In a blow to dubstep fans everywhere, a team of insect researchers has found that female mosquitoes listening to Skrillex had less sex and sucked less blood than mosquitoes who spent 10 minutes in silence.
The authors of the new study, published March 25 in the journal Acta Tropica, wanted to test whether loud music could be used to manipulate mosquito behavior as an “environmentally friendly” alternative to insecticides. Because mating and blood-sucking are the main means by which mosquitoes transmit deadly diseases like Zika virus and dengue fever, interrupting those behaviors with obnoxious noise could also mitigate the spread of disease, the authors wrote.
In their study, the researchers tested their hypothesis by blasting electronic music from a speaker set up near a cage of hungry female mosquitoes who had gone 12 hours without a meal. The cage also contained one virgin male mosquito (for sex) and a restrained hamster (for lunch). In a series of 10-minute trials, groups of 10 female mosquitoes were continuously swapped into the cage while the Skrillex song “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” played on repeat. The researchers chose this song because its excessive loudness and constantly escalating pitch made it a prime candidate for “noisiness,” the team wrote.