Friday, December 6, 2013

A Better Mosquito Trap

A few years ago, my daughter and I had an excellent lesson in how CO2 attracts mosquitoes:

This was before a woman sued the water company for millions of dollars for riding her bike into a closed gate.  I had a permit to wander the water company lands doing a survey of nesting birds.

While walking, we met up with a police officer who wanted to check our permit, and talked to us for a while about the birds.  All the time we were talking, huge clouds of mosquitoes collected around the exhaust of his running car.

Put this as far away from your 
table as possible!
There are mosquito traps that can work on this principle:  generate a lot of CO2 far away from your patio and the mosquitoes will go there.  One that works well is a plastic bottle cut in half.  Turn the top around and insert it into the bottom like a funnel.  Pour in some molasses, water and yeast.  The yeast eat the molasses, breathe out lots of  CO2, and the mosquitoes get trapped in the funnel.  Of course, adding CO2 to the air is not a good thing.

Now we know something more:  The same receptors on the mosquitoes that detect  CO2 also detect body odor.  That could explain why some people attract more insects than other people.  One chemical in particular is cyclopentanone, a minty-smelling chemical approved as a flavor and fragrance agent.

That means that including that flavoring in your food or shampoo makes you a mosquito magnet.  It also means that using cyclopentanone in mosquito traps can eliminate the need to produce CO2.

A better mosquito trap.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the useful tip! This will surely save my life from the obnoxious mosquitoes that will come around.