Mosquitoes Show Signs Of Behavior Change In Response To Bed Net Use, Study Says

About three years after two villages in Benin began using insecticide-treated bed nets to help prevent malaria, mosquitoes in the area changed their biting habits, so their “hours of ‘peak aggression’ [went] from 2 a.m. or 3 a.m. to around 5 a.m.” and “in one village, the proportion of mosquito bites inflicted outdoors rose,” according to a study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, Reuters reports. “The finding is ‘worrying since villagers usually wake up before dawn to work in crops, and as such they are not protected by mosquito nets,’ senior researcher Vincent Corbel of the Montpellier, France-based Institute of Research for Development said in an email,” the news service writes. Thomas Eisele of the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, who was not involved in the study, “said the results should be interpreted with caution” because of difficulties in collecting “biting behavior” activity and the short study period, Reuters notes. Corbel “said more research should be done into the possible effects of different mosquito-control methods on the insects’ behavior,” according to the news service (Norton, 9/19).

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