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A Deceptively Simple but Effective Mosquito Trap

It doesn't look like much, but this low-tech mosquito trap called the Gravid Aedes Trap (GAT) may just be what's needed to help get rid of the Asian tiger mosquitoes.

Scott Ritchie of the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine at James Cook University explained in this All Things Considered feature by Joe Palca from NPR:

The trap doesn't look particularly impressive — it's basically three plastic buckets stacked together. The top and bottom buckets are black. The mosquitoes fly into the trap through a hole in the top bucket, but they seem to have a hard time flying back out through the hole. To make matters worse (for the mosquito) you can dangle a piece of sticky paper inside the top bucket to catch a wayward pest that happens to land there.
The bottom bucket contains water with some rotting grass floating in it. Aedes mosquitoes typically lay their eggs in stagnant water. The middle bucket has a net to trap any mosquitoes that hatch in the water.

Photo: Joe Palca

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Many flying insects are oriented by sunlight or moonlight. They consider strong light sources to be "up". Since the top bucket projects into the clear middle bucket, mosquitoes will attempt to fly 'up' toward the light, missing the opening in the top bucket, which is lower than the top of the clear bucket.

It's a nice system. I'll have to try setting it up. It does not catch mosquitoes that have not yet fed off of you, but it will crash the local population, as the females are trapped, and the newly-emerging mosquitoes from the eggs are also pretty well trapped (or simply removed in the egg stage)
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