Ditch the bug spray and turn up the dubstep.
For many, Skrillex’s 2010 breakout single “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” was their entryway into electronic dance music. The track would enter dubstep into the mainstream for a brief moment in time, going down in history as “brostep.”
Now, a new study published in the Acta Tropica journal has revealed that mosquitoes appear to suck less blood and have less sex while Skrillex is playing. Titled “The electronic song ‘Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites’ reduces host attack and mating success in the dengue vector,” the team of scientists who conducted the experiment found that “music-based personal protective and control measures” could protect against “mosquito-borne diseases.”
For the study, two environments were created to observe the feeding and mating behaviors of Aedes aegypti, known also as the “yellow fever mosquito.” The first environment (e.g. “music-off”) was silent while the control environment (e.g. “music-on”) blasted “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” around the mosquitoes. In both situations, hungry female mosquitoes (known to be the bloodsuckers) were deprived of their bloody meals for nearly 12 hours. Then the females were placed into a cage with a restrained hampster.
In the “music-off” environment, the female mosquitoes went after the hampster after 30 seconds on average. In the “music-on” environment, however, the female mosquitoes demonstrated “delayed response time and reduced visitation to [the hampster].” Researchers also found that “blood feeding activity had low occurrence when music was played.”
When male mosquitoes were placed into both environments, adults in the “music-on” environment “copulated far less than their counterparts kept in the [music-off] environment,” having five times as less sex than their silent counterparts. Researchers concluded that Skrillex’s noisy vibrations may have confused the mosquitoes, who synchronize their wing patterns to attract a mate.
Finally, researchers noted the implications of the study were groundbreaking in discovering the link between mosquitoes and their sensitivity to sound. It also opens the gateway in understanding the prevention of deadly diseases like Zika, West Nile, and Dengue fever through virus-transmitting mosquitoes.
It appears to be safe to go outside this summer without mosquito repellent… so long as you’re at a heavy bass show.