Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category

CO2 Upgrade Kits Available For Mega-Catch™ Premier XC Mosquito Traps

It’s not too late in the season to have a CO2 trap – limited numbers of CO2 Upgrade Kits are still available for your Premier XC trap.  During West Nile season (June-September), you’ll also receive a FREE Octenol Lure + FREE UPS ground shipping (continental USA only) from our online store.

After last year’s spike in West Nile virus cases, everyone is on high alert for a resurgence of the disease this season.  Because most infections occur between June and September, hitting their peak in August, ongoing preventive measures are essential.   So keep your traps running, slap on the bug spray and try and stay indoors after dusk when mosquitoes are most active.

Great Gadgets – Upgrade your PREMIER XC Trap to CO2

While our traps don’t need Carbon Dioxide (CO2) to attract mosquitoes, operation of Mega-Catch’s™ patented ‘Variable Quantity Slow CO2 Gas Release System’ will boost capture rates of targeted species including those West Nile Virus carrying mosquitoes.   Mega-Catch™ ULTRA traps come CO2 ready, all that’s needed is a gas cylinder (sold separately).

If you have a Pro 900 PREMIER XC trap you can upgrade it to ULTRA specifications with our CO2 upgrade kit.  The upgrade kit (sold separately) converts or ‘transforms’ the PREMIER XC to top-of-the-line ULTRA trap specifications, making it Carbon Dioxide (CO2) capable.

This enables the traps to replicate a key feature of human/animal respiration by releasing or ‘exhaling’ variable amounts of CO2 into the air plume.  Use of this system is entirely optional and the trap can be run with or without the gas turned on.  However, if you are battling a challenging mosquito problem we strongly recommend that you operate your trap with CO2 as this can increase the coverage area (up from 1 acre to 1.5 acres) and capture rates by as much as 300-400%.

 

Memorial Day Weekend Special Promo – Free Mega-Catch™ Baseball Cap

The big, unofficial kickoff to summer is underway! Whether you intend to celebrate Memorial Day Weekend by raising a flag, going away, shopping or just enjoying a quiet BBQ at home with family and friends, this unofficial start to the grill season also heralds the return of that perennial pest – the mosquito!  To help keep those mosquitoes at bay, we recommend devising an effective DIY mosquito control program which incorporates Mega-Catch’s™ proven trapping system to reduce mosquito numbers, personal protection in the form of repellents, and a yard inspection to identify and eliminate mosquito breeding sites around your home.

Personal protection should also encompass wearing long sleeves, long pants, hats and shoes (rather than sandals).  Your Mega-Catch™ baseball cap should not only keep the sun off your face, but deter those pesky mosquitoes from landing on and biting your head. OUCH!


Order any trap or accessory to the value of $50 to receive your FREE Mega-Cap (Offer only available to US customers. Valid Until 1/6/2011 or while stocks last)

Quote Coupon CAP0511 when you buy on-line at www.megacatch.com

Prep Your Garden – The Top 5 plants Mosquitoes Hate

Banish mosquitoes from your backyard with a well placed Mega-Catch™ trap together with some carefully selected plants.

The Top 5 Plants Mosquitoes Most Hate:

  1. Citronella is by far the most popular plant for repelling mosquitoes.  The plant contains citronella oil which is released when the leaves are crushed.  The smell of citronella is so strong that mosquitoes find it impossible to sniff out their next target.  So break a few leaves off the plant, rub them onto your skin and scatter them around whenever you’re working in the garden.
  2. Horsemint is a plant that works much the way citronella does in repelling mosquitoes.  It gives off a strong odor and while mosquitoes may not mind the smell so much they can’t detect their hosts through it so move on.
  3. Marigolds, another popular plant for the garden (and bridal bouquets!) are in favor mainly because of their looks not their fragrance.  Mosquitoes find their smell particularly offensive and tend not to go anywhere near them.
  4. Ageratum.  Mosquitoes just can’t stand the smell of this plant which secretes coumarin.  A chemical compound which occurs naturally in some plants, coumarin is also produced snythetically and is found in many OTC mosquito repellents.
  5. Catnip, beloved by cats, loathed by mosquitoes.  This amazing mosquito deterrent is said to be ten times more effective than DEET!

A little bit of preparation and judicial planting now should help transform your backyard into a buzz free oasis this summer.

