equipped with fluorescent lights to increase their appeal to the troublesome bugs. It’s either a grand idea or a gross one.
The agencies say mosquitoes can smell the signs from more than a mile away. When they arrive at the panel, ready to take a bite, they zoom into a catch mechanism which draws the insects inside the panel. Inside, they’re unable to escape, dehydrate, and die.
Two devices have already been installed in Rio de Janeiro, and each board explains what the device accomplishes: “This board kills hundreds of Zika mosquitoes every day.”
While some are excited about the idea, others are skeptical. University of Southhampton Ecology and Evolution professor Dr. Chris Jackson told the BBC that reducing the pervasiveness of the insects could prove beneficial, but he has doubts about how the billboards will function. “Maybe if it was not in a high-density place, where people are sitting perhaps with exposed legs…otherwise, you’re pulling in hungry mosquitoes and providing them with exposed human flesh,” Jackson said.
It remains to be seen how effective the boards will be, and if other cities will be lured in by the concept.
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