Mosquitoes are one of the summer’s greatest nuisances, bugging you when you’re sitting outside at night, rendering you itchy and annoyed for days after. And, as we’re constantly reminded, our mosquitoes are rather meaningless when compared to the deadly ones that haunt the developing world, spreading the 219 million global cases of malaria and a host of other diseases.
The Kite, developed by scientists at University of California Riverside and commercialized by an impact investing group called ieCrowd, works by confusing the bugs’ sense of smell. Usually, they hone in the CO2 we breathe out; the Kite keeps this from happening. As you can see in the video above, when an intrepid scientist sticks his hand into a cage full of mosquitoes, the Kite prevents them from finding him and sucking his blood.
The company recently raised more than half a million dollars on Indiegogo, which will fund field research in Uganda. Once the company gets EPA approval, the Kite will also be available in the U.S. Because people in the developed world will gladly pay for the ability to avoid mosquitoes, that money can help fund mosquito-prevention in places where it’s really needed.