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Good Night, Sleep Tight, Let Android Protect You from Mosquito Bite


Published onMay 24, 2011

Malaria, filariasis, yellow fever, dengue fever, Rift Valley fever, Ross River Fever, epidemic polyarthritis, various types of encephalitis, West Nile virus (WNV). These are just some of the diseases borne by mosquitoes, and they could be fatal. Malaria, for instance, claims 2,000,000 lives yearly, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

What has this got to do with your Android device? Quite a lot. First of all, your Android is immune to all those diseases, so no worries. Unfortunately, you aren’t–but your Android can help you avoid that mosquito bite that can cause any of those diseases. You can actually install several apps that can repel mosquitoes. No mosquito-repelling chemicals involved here. Just plain sound, which you actually do not hear at all.

It’s amazing how the openness of the Android platform allows app developers to create real solutions to real-life problems–such as mosquitoes. The Android Market actually hosts several apps that claim to repel mosquitoes. In fact, a few of them claim to drive away not just mosquitoes but also ticks and certain bugs. They don’t kill the insects, though.

Before getting to the list of sound-based mosquito-repelling apps, a quick word about the underlying scientific concepts, which are quite fascinating, if you ask me.

The first concept is called ultrasound, with the “ultra” part closely related to the “ultra” in “ultraviolet.” Simply put, ultrasound is sound not perceptible to human hearing because its frequency lies higher than the upper limits of human hearing. Ultrasound frequency is about 20 kHz and higher.

The second concept is bionics, which is the field of science that studies how to apply biological methods and natural systems to technology. In the case of the anti-mosquito Android apps, the behavior of bats is being mimicked. Bats have been observed to use ultrasound (somewhere between 20 kHz and 100 kHz) to locate prey (e.g., insects such as mosquitoes and moths). Bat prey, on the other hand, also emit sound waves, which the bat uses to detect the precise location of the insects.

In the anti-mosquito Android apps, developers claim that their apps produce a sound frequency almost similar to that of a bat’s and that mosquitoes are annoyed by the sound. So, the claim is that your Android phone’s bat sound will drive the bloodsuckers away.

Take note that no scientific evidence exists to prove that ultrasound does drive away mosquitoes. Several studies, however, have found that certain moths can emit frequencies that jam the bat’s own sound waves, thus throwing the bat off course from the moths.

That being said, here, then, are the most popular anti-bloodsucker Android apps:

Anti Mosquito - Sonic Repeller
Sonic Mosquito Repellent
Anti-Mosquito free
Anti-Mosquito free
(by vileer)
Anti Mosquito
Anti Mosquito
(by Phone Apps Pro)

These are all free apps available from Android Market. But, as usual, use them at your own risk. Some users have reported that the apps work, others report that the apps simply didn’t work. Tell us whether these apps worked for you or not.