Mosquito mortuary

Edgar Allan Poe would have admired the Mozzie Magnet. To the casual observer it looks like a harmless small barbecue, but in reality it is a silent and remorseless mosquito killer…

An American invention, now available in Australia through Mozzie Magnet P-L, has proven successful in reducing mosquito numbers by up to 90% in outdoor settings.

The Mozzie Magnet works by creating a moist plume of carbon dioxide (CO2) gas using a catalytic converter fuelled by a standard LGP tank. Mosquitoes, as well as other blood-seeking insects like sandflies and midges, are attracted to the CO2 exhalations of animals, and the device makes use of this phenomenon to draw the insects to their doom.

Once the insects reach the Mozzie Magnet they are sucked by vacuum into a net from which there is no escape. There they dehydrate and die.

The CO2 coverage is effective up to a distance of about 90 metres and is not hazardous to humans; in terms of its CO2 output, the machine is no more noxious than a cow or horse.

According to company director Clare Owens, the Mozzie Magnet has proven effective in NSW and Queensland where insect populations are high.

A recent trial captured 10,000 mosquitoes over a six-week period. Similar tests conducted in the Cayman Islands Mosquito Research and Control Unit resulted in the Mozzie Magnet eradicating more than 7,100 mosquitoes from a swampy area in just nine days, compared to just 37 hits using a different device. Only blood-seeking (female) mosquitoes and sandflies are attracted to the machine, which is a key feature in promoting meaningful population decline over time.

First released in the USA five years ago, Mozzie Magnets have taken that continent by storm. In the first year the company had a turnover of $200,000. After the third year, according to Owens, that figure had risen to $102million!

“Up until now people have had to make do with lights and zappers, but now there is a non-toxic system that really works over a wide area,” he says. “I’ve had customers in Port Macquarie who for the first time in 25 years can sit on their porch in the afternoon without getting eaten alive.”

Mozzie Magnets have been available in Australia since October last year, and are now used for both domestic and commercial applications. In domestic situations, users simply place a Mozzie Magnet at least six metres from the principal dwelling.

They can operate continuously for about three weeks on a single gas canister, meaning users can enjoy ongoing protection without daily maintenance worries. A bonus of using the Mozzie Magnet is that it will not harm moths, ladybirds and other “friendly” insects. In contrast to indiscriminate insect killing devices and chemicals, the Mozzie Magnet is a specific and clinical assassin.

And unlike some insecticides that are difficult to assess for effectiveness, there is clear evidence of the Mozzie Magnet’s lethal touch in the form of a net of insect cadavers. For the uninitiated, a tablespoon holds an average of 794 dead mosquitoes.

There are two models of Mozzie Magnet — the Liberty and the Professional. Mozzie Magnet P-L has agents in NSW, Queensland and the Northern Territory. For more information, retailers can visitwww.mozzierid.com.au.