Malaria, chikungunya, dengue fever… Not only can they ruin your nights, mosquitoes are also disease vectors, even in France. Fortunately there are some solutions, effective, cheap and easy to produce for any maker.
Sausages are in the fridge, beer also, the guest will soon turn up for your barbecue…but the mosquitoes are already there. How to eat in peace without being eaten alive yourself?
First solution, the most classic and low-tech: the upside down bottle.
Required equipment: a plastic cola type bottle, a pair of scissors, water, sugar (or sweet liquid) and vinegar. Simply cut out the top of the bottle, place it upside down inside the bottle, and fill it with the sweet water and the vinegar.
How does it work? Mosquitoes (and wasps) go down into the bottle, attracted by the smell. Once satiated, impossible for them to get back out through the small opening of the screw top. As a consequence they tire and drown in the bottom…
A version inspired from Instructables
Second rapid solution: the death fan
You will need: a fan (without grating if possible), mesh wire (quite thin) and rubbing alcohol. Fix the mesh wire to the fan, with magnets for example, and soak it with a mix of water and alcohol. How does it work? Mosquitoes are sucked up by the fan and find themselves trapped on the mesh wire where the alcohol solution finishes to destroy them.
The method in detail on WikiHow
More long-term solutions
The two following tutorials directly attack the mosquito population by preventing their reproduction. A little more technical than the previous solutions, but more effective in the long run.
The US Army anti-mosquito device: the Ovitrap
Required equipment: a large plastic container such as a 2L bottle, a big black sock (or black paint), mesh wire, stagnating water. You then need to cut out the top of the bottle, glue the foot of the sock to the bottom of the container and then wrap the sock around the container and place the mesh wire on top. All you need to do then is put the stagnating water inside.
How does it work? The female is attracted by the stagnating water, touches down on the edge of the soaked sock and lays her eggs. Once hatched, the larvae go down through the mesh wire into the water at the bottom of the container but cannot get back up again once they become adults.
This low-cost technique would be largely used by the American army..
The solution noticed by Bill Gates: the Solar Scare
Since mosquito larvae only hatch in stagnating water, all you need to do is make it non stagnating! On the equipment side: a small solar panel, an aquarium air pump, a waterproof box, electronic components. You then need to connect the components to the circuit and fit everything in the box, with the solar panel on top.
How does it work? The mosquito larvae need to be immerged in water and stay in contact with the surface to breathe. By creating little waves for ten minutes or so, the Solar Scare cuts the larvae off from their only source of oxygen. No more air, no more larvae, no more mosquitoes…no more mosquitoes!
The full tutorial on Instructables
And otherwise: the cocoon
For the desperate hermits or inveterate nature lovers, a solution exists that allows flying pests to find shelter. All you need is mesh fabric and some camping equipment to make a protective cocoon. The complete process with this link.
Finally, let’s debunk a few accepted notions regarding mosquitoes:
– Mosquitoes are not attracted by light, even though they use the moon to find their bearings.
– Lamps that grill insects do not really affect them. Only 5% of the victims are mosquitoes, and a large part of the other grilled bugs are predators of these pests…
– Candles and other generators of mists/smoke are practically ineffective, unless you live in a real cloud.
– Eating garlic has no effect on them (they may well suck our blood but they are not vampires).