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Scientists are testing a Photonic Fence that fights mosquitos with lasers


Why it matters to you

No one likes mosquitos. Shooting them with lasers is not only cool, it’s effective.

Almost everyone in the world agrees that mosquitos are terrible. They aren’t just pests that leave itchy bug bites, they also carry the chance of being infected with malaria. Current traps and zappers have existed for awhile, but they also kill many good bugs. Instead, Seattle-based Intellectual Ventures Lab have created the Photonic Fence, a device that will only kill the pests.

The Photonic Fence uses cameras and other optics to scan for pests within 100 meters of the device. Bugs are identified by a combination of shape, velocity, acceleration, and wing-beat frequency. Once the machine determines that a bug is a pest, it shoots out a laser, killing the insect within 25 milliseconds. The company states that the Fence can kill up to 20 insects per second, covering an area up to 30 meters wide and 3 meters high.