The weather is turning and this time for the better. Winter is over, and spring has arrived. Spring is known for all kinds of fun things such as rain, thunderstorms and tornadoes. With the wonderful—and in many areas badly needed water—some of it will be left behind as standing water, and standing water is prime breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Whether it’s the danger of the West Nile virus, bird flu, swine flu or just a tiny bloodsucking pest that is keeping you from enjoying an afternoon on the back deck eating barbecue, mosquitoes can make life miserable. In extreme cases, they can even cause your death or the death of a loved one. So what are you supposed to do? You can’t live in a bubble. Mosquitoes are in every state and known as the state bird in most.
Some people may be reluctant to spray a bunch of potentially harsh chemicals such as DEET all over their bodies, never mind the potential dangers chemicals pose to children. I do, however, recognize the scientific benefits and value of DEET in preventing mosquito bites and disease transmission. What’s the solution? Long sleeved shirts and long pants will help, but again, I do not want to live in a cloth bubble every day of the summer either.
The solution is of course to reduce as many mosquitoes in your area without bathing in chemicals. Just the thought brings back recollections of the smell of citronella as a kid, but that never had much effect and was dependent on a fickle wind at best. Foggers—more chemicals—last only a short time and can get pricey. I started researching the subject and came upon a common sense mosquito trap that’s cheap and easy enough to make for just pennies from common household ingredients.
Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide, which we produce every time we exhale. If this is the attractant to humans, then that is the best bait as well, so what you need is a carbon dioxide generator that fools the mosquito into believing the dinner bell is ringing somewhere other than where you are at.
Here’s how to build your own, cheap, long-lasting mosquito trap that will keep you and your loved ones from becoming unwilling blood donors.
Homemade Mosquito Trap
- 1 2-liter plastic bottle
- Black paper or plastic bag, or newspaper
- Scissors or a sharp knife
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 teaspoon yeast
- Cut the plastic 2-liter bottle in half, discarding the bottle cap.
- Wrap the bottom half of the bottle with something black, like construction paper or a plastic bag (mosquitoes are also drawn to the color black).
- Mix the brown sugar in hot water and let cool. When cold, pour the mixture into the bottom half of the bottle.
- Add the yeast. There is no need to mix. The combination will create carbon dioxide to attract the mosquitoes.
- Place the top half (funnel part), upside down, into the bottom half of the bottle and tape the two halves together.
- Place your homemade trap outside in an area away from your normal gathering area.
Change the solution every two weeks for continuous control.