Mega-Catch™ Mosquito Trap Storage Tips

Mosquitoes become lethargic at 60°F and cannot function below 50°F;  which isn’t until late fall in most regions of the U.S.  While some States like Florida may still be reporting heavy mosquito catches, for others in the grip of fall, the autumn leaves have dropped from the trees and frost has killed off the tomato vines along with the mosquitoes.

Typically once temperatures in your area begin averaging below 50°F it’s safe to store your Mega-Catch™ trap away for the winter.   And for a trouble-free start to next season, we recommend winterizing your Mega-Catch™ trap:

Mosquito Trap Shut Down Guide

1. Turn off the trap and disconnect the power cable.

2. Turn off and disconnect the regulator from the CO2 cylinder. (Ultra) To ensure that insects don’t nest in your C02 system during the off-season place the regulator in a sealed bag, and place some electrical tape or similar over the end of the gas line (attached to the rear of the trap) and also over the CO2 cylinder valve outlet part.

3. Remove the skirt (Ultra & Premier) and wipe down the outside of the trap with clean soapy water and a damp cloth.

4. Open your trap (Ultra & Premier) and again, using warm soapy water, clean the internal plates, heated reflective surface and fan, then allow to dry thoroughly. (step by step guide in the Operation manual or download from http://www.megacatch.com/manuals.html).

5. Using a small sponge or toothbrush and warm soapy water, reach into the trap (Alpha) and carefully clean the inside casing of the fan and fan blades.

6. Remove and discard any opened attractant lures – they’re only effective for 30 days.

7. Remove and clean the mesh catch bag – pollen, dust and dirt can prohibit airflow and prevent your trap from working efficiently. If the catch bag is torn or damaged in any way, remove and discard. Start next season with a fresh mesh bag.

8. To extend the life of your trap, store it in a garage or shed, protected from the elements and extreme cold.

9. Mid-way through winter, turn on your trap and let it run for a day. This will keep the timer battery charged (Ultra & Premier) and the fan moving (Alpha, Ultra & Premier).

A little bit of maintenance should ensure a trouble-free start next season. Because mosquitoes that were infected with say West Nile Virus or Dengue before they went into ‘hibernation’ will still have the virus when they emerge – all loaded up and ready to go!

Mega-Catch™ Mosquito Traps for DIY Mosquito Control

 

Trap Placement:
In one study trap location made up to a four-fold difference in catch rates.  So the first thing we recommend is to check out the ‘battle-ground’.  Walk around your yard and try and identify the areas where mosquitoes are most bothersome i.e. ‘the source’.   Then set up your trap between the source of the mosquitoes and where people gather i.e. decks and patios.  Position upwind and in a shaded area because most mosquito species are poor flyers and avoid the sun.

Your Mega-Catch™ trap will act like a decoy in a sense; attracting mosquitoes towards it and away from humans.  Never put mosquito traps near people (20-30 feet is the recommended distance) because given the choice most mosquitoes will go for real rather than replica any day! (more…)

Mega-Catch™ Predicting Mosquito Invasion

The series of storms that pelted the South County in early March may go a long way toward breaking the three-year drought, but they also created perfect conditions for mosquitoes and the spread of West Nile Virus.

Standing water on the ground or containers like bird baths, pot plant bases and old tires, can help breed millions of mosquitoes in less than 10 days as the weather warms up.

So in addition to a keeping grass mown, bushes trimmed and debris out of the gutters, it’s essential to eliminate any potential mosquito breeding sites as well.   Remember anything that can hold water for more than a few days is a potential mosquito nursery.  Just one mosquito can produce 1,200 young and a five-gallon bucket of water has the potential to produce enough mosquitoes to invade an entire city block in a residential community.

We recommend you set up your Mega-Catch™ trap at the first sign of mosquito activity.   And to ensure you get the best capture rates this season, follow our simple step by step ‘Top 10 Tips” in the start up guide.

2010 Season Start Up Guide:

  1. Clean out catch bags and liquid containers (Ultra & Premier) and replace any ripped or torn mesh bags.
  2. Replace UV light tubes (Ultra & Premier) to optimize catch rates.  UV tubes dim over time, attracting less mosquitoes.
  3. Clean any build-up off the fan blades and internal casing using warm soapy water and wipe away any spider webs, dust, pollen or other debris.
  4. Leave the trap to dry out for at least 24 hours before starting
  5. Re-attach skirt (Premier & Ultra) and replace if necessary
  6. Re-charge the timer battery (Ultra & Premier) by plugging the trap in for at least 24 hrs
  7. Refill CO2 cylinder then reconnect to the gas regulator (Ultra)
  8. Replace attractants. Choose from either our standard Octenol, or Mega-Catch™ 3000 Combo Lure which is specially formulated to attract a wider range of mosquito species including the hard to catch Asian Tiger (Aedes albopictus).
  9. Place your trap away from people areas and as close to known breeding sites (bushes, shrubs and wet areas) as possible.
  10. Connect power cord, switch on and complete the standard start-up procedure as outlined in the trap manual. Available for download at http://www.megacatch.com/manuals.html

