Bifenthrin coated landing sticks are a key part of the Four Month Mosquito Trap. Making them takes a bit of work, but fortunately, you can make a lot at once and save them for long periods, or share them with neighbors. Use two or three in each trap.
What you need
- You need a lot of sticks (say 300!) that are the right length to fit in your buckets (and about 1 or 2 inches wide). Cedar shims, paint stirring sticks, or lath strips from the hardware store work well. Chop them into suitable lengths to fit diagonally inside your containers.
- Bifenthrin concentrate. This must be water based, not oil based. For these instructions, the concentration must be 7.9%. Commercial products: Talstar or Bifen.
- Red food color, at least a Tablespoon (0.5 oz) or better yet, an ounce to get a nice red tint.
- Water and an 8 ounce measuring cup.
- Disposable paintbrush.
- A permanent ink marker (Sharpie).
- A place to dry lots of sticks. This must be somewhere you can clean well – the bifenthrin will drip. Try laying a few 2x4s on the ground or on saw horses. You do not want the sticks to drip – instead, lay them flat so the solution stays on them until it dries. If possible, do this in the shade.
Make the Bifenthrin dilution
Bifenthrin comes as a liquid suspension with a concentration of 7.9%. You need to dilute this to 1%:
- Get an 8 ounce measuring cup.
- Add one ounce (six teaspoons, or two tablespoons) of the concentrate (you MUST vigorously shake the concentrate for a couple of minutes before pouring it out).
- Next, add two to four tablespoons of red food color – this is important so you can see immediately if a stick is treated.
- Next, add water until the volume is 8 ounces.
Viola! You have your 1% solution. 8 ounces should cover a few hundred sticks. Don’t let it settle, stir as you use it.
Next, label the sticks.
On the end of each stick, write “BIF” and draw a line about one or two inches from the end. This is where you can write the date when you make a trap. And BIF tells your friends what the stick is when you give it to them.
Next, paint the sticks.
Lay them where they can dry and coat them liberally with the solution, keeping the BIF labelled end of the stick clean. Paint one side, let it dry and then paint the other, and let it dry.
When they are done drying, you can store them in a dry cool place for several months. You must protect them from sunlight!