High-tech Gear for the Mosquito Plagued
If you find yourself swarmed by mosquitoes every time you step out the door this product may be for you. Those purple-lighted bug zappers are completely ineffective for biting insects because parasitic insects are not attracted to light. They are attracted to various chemical cues like carbon dioxide, octenol and lactic acid, as well as to body heat.
According to research quoted in this Science News article on mosquitoes body odors work well:
Several years ago, Willem Takken and his colleagues at Wageningen Agricultural University in the Netherlands found that a species called Anopheles gambiae loves both stinky feet and Limburger cheese. A bacterium used to make Limburger is also found on the human foot, accounting for the similarity in odor, Takken says.
After reading this, I wondered about that fact, so I learned how Limburger cheese was originally made. Monks trampled the cheese, transferring those distinctive-smelling foot bacteria to the cheese. The origin of "toe cheese" is finally revealed.
My only worry about the device is that it attracts more mosquitoes to the area than it sucks up. The attraction part works fine: they were landing all over the machine within ten minutes.
Update: one week, over 500 mosquitoes inside the trap! Problem is, I was still getting attacked outside at dusk. Looks like one is needed at an upwind position, and one downwind, to clear out an area.
Posted by Mark Sunday, September 18, 2005 7:57:00 PM |