A House Paint Reduces Bug-Borne Diseases

A Spanish company fights malaria with pesticides in house paint
"It's not just the insects that are the problem," says Spanish entrepreneur Pilar Mateo. "It's the poverty."

For decades, nets and sprays have been the only effective methods for controlling the mosquitoes that cause malaria and dengue. Pilar Mateo thinks she can do better. The Spanish chemist has invented a way to embed pesticides in microcapsules stirred into house paints at her Valencia company, Inesfly. The insecticides are released from the paint slowly, remaining effective for two to four years, while sprays typically need to be reapplied at least every six months. “The paint acts like a vaccine for houses and buildings,” she says.

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