Help, it doesn’t work!

What if it is not working?  Why could that be?

Firstly, it takes time.  At least a week, and maybe four. People get lulled into looking for a quick fix, so they spray poisons all over and declare victory.  But a couple weeks later a new generation has hatched and they are spraying again, and again.

Secondly, these traps target Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus.  The many other mosquitoes won’t be affected much, like the very common Culex varieties.  Furthermore, only “gravid” females enter the traps – this is when they are ready to lay eggs and have already had a blood meal.  So newly hatched mosquitoes won’t get trapped.

Mosquito traps are only a part of the solution.  It is imperative that you eliminate nearby breeding sites.  The females can travel a couple hundred yards, so think about all the possible sites in that range. Even vacant lots often have trash in them, maybe even old tires or buckets.

One challenge may be working with neighbors.  Here in Puna, we generally talk to our neighbors so it shouldn’t be too hard to encourage them.  Offer to help, and show them how to make traps. (But beware of people who abandon their traps and create mosquito factories).

In any case, these traps will never eliminate all the mosquitoes.  But they can make it so we can enjoy our lanais again.  The Australians showed in an outbreak on Thursday Island in 2004 that the combined measures, including lots of traps and container reduction, could reduce the Aedes population by 92%, and halted the dengue outbreak. It took more than four weeks to reach this level.