With the increasing number of population and pollution, the diseases are taking dangerous shapes of epidemic, particularly in the third world countries where cleanliness and hygiene doesn’t fall under the category of the first priorities for the citizens. In most cases the most treacherous ones are caused by mosquito bites. The issue of Mosquito control has been both a humanitarian cry and a political football since days unremembered. The first prominent step taken against was in 1939, when the scientists discovered that DDT could be used as a strong insecticidal. It is a synthetic chemical which was used quite extensively in that era during the Second World War where it became very much necessary to control malaria and typhus (a disease spread by lice). In the post war period, DDT spread out widely as one of the most frequently adopted agricultural pesticide.
Mosquito borne diseases
The diseases which is caused due to mosquito bites are mostly life threatening. They include malaria, yellow fever and dengue. Some even more severe disease like West Nile virus and different kinds of encephalitis kill millions of people each year. UNICEF as one of the most active Aid organizations has given an estimate regarding malaria which alone kills a child in every 30 seconds, and til date it has been one of the biggest reasons behind childhood mortality. Records have shown that Malaria is largely spread on sub-Saharan Africa. You can read more about mosquito borne disease here.
What helps the mosquitoes breed
Mosquitoes breed often where a source of water is present, mostly uncovered. Best examples would be water tanks and open ponds. So it is always advisable, that there shouldn’t be any stored water at home with an open lid. To prevent mosquitoes breeding in an area, people need to take certain measures, and it is here where the mosquito traps come to regular use.
There are multiple sorts of mosquito traps available in the market which do claim to have solved the problem, but in many cases we get to receive only a partial protection against those deadly bites.
The New York Times reports collected data from the research done by scientists at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. They came up with a simple new,approach to control mosquito that— if followed accurately could change the world’s scenario in eradicating mosquito-borne diseases.
Fill up an old soda bottle with brown sugar, add a cup of rotting fruit juice and mix it up with a biological poison. Keep it near the place where the mosquitoes are probably breeding. The Mosquitoes would come in contact with the sugar water and die. The report says, that in the first few tests the traps had reduced the mosquito population by 90 percent, but unfortunately, they eliminated all but those older females which are the most dangerous.
The way mosquito traps work
Before choosing the Mosquito traps to protect yourself from those deadly beings, it is very necessary to know how they work. Generally the mosquito traps are created in a way that they lure the mosquitoes and firstly bring them closer to the trap and then kill them. The elements that are used to create such intoxication are heat, moisture, carbon dioxide (CO2), LED lights and chemical attractants like Lurex or octenol.
Sometimes it is a combination of all these enticements. Once the mosquitoes fall into this trap, they are captured either by a vacuum or a sticky paper. Maintenance is a big part of owning a trap, as components regularly need to be changed or refilled. However, people living near water resource would be always more threatened with this problem and if they find their insect repellents to be not efficient enough, trying mosquito traps can really help them in reducing the frequency of insect bites, but even then there is no full-proof cure to this problem .
Till date there are many forms of mosquito traps which are doing a good job, among which some are those which generate CO2 and heat and few are Miniature Light Traps. Among them what caught the popularity is the Mosquito Magnet traps which has record of catching and killing more mosquitoes than the others. Some comparative studies have found that these Mosquito Magnet traps are effective than other trap types in a measure of two to three times.
Mosquito Magnet manufactures are now ready with three models of mosquito traps, namely the Patriot, the Independence and the Executive. The Mosquito Magnet Independence (*Est. $600) and Executive , which are comparatively quite expensive are battery-operated mosquito traps that cover up areas near to an acre. The Patriot, on the other hand, needs to be plugged into an outlet.
The cordless SkeeterVac series from Blue Rhino is a very effective alternative of mosquito traps. SkeeterVacs works by attracting mosquitoes using heat, water vapour, carbon dioxide, and motion lighting along with optional chemical attractants. The SkeeterVac SV3100 , controls mosquitoes in areas covering up to an acre.
Mega-Catch Premier MCP-900
The Mega-Catch Premier MCP-800, got replaced with the Mega-Catch Premier XC MCP-900XC. These new models of mosquito traps sport a feature that has protection from power surges and brownout. They also have a fan overload detection device, which would automatically stop the fan if it gets jammed or blocked. It covers a relatively smaller area of about .75 of an acre and costs about $50 less. It comes with a customized setting option and can be adjusted to release carbon dioxide.
However Mega-Catch mosquito traps are not CO2 producers. They work with the combination of octenol, LED and UV lighting that lure the biting insects. Once the mosquitoes or insects come closer to the trap, the fan sucks them into a strong net. Few Important Tips While Going for a Mosquito Trap
What we need to remember regarding Mosquito Traps is that they
- Work best when they are applied in small and covered areas.
- The Placement of the mosquito traps is the key to their success and this needs good observation of places where they are mostly found.
- There is no use of the Traps if other factors like hygiene and cleanliness are neglected.
Though the mosquito traps could be of great relief to the irritation and dangers of mosquito bites, all the users need to be cautioned against excessive dependence on such traps, holding them to be their only means of controlling mosquitoes. Although these traps are based on evolving technology that offer a cumulative effect in controlling insect bites, but they shouldn’t be overestimated. Definitely these devices are efficient enough to trap and kill quite a measurable numbers of mosquitoes, the real reduction of the mosquito population will still depend upon few factors, like:
- The tolerance level of individuals
- Mosquito population
- Proximity to the Water Resources
- Sizes and types of breeding habitat
- Wind velocity and direction
- Species of the existing mosquitoes
Thus, for maximum protection from this menacing problem is to use mosquito repellents and add these trap methods while maintaining good hygiene and reduce the sources of re-infestation of mosquitoes which aren’t that difficult in comparison to the loss that a malicious bite can cause.