What is the main disease carried by mosquitoes in tropical regions?
The main mosquito-borne parasite in the tropics is malaria. However, mosquitoes have been upgraded to the danger list in the U.S. due to the rise in the number of cases of the fatal West Nile Virus, which mosquitoes are largely responsible for spreading.
What is the best way to prevent getting bitten by a mosquito?
Killing mosquitoes permanently eliminates them, and dead mosquitoes cannot lay eggs that could hatch into new mosquitoes.
Why do mosquitoes need blood?
Female mosquitoes need blood in order to reproduce. Female mosquitoes are born with special sensors that help them locate the blood that they need.
What do mosquito sensors detect in order to find blood?
Although people who often get bitten by mosquitoes are said to have "sweet blood", the mosquito sensors are actually looking for carbon dioxide, certain plant chemicals and sometimes chemicals produced by sweat.
Which animal is a perfect mosquito trap?
Cows are warm, release certain plant chemicals due to their plant diet and produce carbon dioxide as they breathe. These are the chemical signatures that mosquitoes crave, making cows the perfect mosquito trap.
Since a real cow does not make a practical mosquito trap, an artificial cow trap has been created that includes:
The artificial cow attracts the mosquitoes and an automatic vacuuming system sucks them up and traps them.
How is carbon dioxide created in a mosquito trap?
Propane gas contains carbon and hydrogen atoms. When propane is burned, it produces carbon dioxide and water vapor.
What is used to break down propane into carbon dioxide and water in a mosquito trap?
Using a flame to break down propane creates a fire risk, in addition to the risk of carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides being produced. A safer and more efficient system is to use a catalyst to speed up the process of propane break-down without a flame.
The catalyst used in a mosquito trap is a ceramic coated in which material?
A set of ceramic beads or a ceramic grid is coated in platinum, which reacts with the propane and converts it to heat, leading to the production of carbon dioxide and water vapor.
What material is used in a mosquito trap to create the plant chemical signature?
Octenol simulates plant chemicals. Lurex, a chemical that simulates sweat chemicals, may also be used, depending on the type of mosquito.
Which group of mosquitoes is attracted by octenol?
Mosquitoes native to the U.S. are attracted to octenol, while Lurex-type chemicals work best on non-native tiger mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes that are attracted to the trap get sucked into the trap by a fan that acts like a vacuum cleaner. What happens to them once inside the trap?
The mosquitoes eventually die of dehydration inside the trap.
What may cause a mosquito trap to be ineffective?
Mosquito traps can be quite effective. A U.S. Coast Guard station in the Bahamas that had become unusable due to the number of mosquitoes, reportedly captured 1.5 million mosquitoes in six days using six Mosquito Magnets. If your mosquito trap is not working, it is likely due to the incorrect attractant being used for the type of mosquito you are trying to capture, or incorrect placement of the unit.
Where should a mosquito trap be placed in relation to the mosquitoes' breeding place?
The mosquito trap needs to be upwind from the mosquito breeding area, to encourage the mosquitoes to travel to the trap.
How long does a mosquito trap need to be in place in order to have a significant effect?
It will take four to six weeks for a mosquito trap to have a significant effect. This is because the existing eggs need time to hatch so that those mosquitoes can also be captured. The population will start to decline as fewer mosquitoes are left to lay eggs.
Mosquitoes not only buzz and bite, leaving you with an itchy, red mark. Take this quiz to learn about the wonders of the Mosquito Magnet, a simple contraption which can help you eliminate mosquitoes from your home.
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