If you spend any time outside, you've tried all sorts of ways to combat mosquitoes. From insect sprays to citronella candles, bug zappers to mosquito-repelling plants, there are plenty of somewhat-effective options for keeping these disease-carrying pests away.
But a German company offers a particularly unassuming mosquito trap to catch some particularly pesky mosquitoes. Biogents' BG-GAT (Gravid Aedes Trap) was developed to reduce populations of Asian tiger (Aedes albopictus) and yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) around your house.
The trap looks almost like something you could make yourself. It's three plastic buckets of varying sizes with a hole in the top. Two of the buckets are black, which is attractive to mosquitoes. Female egg-laying Aedes mosquitoes are lured in by grass floating in water which you place in the bottom bucket. When they try to get out, they have a difficult time escaping through the hole. The video above goes into much more detail about how the device works, with and without the use of insecticide.
The key components
One of the scientists who invented the GAT, Scott Ritchie of the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine at James Cook University, tells NPR there are several reasons it's effective.
"We've got the blackness that brings them to the trap, and then we've got the stagnant water actually inside the trap where they can't escape," Ritchie says. "If you trap out enough of the egg-laying mosquitoes, then there aren't going to be eggs in the wild, so the population will crash."
The BG-GAT traps, which recently became available in the U.S., cost $59 for a pair.
Ritchie says it's still important to eliminate standing water around your home and encourage your neighbors to do the same.
But what if you want to build your own mosquito trap instead? Here are some suggestions using a plastic water bottle: