The scientists created tiny molecules which mirror a natural occurring smell known to repel insects.The team found that the smells repelled insects but in one case a reversal of behaviour - an attractant - was observed which raises the prospect of being able to develop a trap-and-kill device."We know that many organisms use smell to interact with members of the same species and to locate hosts of food or to avoid attack from parasites," said lead researcher Rudolf Allemann, professor at Cardiff University.

Pesticides are toxic by design and are used widely to kill, reduce or repel insects, weeds, rodents, fungi or other organisms that can threaten public health and the economy.The study appeared in the journal Chemical Communications.

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