A recent study found that female mosquitoes that were exposed to the DJ Skrillex’s music were having less intercourse and sucking less blood than those who spent ten minutes in silence. The insect researchers who conducted their study wanted to find an environmentally friendly way to deter mosquitoes without the use of insecticides.
According to the researchers, this new alternative way of warding off mosquitoes from mating and sucking blood could help reduce the spreading of deadly diseases such as Zika virus and dengue fever.
To conduct their experiment, they blasted electronic music into a cage of female mosquitoes who hadn’t eaten in 12 hours. Inside of the cage, there was also one virgin male mosquito and a hamster for them to feed on. In ten-minute increments, ten female mosquitoes were released into the cage while Skrillex’s “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” boomed in the background.
This particular song was chosen for its variety of pitches and excessive loudness. The team then compared the mating and feeding behaviors of the mosquitoes exposed to the music and those that were left in complete silence. Those exposed to the music were less driven to mate and eat than the control group.
The vibrations from the music confused the mosquitoes so much that many of them didn’t even start looking for food or to mate for at least two to three minutes after being placed in the cage. As it turns out, this effect that music has on insects eating and mating patterns are not exclusive to mosquitos. It has a similar effect on leaf-eating insects as well.