OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign up, Login or Learn more

Combating Zika virus using Mosquito Egg Stopper Kit

It's the best user-friendly tool to stop mosquito eggs.

Photo of Anietie Akpan
4 1

Written by

A new study found this cheap, easy system significantly reduced virus-carrying Aedes mosquitoes Mosquito Egg Stopper Kit (MESK) is a simple mosquito trap fashioned from old tires spells doom for mosquito eggs. So effective is the cheap eco-friendly system. During our research our team collected and destroyed over 15,000 Aedes mosquito eggs per month, almost seven times the eggs collected compared to standard traps. The Aedes genus of mosquitoes is primarily responsible for transmitting a host of vexing viruses, including Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever. Aedes is notoriously tough to control, according to the World Health Organization. Pesticide-resistance, lack of resources, and a boost in mosquito-friendly environments have hindered traditional methods of controlling the pest's quick spread. The MESK is made of two 20-inch sections of old car tire secured together in the form of a mouth, with a fluid release valve at the bottom. Pheromone - a milky mosquito-luring non-toxic solution is poured in the bottom. The pheromone tells female mosquitoes that it’s a safe place to lay eggs. The mosquitoes enter, lay eggs on a paper or wooden strip that is floating in the “pond” … twice a week the little egg raft is removed, the eggs destroyed, and the solution drained and filtered before being reused in the trap again. We chose to use recycled tires – partly because tires already represent up to 29 percent of the breeding sites chosen by the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, partly because tires are a universally affordable instrument in low-resource settings, and partly because giving old tires a new use creates an opportunity to clean up the local environment. However, using MESK is less expensive than killing larvae in natural ponds and only 20 percent the cost of targeting adult insects with pesticides, which also hurt bats, dragonflies and mosquitoes' other natural predators. It has capacity to attract female mosquitoes within 20 meters radius. As far as we can tell, there is nothing not to love about this. We have shown people in our communities how to create their own Mosquito Egg Stopper Kit. We are currently going online to with how-to video to spread the message of Zika virus. The tool can be used in homes, schools and workplaces. It can be situated in strategic places within vicinity.

Are you participating in the Partners in Health Campagin?

  • Yes

Do you plan to apply for USAID’s Grand Challenge for funding?

  • Yes


Join the conversation:

Photo of Christi O'Neill

Hi Anietie Akpan ,

It sounds like you have made progress with your research team's use of the MESKs!
I was just reading Shraddha 's post about 'Sweaty billboard' helps fight Zika virus - One of the notes was that building homes (perhaps the example billboard or the MESKs here) may attract insects to areas they were not located before or at a larger number. 
Anietie Akpan What have you found to help battle the balance of attracting large amounts of mosquitoes and protecting the local groups of people?

Best, Christi

Photo of Anietie Akpan

Truly, if one MESK can trap over 15,000 mosquitoes in one week, it means that 10 MESKs can hold 150,000 mosquito eggs in 20 communities in the same period. Getting rid of the eggs will not be a problem as every local person works together to ensure that the communities are free from mosquitoes.
Above all, the use of diluted garlic water to spray in homes, work places and communities can also be effective. Thousands of mosquitoes can be killed using the technique.
According to our findings, the MESKs work by trapping mosquito eggs. The kits don't kill mosquitoes but only stop breeding of the insects. Now, what happens to the large number of mosquitoes that lay the eggs? Would they not attack groups of people in the communities, even before they lay the eggs? That's why our team sees the need to repel mosquitoes by spraying diluted garlic water in indoor and outdoor spaces.
Combining the two techniques stops mosquitoes from laying eggs and also repels the mosquitoes from biting people. This becomes a very simple way to protect local groups of people from Zika virus.

View all comments