With the sock trap against malaria - prevention with a difference

With the sock trap in the fight against malaria

This article explores whether it is possible to rid a country like Africa of malaria just by smelling sweat from socks. Dr Fredros Okumu of Ifakara Health Institute claims yes. Read here why the "sock trap" seems to be the only sensible solution in the fight against African mosquitoes.

The beginnings of mosquito trap - human decoys in the fight against malaria

It happened about 15 years ago. Then a naked Dutch man found out that malarial mosquitoes preferred to bite his feet. What sounds insane has a serious background. This man's name was Bart Knols. He devoted his life to malaria research.

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Using his self-experiment as human bait, they tried to find out whether there was a preferred region among mosquitoes to bite. Above all, the researcher was concerned with finding out why. Since the funds were lacking, the daring man had no choice but to try himself.

dr Fredros Okumu and his vision of the sock trap

The experiment showed that mosquitoes prefer to bite where there is increased perspiration. 15 years later, a young African doctor, said Dr. Okumu if you couldn't use this effect to craft a trap. Which could be built with modest means and protect the poorest village in Africa from mosquitoes. But it was not yet entirely clear whether it was the smell of the socks or the sweat that attracted the mosquitoes.

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What magically attracts the malaria mosquito?

After some tests, it was clear that it was a combination of both. Meanwhile, malaria research has been supported by grants and Dutch men have been largely spared. However, sweat increasingly escapes from the feet and pollutants leave the human body in this way. Therefore, the feet are often called the "second kidneys". Due to the substances excreted, all of our sweat stinks to different degrees. The smell, in turn, magically attracts the mosquitoes. Because they don't see their victims, the mosquitoes only smell us. The stronger the stench, the harder they bite.

The solution: a simple but effective trap against malaria

Dr Okumu now knew about the intoxicating effect of human sweat on Mosiktos, but he was no closer to solving his problem. We don't know when his enlightenment came, but we assume it was a sweaty moment. Because after some pondering, he invented it: the sock trap to prevent malaria.

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Then have a look at the Online shop over, there are many beautiful models here!

How does the sock trap against malaria work?

The trap is based on the following principle: It primarily serves to distract and not to kill the flying tormentors. The mosquito trap prototype consisted of a wooden container, a blower, a bamboo cane and an old, smelly sock.

The stench is supposed to drive the mosquitoes into the traps instead of onto the people. Because the common mosquito traps that prevent malaria are intended for indoor use. From netting to specially coated bedding, there is much to protect residents in their homes. And yet, it is statistically proven that most people outside are attacked by mosquitoes. Here comes the sock trap from Dr. Okumu just right.

What was still an old men's sock in the prototype is now a synthetic odorant. However, half of Africa is rumored that the doctor would not mind a donation. From the local football club, for example. Because he estimates that about 20 traps are needed to protect 1000 people.

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