How to build a better mosquito trap

English: B/W-Photography of a female Culiseta ...This spring has been an especially bad year for mosquitoes here in Michigan. After multiple sessions of trying to garden and just plain enjoy being outside, only to be nearly carried off by those pesky biters, Best Husband and I decided to take action.

And so it was, to the interwebs. Searching under “mosquito traps” led us to YouTube,Ā  where Hiten Patel, an Asian gentleman and self-described “mind therapist and holistic healer” has a hilarious how-to for making a mosquito trap. Patel elucidates each point of the process of taking an ordinary soda bottle and turning it into a mosquito killing machine, as if he were teaching us how to install guidance chips into sidewinder missiles. At one point he switches the camera to Grandma, who sits cross-legged on the floor while demonstrating the intricate process of assembling the two-piece mosquito trap, all the while solemn-faced, and making Vanna White-type illustrative gestures, while Patel narrates in the background. If you have eight minutes (!) to spare, be sure to watch this gem.

Next, I searched for a recipe for the mosquito killing solution. Patel gave his recipe in gibberish metric, which was completely unhelpful, especially since I had never heard anyone speak of measuring water in milligrams. I found an American recipe that was quite detailed for something which only included three ingredients, including measuring the water temperature before adding the yeast. How many people really do have home kitchen thermometers, I wonder?

Next, the fun began. Best husband and I, with three college degrees between us, spent a lively hour arguing debating the best way to assemble the mosquito trap, with each of us believing that our way was best. In the end, there was no agreement, which led to the only logical conclusion possible: to make several mosquito traps, each with a little different configuration, and see which one works.

How to build a better mosquito trap

1. First, buy a two-liter bottle of soda, and drink it down as fast as you can. (or, dump it down the sink, as we might have done, but I’m not admitting to it.) In fact, buy several soda bottles, because chances are, you’ll need want to make more than one, because it’s such fun.

2. Follow the recipe for making the mosquito-killing secret sauce, which, it turns out, makes more solution than will fit in the bottle. Then, start over, and make up your own recipe as you go along.

3. Next, cut the soda bottle into two pieces. Grandma eyeballed this and dove in with ordinary scissors, which was much too simple for us. Instead, you’ll need a black marker, utility knife, tape measure, and GPS. Eyeball the spot where you will dissect the bottle. Then, to be sure, measure and mark, then debate the pros and cons of why you selected this spot to slice in. Best husband posits that the top should be significantly shorter than the bottom, allowing a gap between the liquid and the opening, thereby insuring room for the little buggers to drop in. I contend that the bottle should be cut into nearly equal parts, as this will prevent the mosquitoes from having any dead space to use for escape, and seemed closer to the way that Grandma did it.Ā  Debate this endlessly if possible, but for at least an hour.

4. Tape the two ends of bottle together, then cover the bottle with black paper. Or green paper, because we didn’t have black. And argue about discuss whether it’s better to cover the whole bottle for improved effectiveness, or leave part of it uncovered, so you can have the satisfaction of seeing the floating mosquito carcases in bottom.

5. Add the killing solution, and discover that it won’t all fit, and the leftover part contains most of the yeast, which is the crucial ingredient.

6. Place the extra killing solution in a cup and store in the refrigerator, where it promptly ferments in record time, and oozes yeasty goo all over your refrigerator. Then, in disgust, dump the rest of it in your mosquito trap, which is what at least one of you wanted to do in the first place.

7. Hang your mosquito trap in your yard, and in no time at all, enjoy a peaceful, mosquito-free environment. Or, conversely, hang the damn thing in your yard and check it every few hours to see how many dead mosquitoes have accumulated, so you can enjoy the satisfaction of seeing your environmentally friendly couples-project rid your property of insect Armageddon. We’re still waiting for that part.

Ā© Huffygirl 2013

28 thoughts on “How to build a better mosquito trap

  1. OMG I was laughing right out loud in the middle of night all by myself. Who knew that a sore knee sending me to the computer would send in so much mirth. I can’t try that with Hungarian Work Horse. I see what it does and we are from Michigan and need the thing but really I think I’ll take my chances with the Off.

  2. Ha ha.. hope it works. I’ve seen those sorts of things for other bugs. We haven’t succumbed to a zapper yet.. hate the noise. Right now it’s still cicadas, which though noisy at least don’t bite.

  3. So glad you had fun šŸ™‚ I have read that these work, so there must be better directions somewhere . . . . Of course, I read it on the Internet, so you know what that means.

  4. Heh heh, sounds like this should be retitled “Entertainment for Mosquito-Killing Challenged Couples” šŸ˜› I have a terrible time with mosquitoes. They like my sweet (diabetic) blood and always go straight for me, whereas hubby can go bite-free all evening in a swamp. Problem is I am now allergic to their bite and swell up to ridiculous proportions at the bite site, which becomes agonizingly itchy. I have scars from last year’s bites, and ugly red marks from this year’s bites from a month or so ago. I can’t go out anywhere where there are mosquitoes. Would that this remedy works!!

    • Yes,I do too Sandra. We’ve caught a lot of bugs, but no mosquitoes as far as I can tell. But then, we probably didn’t make it right, and need to watch that YouTube video again. Maybe yours will turn out better than ours did.

      • Yes, try, try, try again. Maybe you’ll be lucky if you keep trying. Put our half a dozen of these bug killing bottles. See what happens then. Maybe all your mosquitoes have already left because they found some better tasting blood somewhere else?

  5. I know we have mosquitoes here in San Diego but I’ve been here twenty years and I think I might have been bitten by a mosquito once back in 1999. In fact, after coming here from Texas, I don’t miss a lot of the summer night critters that exist there that aren’t a problem here.

    • Let’s see — mosquitoes, or earthquakes, mudslides and wildfires. Despite my hatred for all things mosquito bite, I’ll choose the mosquitoes. And hey, we’ve got that great mosquito trap now, so, no problem.

      • I don’t know. Mosquitoes in Texas came around every few seconds, for months at a time. I think I’ll take the occasional earthquake, mudslide, and wildfire. Wait! I am!………

      • After being in San Diego for a couple of months in late Spring and Summer 1993, and not seeing a single roach or being bitten by a single mosquito, it was a significant reason why I never went back to Texas……

      • I’ve been through ten hurricanes in Texas and Louisiana and three earthquakes greater than 5.0, including a 5.3 in Floresville, Texas, southeast of San Antonio. I’ll take an occasional earthquake over the yearly hurricane and tornado season any time! I really got tired of those six months each year where we had to constantly watch for tonadoes and spend a week or more watching a hurricane bear down on us.

      • Hurricanes are the worst. The destruction they’ve caused recently is unbelievable. Though if you lived in Hartford or Harrisford or Hampshire, you could be assured that hurricanes hardly ever happen.

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