Over the long Fourth of July weekend (that’s American Independence Day, for our international readers), I was lucky enough to spend some time at a lovely lakehouse in Maine. However, I was unlucky enough to become a snack for about 8 bajillion mosquitoes. For many people, summer fun gets marred by these little bloodsuckers. If you’re tired of itchy bug bites, a whole host of anti-mosquito apps are out there on the App Store. One such app is Mosquitoes & Flies, Just Run Away!
What is it and what does it do
Developed by Zhang Haoxiong/Red Raiders Studio, ‘Mosquitoes & Flies, Just Run Away!’ is an iPhone app that uses audible and ultrasonic sounds to discourage mosquitoes and other insects from biting you or swarming around you.
- Aims to repel bugs without harmful chemicals or smelly candles
- Includes a variety of different sounds for different bug-busting purposes
- Claims to work in a five foot radius around the user
- Somewhat poorly constructed in-app sentences and descriptions that make things hard to understand
- Rather confusing in-app “star” ranking system for the various types of sounds
- Bug displacing noises are extremely annoying: you’d be hard-pressed to have a conversation with friends with this app running on the table in front of you
- Based on conversations with my tech friends and my own research, the iPhone doesn’t really have the hardware to produce truly ultrasonic sounds
- Many scientists say that ultrasonic bug discouragement methods aren’t empirically sound
- Some sounds are free, but others require (in-app purchase) IAP
The developers behind this app have put a lot of work into this tool. To prepare for making this app, they used a bunch of other similar apps. Three of the sounds featured in these apps are similar to the other apps out there, and even within the app, these sounds are given low ratings by the developers.
However, the two sound styles that the developers came up with after two years of hard work have a much higher rate of success, at least according to the developers. There are three main free sounds, two of which are quite high pitched and annoying, and a mosquito sound that sounds like nothing at all. These, in tests, didn’t do so well against any types of bugs during peak bug times.
The app also includes two additional sounds, which have been engineered to work better than the free sounds. You’ll have to pay to play around with these sounds, as no demo version of the sound is available for testing.
The overall app design is a bit cluttered, and lacking simplicity. The app can be navigated fairly easily, but it could be more intuitive. The in-app language is also a bit hard to comprehend at times.
Conclusion and download link
As this BBC News article explains, many scientists say that the whole ultrasonic approach to bug prevention doesn’t hold any water. Since this app is free, it may be worth trying out, but I personally didn’t have any luck using this app as my solo means of repelling biting insects. However, if you’re willing to pay for the IAPs, you might have better luck than I did.
Version reviewed: 2.1
Supported OS: Requires iOS 4.3 or later
Download size: 6.9 MB