Mega-Catch™ Tips for Effective Winter Mosquito Control

Believe it or not, Mosquito Control agencies, unlike (some) mosquito species don’t hibernate over winter.  In addition to recording what took place during the active season and planning/preparing for the next, their duties often include cleaning public ditches and streams. This allows the water to flow and can discourage and eliminate mosquitoes breeding in those areas for extended periods of time.  

DIY Mosquito Control
Mosquitoes need still, stagnant water to breed.  By draining containers around your home – it doesn’t take much, an inch or two that has collected in a child’s toy, a flowerpot, an old tire – you too can disrupt the process as well as reducing the potential for disease transmission.

Where do Mosquitoes go over winter?
Not all mosquitoes die from the cold but over-winter in various guises:

mosquito life cycleSome species of mosquitoes overwinter as adult females in a state of diapause (a hibernation-like state of arrested development), hiding out in barns, tree holes, basements, attics, etc. anywhere they can get out of the wind. 
Typically, the female mosquito mates before the onset of winter, refusing to take a blood meal, instead feeding only on sugar.  Their ovaries stop working, so their eggs will not mature.  And they store plenty of fat to sustain them over winter. In spring when the temperatures rise, the female emerges from hibernation, seeks out a blood meal and lays the eggs that produce the next generation of adults.

Certain mosquito species lay winter hardy eggs able to survive extreme weather, such as cold, ice, and drought.  Typically in late summer or fall, the female lays her eggs in areas where the ground is moist.  In spring, when temperatures begin to rise and moisture is produced by spring rains and melting snow and ice, these eggs will hatch, progressing through larval, pupal, and finally adult stages to begin the cycle all over again.

And other species of mosquitoes can survive winter in the larval stage.  All mosquito larvae require water, even in winter.  As the water temperature drops, it induces a state of diapause in the mosquito larvae. Development only resumes when the water warms up again.


Winterize Your Mosquito Trap
In the warm and humid climates of the Southeast and Gulf Coast, mosquitoes can thrive all year round, making ongoing precautions essential.  The Mosquito Activity Forecast from weather.com is a useful tool, as it predicts just how active mosquitoes in your area are, based on a variety of weather and time-related factors.

However, once temperatures in your area begin averaging below 50°F it’s safe to store your Mega-Catch™ trap away for the winter. 

 Instructions:

  1. Turn off your Mega-Catch™ Trap and disconnect the power cable
  2. Turn off and disconnect the regulator from the C02 cylinder. (Ultra)  To ensure that insects don’t nest in your C02 system during the off-season place the regulator in a sealed bag, and place some electrical tape or similar over the end of the gas line (attached to the rear of the trap)
  3. Remove the skirt (Ultra & Premier) and wipe down the outside of the trap with clean soapy water and a damp cloth. 
  4. Open your trap (Ultra & Premier) and again, using warm soapy water, clean the internal plates, heated reflective surface and fan, then allow todry thoroughly.  (step by step guide in the Operation manual or download from http://www.megacatch.com/manuals.html)
  5. Using a small sponge or toothbrush and warm soapy water, reach into the trap (Alpha) and carefully clean the inside casing of the fan and fan blades
  6. Remove and discard any opened attractant lures – they’re only effective for 30 days
  7. Remove and clean the mesh catch bag – pollen, dust and dirt can prohibit airflow and prevent your trap from working efficiently.  If the catch bag is torn or damaged in any way, remove and discard. Start next season with a fresh mesh bag
  8. To extend the life of your trap, store it in a garage or shed, protected from the elements and extreme cold
  9. Mid-way through winter, turn on your trap and let it run for a day.  This will keep the timer battery charged (Ultra & Premier) and the fan moving  (Alpha, Ultra & Premier)

With a little bit of maintenance now, you can ensure a trouble-free start to the next mosquito season.  Because mosquitoes that were infected with say West Nile Virus before they went into ‘hibernation’ will still have the virus when they emerge the following spring – all loaded up and ready to go!

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