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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Evaluation of Various Models of Propane-Powered Mosquito Traps


Submitted to: Journal of Vector Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 13, 2001
Publication Date: June 1, 2002

Interpretive Summary: A major emphasis of pest management research by scientists at the Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology, Gainesville, Florida, is the development of selective, environmentally friendly methods of insect control. Mosquito control research is no exception. Success in this endeavor will depend upon the development of efficient trapping technology, effective attractants and strategic placement of attractant-baited traps for maximum effectiveness, in terms of insect population reduction. The present work was undertaken to develop and evaluate novel trapping technologies for biting fly control. Specifically, we sought to determine the efficacy of propane-powered traps that utilize a novel counterflow technology, in conjunction with catalytic combustion of propane, to produce the attractants (carbon dioxide, water vapor and heat), that help capture mosquitoes. The trap has a thermoelectric generator that uses heat from the catalytic process to generate the electricity that powers the trap. The self-generation of power makes the trap portable; consequently, traps can be located where mosquito populations are, rather than where power is available. These traps show promise for the detection, monitoring, and control of mosquito populations.

Technical Abstract: Large cage and field studies were conducted to determine the efficacy of various models of propane-powered traps. These traps utilize counterflow technology in conjunction with catalytic combustion to produce attractants (carbon dioxide, water vapor and heat) and a thermoelectric generator which converts excess heat into electricity for stand-alone operation. The cage studies showed that large numbers of Aedes aegypti and Ae. taeniorhynchus were captured and that each progressive model resulted in increased trapping efficiency. In several field studies against natural populations of mosquitoes two different propane traps were compared against the professional (PRO) and counterflow geometry (CFG) traps. In these studies the propane traps consistently caught more mosquitoes than the PRO trap and significantly less mosquitoes than the CFG traps. The difference in collection size between the CFG and propane traps was due mostly to Anopheles crucians. In spring 1997 the CFG captured 3.6X more An. crucians than the Portable Propane (PP) model and in spring 1998 captured 6.3X more An. crucians than the Mosquito Magnet Beta-1 (MMB-1) trap. Both the PP and MMB-1 captured slightly more Culex spp. than the CFG trap.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015