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  1. ITV Report

Why Skrillex's music could reduce feeding and breeding in mosquitoes

Adult mosquitoes exposed to Skrillex's music 'copulated far less often' and less frequently than those in an area with no music. Credit: AP/PA

A study has found a dubstep track by the electronic artist Skrillex could offer effective protection against mosquitoes.

Scientists specialising in mosquitoes and the diseases they carry subjected adults of the species Aedes aegypti, known as the yellow fever mosquito - which are known to spread dangerous and sometimes life-threatening diseases such as the Zika virus, dengue fever, and yellow fever - to electronic music to see whether it could work as a repellent.

The dubstep track Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites by Skrillex, which features on his Grammy-award winning album, was chosen because of its mix of high and low frequencies.

Sound is "crucial for reproduction, survival, and population maintenance of many animals," the team of international scientists behind the study said.

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"In insects, low-frequency vibrations facilitate sexual interactions, whereas noise disrupts the perception of signals from con-specifics [members of the same species] and hosts."

The aedes aegypti mosquito, commonly found in tropical regions of the world and known for the white markings on its legs, is known to spread dangerous and sometimes life-threatening diseases such as the Zika virus, dengue fever, and yellow fever.

According to the results, female adult mosquitoes "entertained" by the track attacked hosts later and less often than those in a dubstep-free environment, and "the occurrence of blood feeding activity was lower when music was being played".

Skrillex, real name Sonny John Moore, released Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites in 2010 which peaked at number 77 in the UK official streaming chart. Credit: AP

What’s more, the adults exposed to the music "copulated far less often" than those in an area with no music.

Scientists said: "The observation that such music can delay host attack, reduce blood feeding, and disrupt mating provides new avenues for the development of music-based personal protective and control measures against Aedes-borne diseases."

The study was published in the scientific journal Arcta Tropica.

Skrillex, real name Sonny John Moore, released Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites in 2010 which peaked at number 77 in the UK official streaming chart and has sold more than two million copies in the US, where it won best dance recording at the 54th Grammy Awards.