New mosquito trap smart enough to keep just the bad bugs

Posted at 8:07 AM, Feb 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-17 11:04:38-05

A smart trap for mosquitoes is promising to catch the bloodsuckers while letting friendlier insects escape — and even record the exact weather conditions when different species emerge to bite.

Whether it really could improve public health is still to be determined. But researchers say during pilot-testing around Houston last summer, the robotic traps accurately captured particular mosquito species — those capable of spreading the Zika virus and certain other diseases.

Rather than the old-fashioned net approach, the new trap consists of 64 compartments outfitted with an infrared light beam that allows recognition of certain species. When the right bug flies in, a door shuts to capture it.

The research was presented at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston.