Cigarette butts can be turned into a resource for killing mosquitoes, according to a story in the Economic Times of India citing a new study by an international team of scientists.
This method of pest control was described in the latest issue of the journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research.
The report said: ‘A single treatment with CB [cigarette butt] extracts and silver nanostructures – synthesized using the extract – significantly reduced egg hatchability of anopheles stephensi, the mosquito species that spreads the P.falciparum malaria parasite’.
Low doses of the silver nanostructures were said also to inhibit the growth of a soil bacteria, Bacillus subtilis, the organism, Klebsiella pneumoniae, that causes pneumonia, and Salmonella typhi, that causes typhoid.
Normally, the larvae of malaria mosquitoes are eaten while in water by their predators, small crustaceans called M. aspericornis, and, according to the researchers, the predation efficiency of these crustaceans is not affected by the introduction of CB-synthesized nanoparticles.
Meanwhile, smoke toxicity experiments conducted with adult mosquitoes showed that the use of CB-based mosquito coils led to mortality rates comparable to those obtained with the use of standard coils containing the pesticide permethrin.
The research was carried about by scientists in India, Italy, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan.