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How I trapped mosquitos

 
pollinator
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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
 
master pollinator
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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.
 
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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 Haasl
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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.
 
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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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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.

 
craig howard
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The 55 gallon drum has been working great.
Lots of mosquitoes floating:

A few flying:
by vwfatmobile, on Flickr

I tried using a 5 gallon bucket, a piece of foam and T-shirt but it hasn't been drawing them in.
 The foam holds the screen at the top of the water, the t-shirt lets it move up and down while still sealing around it.
by vwfatmobile, on Flickr

I stapled the screen and shirt to the bottom of the foam.
Probably should have stapled the screen on the bottom and shirt onto the top.
by vwfatmobile, on Flickr
 
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People around hier make a smaller version of that trap. It is made of plastic botles. It's used inside or outside our houses.
This video is in portuguese, but you get the ideia:
 
Mike Haasl
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Thanks for the test report Craig!   I'm surprised it didn't work but maybe the skeeters need more depth to get their butts into before they hit the screen?

Thanks for the video Sergio!  Why do they sand the inside of the top piece of the bottle?
 
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craig howard  Original Poster:

can cheese cloth be used maybe?
 
Sergio Cunha
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Mike Jay wrote:
Thanks for the video Sergio!  Why do they sand the inside of the top piece of the bottle?



the sanded surface of the bottle causes the inside water to rise by capillary, which increases evaporation and more easily attracts the mosquitoes.
 
Mike Haasl
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Awesome!  I never would have guessed that in a million years
 
craig howard
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Brian Schmitt wrote:craig howard  Original Poster:

can cheese cloth be used maybe?



Maybe. It would let small things fall through and the holes are probably too small for a hatched mosquitos to get through.

I haven't tried to buy it before so I don't know if cheese cloth would be sold in pieces big enough to cover a 55 gallon drum.

Mike, I'll try setting the screen farther below the surface.

I see the pop bottle trap has inches of water above the screen.
Also nice that it uses so little screen.
I wasn't thinking that small but I might put one of those together.
 
pollinator
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I am totally building one of these this weekend. We have a surplus of barrels and some window screen.
Daughter and I get eaten alive by skeeters.
Thanks so much for posting this.
 
gardener
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Thank you I'm going to try it.  It is very hot where I live, so I like to go out in the evening after work to work in my garden, but lately even with mosquito off on I get eaten alive.  I use to have mosquito abatement spray a few times a year, but I'm trying not to do that this year.  I intend to look into chemical free mosquito repellent so I'm glad you posted this.  Thank you.  
 
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Found this on Pinterest...haven't tried it myself, but it seems like the same principle as op.

http://www.ecosnippets.com/diy/how-to-make-a-mosquito-killing-ovitrap/
 
craig howard
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I didn't see this last post.
That is real close to the same idea.
He seems to believe the trap needs to be dark.
My 5 gallon bucket trap was bright yellow and pink,..
and didn't do so well.
They call it an Ovitrap. Used by the military.
Not sure how it got that name probably invented by someone named Ovi.

So of course I'll be calling mine the Craigtrap, ha.
Hey, got a better name?

It's been working real well again this year.
Hanging out around sunset, picking rasberries and no one got bit or even buzzed.
Lot's of mosquitos in the barrel too.

When it rains I let buckets and stuff sit for awhile before I dump them.
I like to be able to see larvae in them first.

So a couple people said they were going to make one.
Did anyone else try it?
 
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Definitely gonna experiment with this in Spain. I wonder if it will work for Tiger Mosquitoes? They eat us alive during the daytime. Night shift brings in other kinds.

The "ovi" In ovi trap refers to the eggs.
 
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In Japan, we can buy a natural fabric that we use to ah, manage rice as it cooks. It's placed in the rice cooker, then the rice is added, water and whatever else you want to cook with the rice. It's a natural fabric with a large-hole weave. I don't have to use it in with my modern-day, home rice cooker, but I know the sushi chef I worked with would line the huge rice cooker with it so he could pull the rice out in one "go" and dump it into the hangiri: https://www.sushisushi.co.uk/blogs/education/how-to-care-for-a-hangiri-bowl before he added the ingredients to make sushi rice.

This one at Amazon is nylon,  https://www.amazon.com/NYLON-RICE-NAPKIN-NET-COOKED/dp/B00WMYVW72 which may be a better bet for your use.  
I will be trying it out in my little water feature, https://permies.com/t/164952/manage-smallish-water-feature-countryside  but I'll still use a natural fabric in the rice cooker.
 
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Mosquitoes can quickly turn the outdoors from a relaxing retreat into an itchy, pest-ridden nightmare. I'm using this 3 traps check it. https://www.bobvila.com/articles/diy-mosquito-trap/
 
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Barbara said, "It's a natural fabric with a large-hole weave.



Barbara that sounds like a great fabric to trap mosquitos, especially since it is natural and something you already have.

Let us know how it works for trapping mosquitos in your water feature!
 
craig howard
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 The old fabric wore out so I'm using a piece of screen from a junked tent.
Here's a picture of how it looks almost every day this year:
mosquitotrap2021 by vwfatmobile, on Flickr

I have gotten a couple bites this year.
But really only a couple and I'm out around sunset working and sweaty.
And I had a few tires and buckets around that hold water and weren't dumped.

I remember years when I would be trying to work on cars outside in the middle of a hot day
and constantly slapping my back.
Anyone else try this yet?
 
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craig howard wrote:

Brian Schmitt wrote:craig howard  Original Poster:
can cheese cloth be used maybe?


Maybe. It would let small things fall through and the holes are probably too small for a hatched mosquitos to get through.
I haven't tried to buy it before so I don't know if cheese cloth would be sold in pieces big enough to cover a 55 gallon drum.
Mike, I'll try setting the screen farther below the surface.



Cheese cloth can be bought in as big a piece as you want.  It is Gucci to wrap cheese cloth in 1 X 1 M (yd X yd about) bits and sell it online for a fortune.
It is an open weave cotton designed to allow cheese to drain of its whey.  It can be up to 3 M wide and 100 M bolts.
Black stainless steel fly screen in a droop as shown in other pictures can also work.  There needs to be an air space around the edges as the mosquito will lay at the edge of the water.

Once a female has mated, she does not seek further insemination but can lay multiple times 7 days apart.  Males on the other hand can do the deed multiple times.
It is only females that bite to get protein to mature the eggs.  Males on the other hand are the ones that do the buzzing because they use a harmonic to attract females.  The bigger the male the more chance of success, usually with the biggest females that can lay more eggs.  The lavae require brackish still water so they can continuously feed.  Some old meadow hay, lucerne chaff or similar will rot and provide a biome desired by the mosquito.  Just cover the bucket with cotton cloth or screen mesh.  It would need to dip like a sieve.

The best way to get rid of mosquitoes is to get rid of the males.  This is more problematic.  They are only attracted to the female harmonic. Trap for elusive males research  It is not the flutter of the heart ....... it is the flutter of the wings
 
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