Posts Tagged ‘mosquito-borne diseases’

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

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!

Implement Some DIY Mosquito Control to Mark World Mosquito Day With Mega-Catch™

World Mosquito Day has become an ‘awareness day’ to remind the public about the continuing threat of malaria and other diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, but it actually marks the anniversary of one of the most important scientific discoveries in the battle against malaria and was originated by the man who made that discovery. On August 20 1897, British army doctor Ronald Ross was working in Secunderabad in India, dissecting the stomach tissue of an Anopheline mosquito known to have fed on a patient with malaria.  Ross discovered the malaria parasite and established the role of the Anopheles mosquitoes in the transmission of malaria parasites in humans.  Through further research using malarious birds, he was able to ascertain the entire life cycle of the malaria parasite, including its presence in the mosquito’s salivary glands.  Ross, credited with the discovery of the transmission of malaria by mosquitoes was honoured with a Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1902 and a knighthood in 1911. (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

Experts warn mosquito-borne disease latest health threat to the U.S.

Global warming, climate change and international air travel have all contributed to the the latest health threat experts predict is about to hit the U.S.  Chikungunya virus, a mosquito-borne disease, even more deadly than West Nile virus and carried by the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus (Asian Tiger) mosquito has spread throughout Africa, Asia and parts of Europe, leaving a trail of outbreaks and numerous deaths in its wake.

Chikungunya virus can cause fever, rash, headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, muscle and joint pain.  “The disease can be fatal.  It’s a serious disease,” Dr James Diaz of the Louisiana University Health Sciences Center recently told a meeting on airlines, airports and disease transmission (Friday, 18 Sept 2009).  He also warned that double infections are possible as the Asian tiger mosquito is also known to carry malaria, dengue fever and West Nile virus (WNV).


Decreasing mosquito populations is one way of reducing the risk from West Nile, Chikungunya or any other mosquito-borne illness.  Mosquito traps interrupt the breeding cycle and decrease mosquito populations that way.  And an efficient trap that captures thousands of mosquitoes a night can all but collapse a mosquito colony over a matter of months.

Mega-Catch™ traps are highly effective because they employ a wide range of visual stimuli to attract mosquitoes.  This is particularly important in the case of daytime biters like the Asian Tiger which rely on visual cues, as well as chemical cues to find their targets.

Mega-Catch™ Mosquito Traps For All Seasons

One in every 100 Americans have been infected with West Nile Virus whether they know it or not!    And that number has grown according to a study in the journal “Emerging Infectious Diseases“.  The few weeks surrounding Labor Day are the most active for the virus in Washington.  Mosquitoes remain active until temperatures drop below 50 degrees; which isn’t until late fall in most regions of the U.S.

Asian-Tiger-USA-Map-WebIn Fact, mosquitoes, generally regarded as a summertime pest, are also known to thrive in the fall, continuing to transmit a multitude of diseases including Dengue fever, various strains of Encephalitis and West Nile Virus in the process.   Just one bite is all it takes to transmit disease, so ongoing precautions are essential, especially in the fall.

Bite Prevention the Best Protection

West Nile Virus can cause serious illness, including encephalitis (inflamation of the brain) or meningitis (inflamation of the lining of the spinal cord and brain), and can be fatal.   Symptoms can range from mild (fever, headache, body aches and stiff neck) to severe (tremors, convulsions, paralysis and coma).   WNV is carried by birds and spread by infected mosquitoes, and has thus far killed hundreds of millions of birds and infected more than 29,000 people in the U.S. since the first reported outbreak there in 1999.

Eliminate Mosquito Breeding Sites

Getting rid of breeding sites around the home will reduce the health risks associated with mosquitoes.  They don’t need much to breed; an inch or two of water that has collected in a child’s toy, a flowerpot, or an old tire.  Stagnant pools, birdbaths and fountains are another mosquito favorite.  Ensure gutters are cleaned out too so they don’t hold standing water.

Interrupt the Breeding Cycle

Minimize your mosquito problem; this season and the next, by devising an effective mosquito control plan using the best available strategies, including mosquito traps.  However, the effectiveness of mosquito traps does vary from brand to brand and location to location.   The aim of the trap is to interrupt the breeding cycle and decrease mosquito populations that way.  It typically takes about 2 months to kill enough female mosquitoes to make a population collapse.  Mega-Catch™ traps have been independently and scientifically tested and are one of the best at doing what they claim – effectively attracting and killing mosquitoes…. by the hundreds!

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