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How to balance attracting large amounts of mosquitoes and protecting the local groups of people.

A simple technique to stop the spread of mosquitoes.

Photo of Anietie Akpan
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                         HOW TO STOP MOSQUITO EGGS

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.

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.

                              HOW TO REPEL MOSQUITOES WITH GARLIC

This method is not only cost-effective way to keep mosquitoes and other harmful pests out of your garden. The garlic repels mosquitoes while the the mineral oil and dish detergent help it stick to the plants you spray it on, giving you lasting results.

Warning; The same mineral oil and dish soap that helps this solution stick to plants can also smother insects that come in contact with it. Use it sparingly to avoid harming beneficial insects.

Step 1: Soak Garlic

Add 4 cloves of minced garlic to a jar with approximately 1 teaspoon of mineral oil. Let the mixture soak for about one day.

Step 2: Strain

Pour the mixture into a sieve placed over a bowl to strain the garlic out of the oil.

Step 3: Add Soap and Water

Make a garlic concentrate by combining the infused oil with 1 teaspoon of dish soap mixed with a pint of water.

Step 4: Dilute and Use

Dilute 2 tablespoons of the concentrated mixture in a spray bottle filled with 1 pint of water. Shake the bottle lightly to mix everything together and spray it on plants to repel mosquitoes from your outdoor space. 

            HOW TO COMBINE THE TWO TECHNIQUES

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.



            



Are you participating in the Partners in Health Campagin?

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

  • Yes

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