Although we relate graphite to new technologies such as the manufacture of touch screens, research has now shown that graphite-coated clothing helps prevent mosquito bites.
Graphite has unique characteristics of hardness, flexibility and lightness. Its properties are being used in fabrics to become an effective barrier against toxic chemicals.
These properties have led researchers at Brown University (USA) to verify whether this type of fabric is effective against mosquito bites and have discovered that it is.
As a pest control company in Bilbao and Bizkaia, we had to highlight this study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In it, different volunteers underwent a test that consisted of inserting their arms into a chamber full of mosquitoes. One of the extremities was naked, while the other was covered with a film of graphite oxide (GO). To the surprise of the researchers, the properties of this material prevented the bite from reaching the skin. They also found that the insects ignored the GO-coated arm. They discovered that this material blocked the signals that mosquitoes use to feel that a food source is nearby.
After this step, the researchers realized that if the graphite oxide is wet, it loses its “anti-mosquito” properties. So they decided to replace it with a derivative of GO, reduced graphite oxide (rGO). This substance did offer protection against bites when wet. The disadvantage was that it did not allow the evacuation of sweat, which would be uncomfortable to carry.
An end to insect pests in Bilbao?
With these results, the next step will be to carry out the relevant tests to ensure that the wet GO is resistant to mosquito bites and can be used without the need for derivatives.
In this way, in a few years the professionals of the pest control companies in Bilbao and Bizkaia will be able to wear this type of clothing to avoid insect bites when carrying out their work. Although this type of clothing is designed and will be more useful in countries where insect pests proliferate and mosquitoes are carriers of dangerous diseases, with the sole aim of preventing the proliferation of this type of evil.