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Pest Expert: Smart Phone Mosquito Repellant App a Bust

With the advent of summer, it is time to party outdoors. A new smart-phone app emits ultrasonic sounds that will supposedly drive mosquitoes away from your outdoor fun. There’s only one problem: It doesn't work.
MEMPHIS, TN - With the advent of summer, it’s time to party outdoors. A backyard barbecue would be nice. The only trouble is- all those flying critters, like mosquitoes- can spoil the party.

But, thanks to smart phone technology- those bugs may be on the run; or not.

There is an app for everything these days, of course. But, a mosquito repellant; anything is possible, but when it comes to this particular new technology a local pest control expert- goes old school.

“What is the old saying,” asks Lanier James, “if it looks to good to be true, it probably is. That’s what this is.”

‘This’ is a new smart-phone app that supposedly emits ultrasonic sounds driving mosquitoes away from your outdoor fun.

There’s only one trouble.

“It doesn’t work.” James told abc24.com.

James is the president of James Pest Control in Memphis.

The smart phone app allegedly imitates the sounds of a dragonfly.

“I just don’t think you can reproduce those sounds with an app on an i-phone to be quite honest,” said Marc Funderburk, president of Land Patterns in Dallas, “and I’m not really sure the sounds are going to be a deterrent to mosquitoes anyway.”

James is sure- for a specific reason.

“The male mosquito hears vibrations of the female through the mating process,” said James, “he picks it up on his antenna. The female does not hear any vibrations, which means you’ll repel the males- all fine and good- except females are the only ones that bite you.”


So once again, that means the smart phone apps work how well?

“Not at all,” said James, “not at all.”

You can see proof online. A Youtube clip depicts a researcher holding a smart phone inside a glass cage filled with mosquitoes. The critters wasted not time landing on her bare arm and hand.

The app had zero affect.

“Zero is the only number.” James told abc24.com.

James said the only effective mosquito deterrents are products containing Deet. Why?

“I don’t know,” said James laughing, “I wish I did. But, I know one thing- they don’t like it.”

This is the exact opposite of the way the critters behave toward the sound of a dragonfly emanating from your smart phone.

James said researchers in his profession have been debunking ultrasonic mosquito repellants for years and this smart phone app is just the latest in a long line of similar products that do not work.
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