Testing the blood in mosquitoes that had recently fed, researchers from Sweden and Ethiopia, found just one out of nearly 1,200 had bitten a chicken with people and cattle seeming to bear the brunt of the insects’ attentions.
Cattle were the most fed upon animal outdoors with 63% of mosquitoes being found to have sucked their blood. Twenty per cent had sucked human blood with five per cent feeding on goats and 2.6% on sheep. The researchers found just one mosquito with chicken blood. The researchers identified four “chicken-specific compounds” – isobutyl butyrate, naphthalene, hexadecane and trans-limonene – found in their feathers that appeared to have a repellent effect. They also said the chicken feathers posed a physical barrier to mosquitoes and noted the birds “will actively feed on mosquitoes”. Mosquito traps were set up in 11 homes for 11 days with a volunteer agreeing to sleep under an untreated bed net nearby. Significantly fewer mosquitoes were caught in traps baited with the chicken compounds. the independent.
STUDY BY: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Addis Ababa University
RESEARCHERS: Professor Rickard Ignell, of Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and associates from Addis Ababa University
STUDY PUBLISHED BY: The Independent