Back to Top Skip to main content

Army invention traps things that go buzz in the day

Aedes albopictus, is one type of mosquito responsible for spreading dengue and yellow fevers as well as the Zika and chikungunya viruses, are common throughout eastern and southern portions of the United States, South America, and other parts of the world. (Courtesy photo) Aedes albopictus, is one type of mosquito responsible for spreading dengue and yellow fevers as well as the Zika and chikungunya viruses, are common throughout eastern and southern portions of the United States, South America, and other parts of the world. (Courtesy photo)

Recommended Content:

Mosquito-Borne Illnesses | Preventing Mosquito-Borne Illnesses | Bug-Borne Illnesses

Some mosquitoes aren’t merely a nuisance. They transmit serious and even deadly maladies to humans through their bites. That’s why Army entomologists invented a device that entices, traps, and then kills two types of adult female mosquitoes and their larvae.

The device is known commercially as Trap-N-Kill. The World Health Organization has recommended it to lower the risk of disease transmission by reducing mosquito populations.

Designed for outdoor use, the trap targets the mosquitoes responsible for spreading dengue and yellow fevers as well as the Zika and chikungunya viruses, among others. Those mosquitoes –Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus – are common throughout eastern and southern portions of the United States, South America, and other parts of the world, said Tom Burroughs, chief of the Entomological Sciences Division at the U.S. Army Public Health Center, or APHC.

Trap-N-Kill works by mimicking the mosquitoes’ natural breeding sites. (Courtesy photo)
Trap-N-Kill works by mimicking the mosquitoes’ natural breeding sites.(Courtesy photo)

The mosquitoes bite during daytime hours and breed in outdoor containers with standing water, including flowerpot saucers, birdbaths, and trash can lids. “They can breed in something as small as a bottlecap with a few drops of water in it,” Burroughs said.

Trap-N-Kill works by mimicking the mosquitoes’ natural breeding sites. Users place a plastic pesticide strip inside the approximately 8-inch-tall, cylinder-shaped device and then fill with water. Mosquitoes looking for a place to lay their eggs enter through a small hole in the front. The pesticide strip fatally poisons them and any larvae that hatch from the eggs, Burroughs said. The trap is reusable, but the pesticide strip should be replaced every month and a half.

It takes seven to 10 days for mosquitoes to develop from egg to adult, but Trap-N-Kill’s development cycle was significantly longer, Burroughs said. Two Army entomologists – Brian Zeichner, from APHC’s precursor, the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine; and Michael Perich, Ph.D., with the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, or WRAIR – spent more than two decades working on their invention. Originally, it was used to monitor the type and number of mosquitoes in a specific area.

Trap-N-Kill became available to Department of Defense personnel through the military supply system starting in 2014. It’s also available through a commercial licensing agreement at civilian retail locations. APHC and WRAIR jointly hold the patent on the device, Burroughs said.

“We encourage installations and public health staffs to use it in combination with other mosquito-control strategies,” Burroughs said. “The trap reduces the amount of pesticide used and easily integrates into mosquito-management programs, and it can be removed when mosquitoes are no longer a problem.”

APHC offers more information about the Trap-N-Kill online.

You also may be interested in...

Prevent mosquito-borne illness in the U.S. and overseas

Article
7/31/2019
Most mosquitoes are relatively harmless. But some can cause serious diseases

Mosquitoes can spread dangerous diseases no matter where you are

Recommended Content:

Bug-Borne Illnesses | Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

Tick Facts: Dangers at the height of tick season

Article
7/31/2019
A tick like this one, seen at 10x magnification, can spread a number of dangerous pathogens during the warm-weather months. (Photo by Cornel Constantin)

Many diseases are transferred to humans by ticks — Lyme is the most common, but several others, described here, are worth knowing about

Recommended Content:

Bug-Borne Illnesses | Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Tick-Borne Illnesses | Health Readiness | Preventive Health | Public Health

Avoid bug bites on vacation with these TRICARE tips

Article
7/30/2019
According to the EPA, using the right insect repellent can discourage mosquitoes, ticks, and other insects from landing on you and biting you

If you’re traveling to areas where they may be a higher chance of getting malaria from mosquitoes or tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease, take steps to avoid these bugs and others.

