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The Mosquito Magnet: Weapon of Mosquito Destruction

The Mosquito Magnet: Weapon of Mosquito Destruction

November 22, 2005 12:09 AM - Michael Graham Richard, Gatineau, Canada

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The person who invented this cross between a barbecue and a motorboat really hates mosquitoes! Lucky for us, he or she also had a dislike for insecticide and these glowing traps that vaporize insect dust in the air we breathe. The way this "biting insect trap" works is by emitting a fake "breath" of CO2 with a scent that is attractive to the little vampires (mosquitoes locate their victims primarily with exhaled carbon dioxide). The device then sucks in the bugs in a radius of up to 1.25 acres (around 5,000 square meters) and dehydrates them (and then turns them into MREs?). The downside is that the CO2 is produced with propane, but that is not a fatal flaw as it would also be possible to get it from bio-sources and thus make it carbon neutral, and because the alternative is too often spraying DDT, which is clearly worse.

Lets also keep things in perspective: the machine probably emits very little CO2 compared to many other more or less useful things that don't have the benefit of fighting malaria, so if something has to go because of its CO2 emissions, the Mosquito Magnet won't be first.

The Mosquito Magnet is not a replacement for mosquito nets, but an adjunct. Nets protect limited spaces; the Magnets protect larger open spaces. Nets are extremely effective at blocking mosquitos; the Magnets kill the mosquitos, but have to attract them in first. Together, they'd make a potent combination.

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It is even about to go high-tech with wireless capabilities:

Now AmBio, as the company is commonly called, is upping the ante with a "smart" mosquito net, or computerized defense system, to serve the corporate and public health sectors. By the first quarter of 2006, AmBio executives hope to have finalized sophisticated software to control a network of magnets--forming a kind of wide-scale fence--which will be able to communicate with a central network through wireless 802.11b technology.

That way, the system will be able to efficiently ward off bugs from golf courses and resorts, or even help mitigate cases of malaria in third world countries, according to [AmBio CEO Devin] Hosea."

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