The sun is shining on your skin, there’s a breeze in your hair and someone has just handed you a coconut with a straw sticking out of it. This is living.
But just as you start to relax you find yourself clawing at your own skin, scratching at the mosquito bites that have developed on your body over the past few days.
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
According to a recent scientific study, the way to avoid mosquito bites is to listen to electronic music – specifically dubstep, specifically by US artist Skrillex.
Sound is “crucial for reproduction, survival, and population maintenance of many animals,” says a team of international scientists specialising in mosquitoes and the diseases they carry.
They subjected adults of the species Aedes aegypti, known as the yellow fever mosquito, to electronic music to see whether it could work as a repellent.
Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites, a track by Skrillex which features on his Grammy-award winning album of the same name, was chosen because of its mix of very high and very low frequencies.
“In insects, low-frequency vibrations facilitate sexual interactions, whereas noise disrupts the perception of signals from conspecifics [members of the same species] and hosts,” the scientists said.
And the results, which were published in the journal Acta Tropica, were good news for us and for Skrillex.
Female adult mosquitoes were “entertained” by the track and attacked hosts later and less often than those in a dubstep-free environment.
Scientists said “the occurrence of blood feeding activity was lower when music was being played”.
The scientists also found that mosquitoes exposed to the song had sex “far less often” than mosquitoes without music.
“The observation that such music can delay host attack, reduce blood feeding, and disrupt mating provides new avenues for the development of music-based personal protective and control measures against Aedes-borne diseases.”
So, the next time you’re at your wit’s end on holiday, scratching up your arms and legs, you know what to hook up to the wireless speaker.