Billboard mimics human sweat to entrap Zika-carrying mosquitoes

The ad agencies that built it released its blueprint to the public.

A couple of ad agencies in Brazil installed two special billboards in Rio de Janeiro, which don't endorse any kind of good or service. Instead, these billboards were designed to lure and kill Zika-carrying mosquitoes. They attract any Aedes aegypti up to 2.5 miles away by emitting a solution containing lactic acid and carbon dioxide that mimic human sweat and breath, respectively. Once the mosquitoes flock to the billboards, they get sucked inside the glass panel, where they're trapped until they die.

The agencies, Posterscope and NBS, released the installation's technical blueprint online and are encouraging other companies and cities to build their own. It costs around $192 to make one of these billboards. Dr. Chris Jackson, a pest control expert from the University of Southampton, told the BBC that anything that can reduce the prevalence of Zika-carrying mosquitoes is a good thing. The Zika virus continues to threaten the health of pregnant women and their babies in Brazil, after all -- the CDC even confirmed that it causes severe birth defects, including microcephaly. He warns, however, that these types of installations might be more suitable for low-density locations. "[O]therwise," he said, "you're pulling in hungry mosquitoes and providing them with exposed human flesh."