Mosquito Bait: Could Massachusetts Mosquito Control Be Quite this Simple?

Posted by Mosquito Squad

September 4, 2017

What if there was a sweet smelling concoction, for use inside and out, that would eliminate mosquitoes? Would you use it? And what if it was only harmful to mosquitoes and not other beneficial insects? Well, this is a no-brainer, right? Of course you would!

Agenor Mafra-Neto, a chemist and the CEO of ISCA Technologies in California, with the help of some colleagues from other universities have been working on just such a concoction.


Due to the devastation that mosquito-borne illness causes there have been significant efforts to reduce populations. Widespread mosquito misting and bed netting with insecticides do work, but scientists continue to look for alternative methods for protection and mosquito control. Mafra-Neto collected sweet smelling and nectar producing plants, separated the odor compounds, and tested them to see which ones attracted the mosquitoes, but not bees. Once they were satisfied that they had the right combination, they added mosquito killing treatment. And this sweet smelling, mosquito killing cocktail was born.


In a meeting in Washington D.C., on August 23rd, the researchers reported the results of initial testing. They started with a control test of mosquito containing greenhouses. Within 2 days of introducing this cocktail, all the mosquitoes were dead. Next, they treated homes in a small village in Tanzania, and after 2 weeks the mosquito population was down by two-thirds compared to similar villages nearby that remained untreated. There was no effect on bees or other beneficial insects.

Edmund Norris, an entomologist at Iowa State University, and Dan Strickman, a vector control program manager at the Gates Foundation, both were in this meeting and see much promise in this approach. Mafra-Neto is working to get this approved by the EPA, and if larger trials go equally as well, this product could be on the market within a year in the United States. Furthermore, he thinks that countries, where malaria is a real problem, could approve his product even sooner. ISCA Technologies has plans to extend the research of this approach to include ticks as well.

At Mosquito Squad of Franklin & Framingham, we are dedicated to bringing you the latest information on mosquito control. We look forward to a day when mosquito-borne illness no longer takes 725,000 human lives a year and are proud to be a part of the fight. We hope that you too will keep diligent on the home front by keeping your yard free of standing water and removing items that can become a mosquito breeding ground. After that, let us use our 100% guaranteed barrier treatment as the final tool to keeping your family protected from mosquito-borne illness. Call us today for more information. We would love to hear from you!