August 7, 2013
During the summer I love to be outside, whether it’s camping, sitting around a fire or taking a stroll on the nearest trail. Being outdoors does have one pesky downfall though — the mosquitoes.
This summer season has seen a record number of mosquitoes. By mid-July the population had grown to three times the 10-year average, according to the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District.
My poor legs can vouch for this fact.
The control district does its best to control mosquitoes. It uses some environmentally friendly methods, including soil bacteria and a hormone that inhibits growth. But it often seems that using harsh chemicals is the only way to really combat the insects.
This is where a new technology called Kite Patch comes in. This little square patch sticks to your clothing and makes you invisible to mosquitoes for up to 48 hours. Through the use of non-toxic compounds, this patch blocks the mosquitoes from detecting human’s carbon dioxide emissions, which is how they spot us in the first place.
Of course, in some parts of the world, mosquitoes are far more than a nuisance. Malaria, a disease carried by mosquitoes, kills one child every minute, and creators of the Kite Patch are now in the process of raising money to bring this technology to areas where malaria is it’s worst.
Using the crowd funding website Indiegogo, the Kite Patch has now raised more than $460,000 to help fund a field test in Uganda that will provide more than 20,000 patches to be distributed to those that need it most. Once the people behind Kite Patch have fully tested their product, it will become available to those who donated to the project.
ieCrowd, the developers of the Kite Patch, have worked to fund this project and do good at the same time. Instead of rolling out their product in places such as Minnesota, where we have an abundance of mosquitoes but not many life-threatening ones, they decided to get their company off the ground by providing for those that can benefit from it the most — the millions of Africans at risk of contracting malaria.
The supporters of the Kite Patch are providing for themselves by buying into something that they will someday use, but will also be a donation of sorts and assist those less fortunate first.
I myself am a mosquito magnet, and when I heard about the Kite Patch I was fully on board. My donation may now help save lives in Uganda — and someday will save me from a bite or two.