Qista, a sustainable solution for mosquito control

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[EN VIDÉO] The mosquito, the most dangerous killer in the world
This Discovery Channel report, Mosquito, the threat of the century, puts before our eyes one of the worst causes of death in the world, malaria, which affects more than 200 million Earthlings. Mosquito is the mosquito. More precisely the anopheles. To find out all about this scourge, which we know how to fight but not destroy, watch the full report, broadcast in early July and available for replay on SFR bouquets.

Born in the Camargue, Pierre Bellagambi very quickly understood nuisances related to the presence of mosquitoes and especially the collateral effects related to their eradication. He therefore founded Qista, an eco-responsible mosquito control terminal when at least 3,200 species different are known on the Planet.

Can you explain your concept to my grandmother?

Pierre Bellagambi: Qista specializes in the fight against mosquitoes with mosquito terminals that are safe for humans and ecosystems. They are made in France from 80% French components.

Pierre Bellagambi, founder of Qista.  © Qista

What is your solution?

Pierre Bellagambi: Our mosquito bollard simulates human presence by dispersing CO2 recycled in small quantities, equivalent to our breathing, and by the emanation of olfactory lure to reproduce our body odor. It thus attracts the female mosquito, in search of a blood meal necessary for the maturation of its eggs, and traps it inside the terminal by suction. No worries for the biodiversity and the food chainsince male mosquitoes and other insect species are not attracted and continue to play their role in the environment.

Dehydrated dead mosquitoes can also be returned to the wild to feed their predators. The bollard is effective up to 60 meters and can reduce the population of female mosquitoes by up to 88% in a given area. Of course, a study is carried out beforehand to determine the best possible location with the help of biologists. Once the insects have been captured, our Qista Lab can analyze them, to collect valuable information for the health authorities concerned, whether on the species, the levels ofinfestation to be expected, etc.

Why will your start-up change the world?

Pierre Bellagambi: You should know that the malariawhich is transmitted to humans by the bite of a mosquito, kills 627,000 people a year, including 80% of children between 0 and 5 years old, i.e. the equivalent of 20,000 classes of 25 students… And again, we don’t talk about all the sick who are overdue, for example with the dengue fever which has become a disease endemic on Reunion Island. Our bollard is a prevention solution that complements the arsenal of existing and necessary methods to fight mosquitoes, which involves an end-to-end approach.

It intervenes upstream of integrated pest management by mechanically reducing the discomfort of mosquito bites which, logically, can potentially carry diseases. And this without disturbing biodiversity and the food chain. While individuals make up half of our clients, many local authorities also call on our services to be proactive at the sites of major catches and act upstream on the cause, such as wild swimming pools, stagnant water, etc. For example, we are present with 104 terminals in Kaolack in Senegal, or in Djibouti with our Qista Lab.

The Qista mosquito bollard.  © Glanum Agency

How was the project born ?

Pierre Bellagambi: I was born in the Camargue, a magnificent territory but which is home to many mosquitoes because of its wet area. Treatments, particularly chemical ones, were regularly carried out but had many collateral effects such as the degradation of the food chain and soil pollution. As a commercial at the time in a company whose activity revolved around integrated protectionwith the reduction of the use of pesticides in order to minimize the environmental impact, I had the will to tackle the problem of mosquitoes with Qista.

How have you been supported and what are the next steps?

Pierre Bellagambi: The idea was born in 2012, the company was created in 2014 and we then benefited from an incubation in Aix-en-Provence and subsidies, in particular from French Tech and were GreenTech verte laureates from the Ministry of Transition. ecological. The beginnings required a lot of work, effort, I didn’t pay myself a salary for four years! But it was worth it, since today Qista has around sixty employees, nearly 10,000 traps deployed in 18 countries and a network of around 500 partners and third-party players around us.

If you were Prime Minister, what flagship measure would you put in place?

PB- If I were Prime Minister today, I would make sure to accelerate awareness of the ecological emergency already shared by many citizens. I would support many initiatives carried out in particular by the start-up with a positive impact. This would also involve promoting their positioning in sectors other than conventional markets. In the case of mosquito control, for example, calls for tenders are not really open to innovations.

What will the world look like in 2050?

Pierre Bellagambi: Because of my activities, I often travel to developing countries. I note that, faced with the urgency of the environmental challenge, the local populations have other priorities in mind, those of surviving and providing for basic needs. It is our collective responsibility to promote and communicate on initiatives in favor of ecological transition and to help in their development. Certain elements make me think that we are on the right track like the model of theOrganic Agriculture which is more and more widespread, because more remunerative.

What Futura hot topic excites you?

Pierre Bellagambi: I have been a Futura subscriber for a few years now and I have always been fascinated by things related to astronomy. Your article on the exoplanets near the earth particularly aroused my curiosity: if these planets have characteristics similar to the earth then perhaps they can harbor life and also be populated by mosquitoes! I was of course also moved by the image of the telescope James-Webb and I have carefully read your article on this subject. Innovation has always been a great source of inspiration for me: I am convinced that by joining forces and with the support of public authorities, we can achieve technical feats!

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