Monday, July 14, 2008


fly traps

I'm not sure what the capture rate of a picture plant is and with a cursory search online was unable to find the info?
I wonder would it be possible to grow these and sell them from green houses to people as an effective means of controlling mosquito's?
Be sure to tell your kids not to disturb these plants for several reasons. One they are our national plant two they eat mosquito's.

Homemade Fly Traps

Cut a plastic 2-litres soda bottle 1/4 down from the top. Invert top portion into bottom portion. Punch 4 holes at top, tie string (twine) to hold both portions together and hang. Add hamburger or fly bait (I filled the trap with 1" of sugar water and added a piece of ham.). Most flies are too stupid to find their way out!

I use these every summer to control the wasp problems at the cabin. They work so efficiently I am forced to empty them once a day because they get over full until the problem gets under control.

I found that some sort of natural fruit juice or fruit worked the best as opposed to plain sugar water.

I heard a man on VOCM tell of another version of this same trap for black flies.

Bucket black fly trap

Just get a 5 gallon pail or container of appropriate size take the lid off fill the container 1/4 full with water and add enough sugar so as that the water becomes saturated and the sugar will no longer dissolve.

The black flies will gorge themselves on the sugar water and become too heavy to fly and end up drowning in the sugar water.

Alot of sites recommend submerging bait in the water like meat or carrion as a bait.

I would take this one step further and add a funnel to the top of the 5 gallon pail to increase it's effectiveness.

In fact I think I will go out now and convert one of those water dispensing jugs to the pop bottle version. It would be alot easier to bait one large trap as opposed to 10 small pop bottle ones.

Oh the fish are going to be well fed this summer.

H/T Monty from VOCM.

These should be mandatory or highly recommended for agricultural use as well a mink farms etc. Especially in and around residential areas. Quality of life you know and health issues.

Mouse trap
Different topic but along the same design.

I also make a mouse trap with a 5 gallon bucket that works really well especially for cabins and agricultural uses.

Take a 5 gal pail take the lid of string of wire some sort of rolling device across the top of the buckets mouth. place the bucket in a corner and put ramps leading up to the mouth of the bucket where the rolling device is.

Corners are best because you can put the ramps against the wall because mice are essentially blind and follow the walls.

For increased effectiveness fill the bucket1/4 full with water in summer or oil or antifreeze in winter.

Bait the rolling device with peanut butter as bait and voila be prepared to get rid of alot of mice come summer.

UPDATE: July 16 08

Bat Houses

There are lots of designs and styles of Bat houses but they all have the same basic concept and mode of operation and placement.

Bat houses are an ecological friendly alternative to pesticides and destructive practices to control insects.

There has to be something that will simulate the echo of a a cave.
There has to be some way for the bats to attach themselves to the interior wall.
They should be placed in a remote location away from your house.
They should be placed facing North I think?
They should be placed a certain distance away from the ground more to protect the bats from predators like cats I'm assuming.

While the perception that bats are venomous and attack people nothing could be further from the truth A-la Hollywood. The only reason they will buzz humans is because there are mosquito's around them.

Bats will eat their body weight in mosquito's each and every night.

Here is a pdf file that explains about bat houses and the intricacies involved for download.

Bird houses Swallows

If you or more likely your wife won't go for a bat house another alternative would be to build bird houses specifically a swallow bird house.

Now I will attest that these work and very very well. In fact when I live in Sackville NB we had a real problem with mosquito's. it was so bad you couldn't have any lights on outside at night because it would attract swarms of mosquito's. Even the light on your door bell had to be turned of or it would be covered.

I tried sever things to control this problem. I had a Mosquito magnet from from last house in Fredericton but it didn't work so well in Sackville because there was too much wind and in fact too many mosquito's for it to handle. Ti is also limited by the requirement for electricity and the cost of using propane. I would also recommend getting the larger one that uses the bags for containment because when it comes time to empty it or change out the container you can nuke the bag but the pod has a metal spring and you can't. I left a pod out so the remaining mosquito's would die before I emptied it but the birds had other idea :)

Insect Fogger

So I tried a propane insect fogger while it worked well I wasn't comfortable using pesticides what with my land being on the lake and having pets and kids running around and Ihad over an acre.
Birds eat dead insecticide mosquito's as do fish everything else so it progresses up the food chain. These things should be sold with a mask and no a dust mask won't do so be careful if this is your preference.

