How do we know mosquito traps attract mosquitoes and kill the adults and larvae?
These wrigglers were found on 1/5/16 in a mosquito trap I set 26 days earlier. There were hundreds of wrigglers and pupae!
This trap used a bifenthrin landing strip and Altosid (methoprene) in the water bath – see the Advanced Mosquito Trap. Methoprene is a hormone that stops larvae turning into adults. They just die.
So, if the mosquitoes are laying eggs in a trap made with Altosid, it should end up with a lot of wrigglers and pupae in it, including lots of dead ones. And that’s what I found!
The final test was to put some wrigglers in jars, with bug netting over them, and see if they hatch. I’ve done this before many times with larvae collected from an untreated papaya trunk (I do evil experiments on them). The hatch rate is pretty high.
After several days, none of the Altosid treated larvae hatched into adults. (Pupae typically molt into adults within two days). But there are dead larvae and pupae floating on the surface. Fabulous!
This shows the females do visit the mosquito traps to lay eggs, and that the water bath made with Altosid does prevent adults from forming. Kill dem mosquitoes dead!
What we still don’t have direct evidence of, is that the landing strip kills the adult mosquitoes that land on it. Until we come up with an experiment to test that, we just have to take the word of the researchers in the scientific literature, that it does kill them. After all, they were right about the methoprene.
For now, I’m really happy that the mosquitoes visit our traps, and their offspring die.