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How effective are homemade traps in catching adult mosquitoes? Can I make them myself?

Homemade recipes for trap attractants lack rigorous scientific validation and hence their efficacy may not be proven.

Mosquito traps have been regularly and effectively used for surveillance and research, to monitor the mosquito population, species, etc. Amongst these traps are two broad types of mosquito traps that have been developed to catch adult female mosquitoes. 

One broad category of traps attempts to mimic the human host to actively lure female mosquitoes seeking a blood meal, for example, through visual cues (such as light and colour), olfactory cues (such as carbon dioxide and octenol), or heat. The delicate interplay and right combination of these factors are what make some human hosts more attractive to mosquitoes than others, and likewise, what make some traps more effective than others. 

The other broad category of traps attempts to attract female mosquitoes seeking a place to lay their eggs. These traps are water-based, and work either by capturing any larvae that hatch from the eggs laid and subsequently preventing the resultant adults from emerging (thus reducing the mosquito population), and/or trapping the female adults as well when they land to lay their eggs. To be effective, there must be removal of other competing breeding habitats. The proper design and management of such traps must also be carefully considered, to avoid such traps themselves becoming breeding habitats, thus leading to even more mosquitoes in the environment. 
All traps have a defined range within which they are likely to be effective, compared to humans who move around the house. None of these traps are therefore foolproof or very effective, especially in the presence of more attractive human hosts and other competing sources of stagnant water. We should therefore not be relying solely on such traps to keep our homes safe from mosquitoes. 

The best way to protect your home and keep it mosquito-free is by removing stagnant water in and around the home by doing the 5-step Mozzie Wipeout. Where there are significant incursions of mosquitoes from outdoors, residents could consider installing mosquito screens on windows, or regularly spraying insecticide aerosol in dark corners to kill any adult mosquitoes resting in the homes. 
Source eradication of mosquito breeding habitats remains key to controlling the mosquito population and stemming the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases like dengue and Zika. All residents and stakeholders have a part to play in preventing mosquito breeding. 

Posted on 31 Oct 2016 09:45 AM