Recommended Content:

Bug-Borne Illnesses | Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Mosquito-Borne Illnesses | Tick-Borne Illnesses

Moments in Military Medicine: Bug Week

Video
7/30/2019
Moments in Military Medicine: Bug Week

Learn about the connection between military medicine and yellow fever in this video

Recommended Content:

Bug-Borne Illnesses | Bug Week: July 27 - August 2

Zapping mosquitoes from the inside out

Article
7/29/2019
While chemical mosquito population control measures have been used with some degree of success, they are toxic to other insect populations and to the health of humans. A different angle of defense has emerged, which is genetic modification of the mosquito itself, making it transgenic. Transgenic mosquitoes are unable to transmit a pathogen, such as malaria, due to their altered genetic makeup. (DoD photo)

Mosquitoes aren’t just annoying at summer barbecues. In many parts of the world, they carry pathogens for Zika, dengue, yellow fever and malaria, the most devastating of mosquito-borne diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 440,000 people died in sub-Saharan Africa in 2016 from malaria, contracted from the bite of an infected female Anopheles mosquito. Protecting U.S. military personnel who continue to serve in this part of world is critical.

Recommended Content:

Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Mosquito-Borne Illnesses | Zika Virus | Preventing Mosquito-Borne Illnesses | Preventive Health | Innovation | Medical Research and Development | Deployment Health

Bug Week: Fleas

Video
7/22/2019
DHA Seal

Fleas aren’t just annoying to cats and dogs, they can carry diseases dangerous to humans too. Follow these tips to protect yourself.

Recommended Content:

Bug-Borne Illnesses | Bug Week: July 27 - August 2

Bug Week: Mosquitoes

Video
7/22/2019
DHA Seal

What's the deadliest animal in the world? Mosquitoes! Besides leaving itchy bites, mosquitoes can also carry potentially deadly illnesses. Take steps to protect yourself.

Recommended Content:

Bug-Borne Illnesses | Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

Bug Week: Ticks

Video
7/22/2019
DHA Seal

Whether spending time in your backyard or deep in the woods, stay safe from harmful diseases from ticks with the following tips.

Recommended Content:

Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Bug-Borne Illnesses | Tick-Borne Illnesses

Bug Week Fact Sheet West Nile

Fact Sheet
7/16/2019

This fact sheet, from the Armed Services Blood Program, describes how West Nile is transmitted, its signs and symptoms, and how to prevent getting the disease.

Recommended Content:

Bug-Borne Illnesses | Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Armed Services Blood Program | Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

Bug Week Fact Sheet Chagas

Fact Sheet
7/16/2019

This fact sheet, from the Armed Services Blood Program, describes how Chagas is transmitted, its signs and symptoms, and how to prevent getting the disease.

Recommended Content:

Bug-Borne Illnesses | Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Armed Services Blood Program

Bug Week Fact Sheet Malaria

Fact Sheet
7/16/2019

This fact sheet, from the Armed Services Blood Program, describes how Malaria is transmitted, its signs and symptoms, and how to prevent getting the disease.

Recommended Content:

Bug-Borne Illnesses | Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Armed Services Blood Program | Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

Bug Week Fact Sheet Babesia

Fact Sheet
7/16/2019

This fact sheet, from the Armed Services Blood Program, describes how Babesia is transmitted, its signs and symptoms, and how to prevent getting the disease.

Recommended Content:

Bug-Borne Illnesses | Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Tick-Borne Illnesses | Armed Services Blood Program

Bug Week Fact Sheet Dengue

Fact Sheet
7/16/2019

This fact sheet, from the Armed Services Blood Program, describes how Dengue is transmitted, its signs and symptoms, and how to prevent getting the disease.

Recommended Content:

Bug-Borne Illnesses | Bug Week: July 27 - August 2 | Armed Services Blood Program | Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

Summer may be gone, but West Nile Virus remains a threat

Article
10/24/2018
Mosquito activity is still at its peak during early fall but taking steps to prevent mosquito bites can reduce risk of West Nile Virus. (U.S. Army photo)

Taking steps to prevent mosquito bites can be the best way to reduce risk of West Nile Virus infection and other mosquito-borne illnesses

Recommended Content:

Public Health | Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

Protect your family from Lyme disease this summer

Article
8/3/2018
Every year, roughly 30,000 Americans contract Lyme disease from a blacklegged tick. (CDC photo)

The best way to prevent Lyme disease is by avoiding ticks.

Recommended Content:

TRICARE Health Program | Bug-Borne Illnesses
<< < 1 2 3 > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 3

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.