What on earth is a sweating billboard you might ask, well they are a relatively recent innovation from two advertising companies in Brazil. To fight back against the notorious Zika virus, these sweating billboards were designed to attract and kill mosquitoes.
The sweating billboards release a lactic solution which smells like human sweat. The smell attracts and draws insects from as far away as 1.6 miles and then traps them within the sweating billboard. carbon dioxide which is in human breath is likewise emitted to increase its appeal to the Zika carrying bugs. The dead mosquitoes are then featured against a background bearing a message that explains the purpose of the sweating billboards. Pretty nasty luck for the mosquitoes.
The two marketing companies behind the innovation which is called the Mosquito killer Board believe that their invention could help battle Zika. With over 860 cases of microcephaly, which Zika has been shown to be responsible for, Brazil is the worst hit by the virus, which also has reported cases from around the world.
In an impressive gesture, the marketing firms, Posterscope and NBS, have released the blueprint for free so they can be made and used anywhere in the world. Otto Frossard from Posterscope told the BBC; “It’s impressive how many mosquitoes you can trap and how many lives you can save with this idea”. He also revealed that the board’s production would cause a few thousand Reals, where 1,000 Brazilian reals is 283 pounds.
Dr Chris Jackson, a pest control expert at the University of Southampton also spoke about the invention to the BBC, admitting that anything that can be done to reduce the prevalence of mosquitoes is a good thing but that there were concerns about attracting mosquitoes to urban areas. The sweating billboard is just one more added innovation in several insecticide initiatives that have been undertaken around Rio in a bid to make the city safe for thousands of tourists who will arrive for the Olympics.