Lonely Planet Writer

This 'sweaty billboard' in Brazil is trapping mosquitos to help stop the spread of the Zika virus

As the Zika virus and a host of other diseases carried by mosquitoes continue to threaten parts of Brazil, a new technique involving the smell of human sweat and a billboard has been deployed. Created by outdoor advertising agency Posterscope and Brazilian firm NBS, the well-named Mosquito Killer Billboard contains lactic acid and CO2, which replicates the smell of human sweat and breathing, attracting mosquitoes from up to two miles away. The insects are known to carry the virus.

The billboard then traps them as they stick to it upon landing, where they die due to dehydration.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has labelled Zika a global public health emergency and urged more action to be taken around the world. As a result, the two agencies behind the billboard have made the design and full technical specifications freely available via Creative Commons, so anyone can recreate the design.

Two billboards have so far been placed in Rio de Janeiro, with the advertising space inside the boards remaining clear apart from explaining how the board itself works.

(Press Association)