Brazil targets zika virus with smelly, mosquito-killing billboards

Brazil, epicenter of the growing zika virus outbreak, is now home to a pair of billboards that smell like sweaty humans and exist merely to lure mosquitoes to their death. The billboard — the kind that is placed on a city sidewalk — emits a mixture of carbon dioxide and lactic acid aromas to mimic the scent of human sweat, attracting mosquitos from as far away as 2.5km. It is called, appropriately enough, the Mosquito Killer Board, and it was created by ad agencies NBS and Posterscope. Even better, blueprints for the board have been released for free.

When the mosquitoes get up close, they get sucked into the billboard and trapped behind a piece of glass until they die. The inside of the billboard merely explains that it "kills hundreds of zika mosquitoes everyday." Both of the billboards are located in Rio de Janeiro. There is a big potential downside with this, though.

Critics worry that placing the billboards within the city like this are drawing more mosquitoes into populated regions where humans are, possibly exacerbating the issue. Placing such billboards in more rural locations outside of big cities may be a better solution, drawing mosquitoes toward them rather than the city where individuals would be exposed to bites.

Billboards like the one shown above cost about $192 to make; it isn't clear how often they would need serviced, though the benefit of killing off mosquitoes could justify the cost if the solution is effective enough. The zika virus has spread to several countries and is responsible for birth defects that have affected thousands of babies. The CDC recently said that the virus is "scarier" than it had previously estimated.