Published: 21st July 2017
Now a dessert that kills mosquitoes. Manipal University alumni develop a larvicide 'cake bomb'
Rains may come and go, but puddles remain and breed mosquitoes. Read on to find out about the cake that can stop this
With the monsoon comes the rains and with the rains come the puddles. And, if fourth-grade Science has taught us anything, it is that with these puddles come the mosquitoes. But what is lesser known to the public is that Blackfrog Technologies, a product development company, has been working for the past six months on a larvicide cake, formulated by PhD scholar Dr Dhoolappa Melinamani. This cake, when thrown in water, can flush out larvae over a 12-day period.
More members: Mayur Shetty and Donson D’Souza co-founded Blackfrog Technologies with the help of their mentor, Dr Arun Shanbhag
“We use the feathers of chicken, which is basically poultry waste,” says the CEO of Blackfrog, Mayur Shetty. The 24-year-old also adds that while most larvicides could harm other insects like grasshoppers, the cake only targets mosquitoes, black flies and fungus gnats. It’s so well formulated that, “it’s okay for your pet to drink the water too,” says the Manipal-born co-founder. The project is now in the field evaluation stage, for which the 12-member team is in talks with the Udupi Panchayat in Karnataka
Blackfrog is currently being incubated by the Manipal University Technology Business Incubator (MUTBI), an initiative of Manipal University. Having grown up on campus (as his father is a professor there), Shetty would often witness students leaving the city in pursuit of better job opportunities. So when he co-founded Blackfrog Technologies with Donson D’Souza in 2015, it was also for the purpose of job creation. Shetty notes that aside from parents supporting their children, the government too must step up to allow for more entrepreneurs to step forward.
Other products the company is working on
Buzzbag: This handbag is a self-defence device for women, which when activated, sends a high-voltage surge through the target’s body
Portable vaccine carrier: This carrier transports vaccines with ease. The company has received government funding for this project