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Of “Swatting” … and “Swishing” … Mosquitoes; Animals Have a Lot to Teach We Humans

Elephant Tail/Mosquito Swatter and Swisher (image credit: Saskia Land)

Swatting and mosquitoes.  Mosquitoes and swatting.  They necessarily go together.  They kind of have to.

Of course, ohDEER, the leader in all–natural deer, mosquito, and tick control, applies its proprietary solutions to environments – residential yards, business properties, and public spaces – to make those places unhappy and inhospitable places for mosquitoes.

ohDEER precludes the need for swatting.

Yet, for sure, the swatting reflex is alive and well.  In fact, in early spring of this year – on March 26, to be exact – we published here a post, “Yes, It Seems That Flavor is a Reason Mosquitoes Prefer One Person to Another.  It Also Seems the Buggers Detect If You Have a History of Swatting Their Brethren.”

Following is an excerpt from the post:

“Mosquitoes sense danger … in that they pick up on an aroma tied to vibrations people make when swatting a pest insect.  Mosquitoes learn to stay clear of the swatter.  Who knew?  Maybe that hand attack on the mosquito does some good.”

Well, some good … yes.  But not a whole lot of good.

Humans are not alone in employing swatting … and the swat … to relieve themselves of the annoying mosquito.

And it seems that the scientific studying of the swatting … and also of the “swishing” … that animals employ to fend off mosquitoes may be of value in developing machines and devices that safeguard people from the pests.

Please click here to be transported to an article, “How Animals Fend Off Mosquitoes By ‘Swishing’ and ‘Swatting,’” published on October 18 in Futurity, a site that is a leading source of university scientific research and reporting.  Author of the piece is John Toon, Director of Research News in Institute Communications at Georgia Institute of Technology, and Editor of Research Horizons Magazine.

In the article, in which Mr. Toon references a Georgia Institute of Technology study published this past summer in the Journal of Experimental Biology, he writes –

“An adult elephant weighs nearly five tons.  Its peskiest threat is a fraction of that.  But in order for a pachyderm to slap away” with its tail “a tiny mosquito once it lands on its backside, it must generate” with its tail “the same amount of torque it takes to accelerate a car.”

Mr. Toon notes that the elephant tail deterrent is one a combination of swishing, which is the first line of defense … one that creates wind that throws mosquitoes off track; and for those mosquitoes that make it past the swish, there is the more muscular and violent swat.

As described in the article, Georgia Tech scientists are using information gained from the study to create machines that effectively swish and swat mosquitoes.

ohDEER is all for that.  As we are for any substance or device that keeps mosquitoes away while also protecting and respecting the natural environment.