ingredients for mosquito-killing baits: blackberry wine, boric acid powder and fruit peelings and seeds (papaya) at lower left small container of bait mixture

|| 22 September 2016

Mosquito-Killing Potion

Mosquito bites detract from your appearance. Scratching is not chic. Yet many of us live in areas where mosquitoes are a serious problem. Our local media recently reported that though we do not yet have Zika virus mosquitoes in our area, many of our mosquitoes are carrying West Nile virus. And these mosquitoes are likely to be around all through October. Great !

For the 5th summer I am having good luck with my mosquito-killing potion that I concocted after I read about Attractive Toxic Sugar Baits. (I originally wrote about these baits on the website in October 2012)). These were winners in a contest sponsered by the Gates Foundation for a "safe" alternative to chemical sprays to combat mosquitoes. My version was inspired by one of the winners' recipe.

Originally my recipe was blackberry wine, boric acid powder and crushed pineapple. Now I use almost any kind of fruit or fruit peelings. In the photo above you see papaya peelings and seeds. A small container like the one lower left works well to hold the mixture and attract the mosquitoes. I place a little container of the mixture in any part of the house or patio where I find mosquitoes. I also put them in the garage.

Portions are one-fourth cup blackberry wine, 1 teaspoon boric acid powder and about 2 tablespoons fruit or fruit peelings. Mix in a small container and set out in an area where you have mosquitoes. I use Roach Away which is economical and 99% boric acid powder.

But be careful, blackberry wine will stain if it is spilled on carpet, clothing or upholstery. I have tried both red wine and white wine, and neither seemed to do as well as the blackberry wine. I have experimented with four different brands. All blackberry wines worked well.

When the mixture begins to thicken after sitting out a couple of days, I add in a bit more wine and sprinkle on a little more boric acid powder. I toss in bit more fruit or fruit peelings when available.

Frankly, I have never decided if the mixture actually kills the mosquitoes, or just makes them so drunk that their natural predators do the killing. Several times, I have spotted a mosquito trying to fly, but was so “drunk” it could only go a couple of inches. I swat it and find from the stain it makes that it had drunk some of the bait mixture.

If I begin seeing mosquitoes, I know that my containers of portion need refreshing.

I do use insect repellent if I am doing yard work. These wine-fruit-boric acid baits only work against mosquitoes — not those horrible chiggers, as far as I can tell. And this year the fire ants have been terrible. Nothing seems to work against them! Fire ants will bite me on a spot I have smeared with repellent.

But at least I have found something that is relatively safe that kills mosquitoes. Mosquito bites are not chic.

be chic, stay slim — Anne Barone

Image : ingredients for mosquito-killing baits: blackberry wine, boric acid powder and fruit peelings and seeds (papaya) at lower left small container of bait mixture