2009 - Volume #33, Issue #3, Page #33[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Do-It-Yourself Mosquito TrapA 5-gal. bucket and a fine mesh strainer can be used to make a simple mosquito trap that will greatly reduce your mosquito population, says John Boyd, Gibsonville, N.C.
He fills the bucket about three fourths full of water, then adds soft wheat or grass so the water will quickly become stagnant. "It doesn't take long before mosquitoes will lay eggs in the water, and you'll see the larvae start wriggling around," says Boyd.
It takes about five days for the larvae to grow about 1/4 in. long and become comma-shaped. That's when he places the strainer on top of the bucket and pours the water through the strainer and into an empty bucket. Then he dumps the larvae on dry ground where they die, starved of the water they need to hatch.
"It's cheap to set up and costs nothing to operate," says Boyd. "I drain the water every two weeks all summer long. I've been using this idea for 15 years and it really works. It works because mosquitoes need to lay their eggs in water. Give them what they want and you can wipe them out. A single mosquito can lay up to 3,000 eggs in a lifetime, so if you can wipe out just a few thousand you can really reduce the population. If I get rid of 1,000 eggs at the beginning of the season, I'm wiping out a potential 3 million mosquitoes.
"If I put the buckets out early enough in the spring I'll get an immense number of larvae, but then it subsides throughout the summer. During the fall, I leave the buckets out as late as possible because that's when mosquitoes lay eggs for next year's crop."
Boyd says he bought the strainer at Bed & Bath & Beyond. "At first I tried using towels, but the larvae often formed lumps on the towel that kept the water from flowing through. I also tried using screens, but the holes were too big and let some larvae through. I fill the bucket with water close to the top of the bucket so I can watch the larvae wriggling around."
He uses two buckets on his 18-acre farm, which has a 1-acre yard, spacing the buckets about 50 ft. apart. "Mosquitoes don't fly very far from where they hatch," he says. "You want to get them as soon as they're 1/4 in. long because that's when they're ready to hatch."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, John Boyd, 3112 Huffine Mill Road, Gibsonville, N.C. 27249 (ph 336 621-6379).
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