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How I trapped mosquitos

 
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I accidently made a mosquito trap.
My 55 gallon rain barrel kept getting debris in it so I put a curtain over it.
It was a shear curtain with holes just smaller than 1/8".
As the barrel filled with water it rose above the bottom of the screen/curtain.
The mosquitos laid their eggs in it, the eggs fell through the mesh and the larvea grew too large to get back through to the top of the water.
There is an air space around the edge where I can see them flying and floating under the mesh.  
I drained half the barrel to water the garden.
3 days later I looked in the light grey barrel and the sides were black.
Coated with 10s of thousands of mosquitos.

From what I've read; water with mosquito larvae growing in it gives off a scent that draws more mosquitos to lay their eggs.

I used to get bit up while working on cars in the yard. Hot sticky day, too hot for a shirt, slapping and scratching myself.
I've been doing this for a couple years now and even people 3 houses down don't have a mosquito problem any more.

I know some people don't support killing mosquitos and taking them out of the food chain.
I live in a small town and am trying to get them to quit spaying that toxic fog all over town.
Hard to get them to stop without providing an alternative.

Barrel is in the shade. Containers in the sun don't seem to encourage mosquitos to lay in them.
Maybe it gets too warm.

Most people can picture this simple setup in their head but I'll try to get a picture.
Wanted to get it posted because the season is upon us.

Simple to build and easy to maintain
 
pioneer
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More information about the curtain with the correct size holes would be great.
 
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That sounds very promising!
Do you think the water has to be above the mesh to work properly, i.e. do mosquitos lay their eggs directly in water? The sheer curtain was the normal sheer type that would hang in front of a window?
Warmer water is lower in dissolved oxygen. That may be the factor re: barrel in the sun.
Looking forward to the photos.
 
craig howard
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Right it's just a curtain screen material.
Here's a pic of a piece I cut off:
mosquitoscreen by vwfatmobile, on Flickr

I haven't found any more fabric like this and don't know what it's called.
It does need to be below the water level so they can get to the water and lay their eggs.
They won't lay on a screen above the water.
Regular window screen might work if it's not too stiff to dip down into the water.
I haven't tried that yet but it would be more durable,.. it might be flexible enough.
I have some I want to try it with.


Took a look at the barrel in the sun and it's full of babies too this year.
Probably because the weather is colder so far.
 
steward
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Cool, so the mesh (or window screen) is horizontally dividing the water barrel in half.  Water level is higher than the screen.  Mosquitoes lay eggs on the surface and they drop and go through the holes in the mesh.  Larvae can't swim back up through the mesh and get trapped and die.  Brilliant!

Neat observation!!
 
craig howard
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No it doesn't divide the barrel in half.
 It sits on top of the water.
If it sits too low in the water the mosquitoes (hmmm plural for mosquito has an e) just grow and hatch on top of it.
I like a small air space around the edges, as the screen raises near the edges..
The mosquitoes might need to come to the top and breathe through their ass as they grow and I can see live ones flying around in that space.

I want to try using a dedicated 5 gallon bucket, with the screen attached to the lid.
A 55 gallon drum is more than many have room for.
It also requires a smaller screen and if rain and debris aren't falling on it the screen won't get holes punched in it.

And I like to use the water from my rain barrel,..
so it drops below the screen.
 
Mike Jay
steward
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Aaahh, thanks Craig!  So is there much water above the screen or is it just floating on the surface?  Do you think they land to lay eggs and drop their hineys through the mesh to lay the eggs?  

I did a crude sketch to see if I understand.  The green is the fabric/screen and the blue is the water.  The triangles at the side are where they can come up to breath and hatch/die.  Is that close?  

Any chance we could get a picture of the trap?  I have a friend that wants to try this after they get some other projects taken care of.  I'd attempt it but my mosquitoes aren't that bad and I don't want to start a war if I don't have to
Mosquito-trap.png
[Thumbnail for Mosquito-trap.png]
 
craig howard
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Yeah, that drawing represents it well.
They might stick it through the net and lay eggs beneath it.
The net probably gives them a steady place to stand.
I think the air spaces are needed so the mosquitoes grow and put off the scent that draws more mosquitoes to lay there.

I'll do the shift from just thinking about taking a picture to actually taking one, ha.

I noticed there are no more larvea in the barrel that sits in the sun.
 
gardener
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craig howard wrote:
I haven't found any more fabric like this and don't know what it's called.



It may be scrim. Scrim is made from many fibers, here is one out of linen and cotton.



From Empress Mills. Not too expensive either...
 
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Location: Taipei, Taiwan
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Mike Jay wrote:Aaahh, thanks Craig!  So is there much water above the screen or is it just floating on the surface?  Do you think they land to lay eggs and drop their hineys through the mesh to lay the eggs?  

I did a crude sketch to see if I understand.  The green is the fabric/screen and the blue is the water.  The triangles at the side are where they can come up to breath and hatch/die.  Is that close?  

Any chance we could get a picture of the trap?  I have a friend that wants to try this after they get some other projects taken care of.  I'd attempt it but my mosquitoes aren't that bad and I don't want to start a war if I don't have to



Referring to the diagram that was part of the above (quoted) post, how is the mesh attached to the barrel?

I'm thinking of folding the mesh over the outside of the barrel and then securing with string tied around.

Surely it has to be properly secured to prevent newly hatched mozzies escaping... ?
 
craig howard
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I have the mesh just laying on top of the barrel.
I have wrapped a string around it to keep it in place before.
mosquitotrap2 by vwfatmobile, on Flickr
As you can see the mesh has a few tears in it and is getting real fragile so I've doubled it up in a few places.
There are also a few mosquitoes growing on top of the screen because it sunk below the waterline.
Small pieces of plastic under the screen would keep it floating.
 Here's the one that sits in the sun:
mosquitotrap by vwfatmobile, on Flickr
I've used it for cleaning recycleables so the water level sits low in the picture.
Since then it has rained and the screen is below the surface.

I like using my rain water for stuff and having the rain barrel turn into a dedicated mosquito trap is cramping my style.
And it takes a big piece of screen to cover this barrel. The sticks and things falling off the shed are poking holes in it.

I'm going to use a piece of foam shaped into a donut, with real window screen in the middle on the underside.
Fit it into a 5 gallon bucket and seal between the bucket and outer edge of the donut with tshirt material or something else really flexible and breathable.
Goal is to have a screen that stays with the water level when it moves.
Something that anyone can set in their yard, add water when it gets low or dump it when it gets high. Pretty simple to maintain.
I've been building it mentally and getting parts together and will post a picture when it's all put together.

 
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