There are several components to an effective Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) program, one of which is the use of traps. This article will focus on how traps can be used and what the benefits are.
There are many kinds of mosquito traps available these days and they are designed to do different things. And although they may appear to be simple devices, the science behind them can be fairly sophisticated!
The vast majority of traps attract and capture either 1) host-seeking female mosquitoes looking to acquire a blood meal (i.e., BITE!) in order to produce eggs, or 2) gravid female mosquitoes, i.e., those that have already taken a blood meal and are looking for a standing water source in which to lay eggs. The latter type of trap is the best fit for your mosquito service.
Uses And Benefits Of Traps
- Pre-Service Monitoring and Population Assessment – prior to any treatments, traps can be run for a few nights simply to evaluate the mosquito population. Also, traps can help identify ‘hot spots’, especially on large residential properties or commercial accounts such as golf courses, housing complexes, parks, etc.
- Identification Of Mosquito Species – different species have different aspects of their biology that impact our ability to control them. Examples include flight range, type of water they breed in, and time of day that they feed. Knowing the habits of the enemy improves the odds of successful control!
- Service Evaluation – is your IMM plan working? Using traps can help answer that question!
- Indicator Of Missed Breeding Sites – if you capture certain species of mosquitoes in your traps, it tells you that you have likely overlooked one or more breeding sites on the customer’s property.
- Mosquito Population Reduction – traps used as part of a solid IMM program can be very effective in helping to reduce mosquito populations of what we call ‘backyard container breeders’, particularly those of the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) and the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus). More on this later.
Catchmaster’s Autocidal Gravid Ovitraps (AGOs), known as the Ovi-CatchTM and the Ovi-PlanterTM, offer many impressive features:
- a. Backed by peer-reviewed science.
- b. Glue-based captures and contain no pesticides.
- c. Ideal for sensitive accounts such as schools, daycare facilities, etc.
- d. Durable design and require no power source.
- e. Easy to assemble and service; fit monthly service model.
- f. Trapping just one female prevents up to 1,000 future mosquitoes.
- g. Trapping just 30% of egg-laying females can reduce the population up to 80%.
- h. Recognized by the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Excellence in Technology Transfer, 2021.
- i. May indicate breeding sites missed during inspections.
Using traps as part of your IMM program can save you time and money, as well as make you money. They will also help reduce the environmental impact by reducing or, in some cases, eliminating pesticide applications. What’s not to like?
Stanton E. Cope, PhD
VP, Technical Products and Services, Catchmaster
Past President, American Mosquito Control Association