Dubstep Halts Mosquitoes Having Sex, Sucking Blood

Image By Brennan Schnell - Flickr: Skrillex, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18786799

In a new scientific study, it seems that dubstep music — specifically the song, “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” by Skrillix, which was used in the study — has an impact on the mating and feeding behavior of mosquitoes.

The study focused on the idea that mosquitoes use sound as an integral part of their copulating and feeding routines, so throwing a dubstep song into the mix would disrupt the mosquitoes’ natural processes. This song wasn’t just chosen because it’s from Skrillex’s Grammy-award winning album (which was also named Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites), but because the song uses a mix of high and low frequencies that were more likely to affect the mosquitoes more than, say, an acoustic country song.

“In insects, low-frequency vibrations facilitate sexual interactions,” the scientists say, “whereas noise disrupts the perception of signals from conspecifics [other mosquitoes of the same species] and hosts.”

The particular species of mosquitoes used in this experiment were the Aedes aeygypti, which is also known as the yellow fever mosquito. It is a common culprit for transmitting a variety of tropical fevers.


Image credit: By Muhammad Mahdi Karim – Own work, GFDL 1.2, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9556152

The conclusions found in the study, which was recorded in the Acta Tropica scientific journal, include:

  • Delayed response time to feeding on available hosts and reduced visitation to the host.
  • Females attacked their hosts much later than females without music.
  • Blood feeding occurrences dropped significantly when the music was played.
  • Adult mosquitoes had much less sex while listening to the music.

Scientists are using this information to find alternative methods to mosquito population control without resorting to pesticides. But this kind of scientific data can also be used by civilians. The next time you have an outside barbeque and you see a mosquito, don’t worry. Just crank up the dubstep and the insects (as well as your neighbors) will hopefully leave you alone.