When I was in Yugo the British moved in with us and boy they don't mess around when it comes to mosquito's. The first thing they did was bring out this 50 cal sized fogger and fogger the entire building and grounds. It was like purple haze for the first few days until they killed everything within the fog and eventually they cut down to once a week or not at all. The stuff smelled like diesel or heating oil to mee but I guess it was an insecticide. I remember my dad spraying heating oil with a mister when I was younger so I guess it could have been.
Then they strung netting over every opening and entryway so that you felt like you were Maxwell smart walking down the tunnel of doorways. But it worked we didn't have anyone get sick from mosquito bites than god.

Bat Houses
So I next tried Bat houses which didn't work either because I located them wrong or there were no bats to attract?

So I built some bird houses not because I wanted to attract Swallows but because I had some scrap wood that I wanted to use. I just lucked in by drilling the right sized hole and placing them right.

That very year of the 4 bird houses I built and put up two had families of swallows in them with young ones. A bonus to watch the young ones plus have the parents scavenge far and wide for insects to feed them.

I like to watch birds fly anyway but to watch swallows swoop and dive after mosquito's was a truly exhilarating experience right in your back yard. Knowing that you weren't poisoning the environment and providing a place for the swallows to have their young.

The thing about swallow bird houses is they supposedly have to be cleaned each and every year after they nest in them. Well I didn't know this and as such didn't clean my houses but the swallows returned the very next year. But this is the reason Swallow houses need to be accessible for cleaning.

I think the idea for bird houses actually occurred to me when walking in the marshes of Sackville. It was a swamp but there were no mosquito's. I wondered why and started to take notice of all of the bird houses in and around the marsh.

Now I didn't build the typical swallow house mainly because I didn't actually know what I was trying to attract. I just built a closed square box cut a hole in the front for a door and a small hole in the back to hang the house. Then I hung them on a perpendicular axis so that the corner served as a roof. Dumb luck I made the holes big enough to attract swallows. I mounted them on telephone poles.

While song bird houses are nice swallow bird houses are functional.

Bug killer lights

I also had one of these when I was in Sackville. While it worked it was a bit annoying what with the constant zapping. It really freaked the dog out. It was also a nuisance cleaning. I found the bast way was with an air hose.
The light also burned out in one year. Which might have been because I first tried cleaning it with the garden hose bad idea. But the light bulb cost as much as teh whole unit originally.
I would also recommend getting the largest one you can because it will be easier to clean and work better.
To remove the annoying zapping in the middle of the night you also might want to use an extension cord and place it as further away from your outside as possible.
But the good news is they do work.

I always wanted to mount mine on the end of the dock over the water and leave the bottom open so as to feed the fish but never got around to it.

This might be a good way for aquaculture enterprises to cut down on their food bills. This would also serve as a security measure in and around the aquaculture ventures.

These will kill millers with a little extra long zap and all of the little peskie nippers but I never noticed any black flies in it.

Something else I wanted to do with these was mount them where you would normally mount your outside light. Kill two mosquito's with one stone.

Might even be a good idea to develop street lights for towns that incorporate insect zappers into them.

There is even a solar power insect zapper out now. Not sure how well it works.


Drain standing water
Hang simulated hornets nests
Put yellow bug lights in your outside receptacles.
Netting. Spread the Net
Usual bug sprays
Keep your lawn mowed because mosquito's breed in long grass.
Plant plants in your garden that repel mosquitoes.
and of course take yourself off the menu at dawn and dusk when mosquito's go on the daily feeding frenzies.


I've always marveled at the little green ping pong frog fences I saw in Germany which channeled frogs to culverts under roads so they didn't get killed crossing the road or sunning themselves on the hot pavement in the evening.

So if you have or want a water feature frogs would make a great addition to counter the breeding ground of mosquito's.


There are also larger commercial versions of most of these products that work on a larger scale for applications like golf courses and agricultural uses.
This might be an option for a town or municipality to investigate rather than the annual insecticide programs.


interesting. i might try the mouse trap this fall. i store a lot of sunflower seed for the winters bird feeders and catch a few in a bucket. the self setting one would be ideal.
Did an update of some more fly trap versions and strategies available to people.

That mouse trap works unbelievably. One time I caught upwards of 20 mice in one night when I was in Alberta.
Good artcile, but it would be better if in future you can share more about this Keep posting.

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