Tag Archives: mosquitoes

DIY: Mosquito Traps

It’s Week 3 in Mexico and I may have breached 60 mosquito bites since arriving! There are 20+ bites alone on BOTH of my feet, so you can imagine my annoyance when it comes to a bad itch… I’ve used bug spray with DEET, lime juice, Raid mosquito coils, but I’m amping up my protection by making DIY mosquito traps!

DIY Mosquito Traps

Here’s what you’ll need if you decide you want to set some traps for your house or in your backyard:

  • 2L plastic bottle
  • 1 cup of water
  • some strong tape
  • 1/4 cup of sugar (I’ve seen brown and white sugar used)
  • 1 gram of yeast (this apparently can vary and you can experiment since different mosquitoes are attracted to different amounts of CO2)
  • black construction paper or black plastic bags

Steps:

  1. Boil a pot of water. (I made four traps so I boiled about four cups’s worth of water)
  2. While you’re waiting for it to boil, take your 2L bottle and slice it at the top of the label. You can poke a hole with a scissors and then cut the rest through, or take a sharp knife and slice it like a piece of really plasticky cake 😛
  3. Measure 1 cup of hot water and pour it slowly into the bottom half of the bottle, that way you don’t get any hot water splashing everywhere and burning you.
  4. Add 1/4 cup of sugar into the bottle and mix thoroughly.
  5. Wait for the sugar water to cool to at least room temperature!
  6. Add 1 gram into the bottle. DO NOT MIX! It’ll last up to 2 weeks if you don’t mix it.
  7. Take the top half of the bottle, invert it and place it into the bottom half of the bottle, and take your tape to seal the two pieces of the bottle together. This is to give only one entry way into the bottle and not let those annoying zancudos escape!
  8. Take your black construction paper or plastic bag and wrap the outside of the bottle, leaving just the opening exposed. Apparently mosquitoes like dark colors so they’ll be attracted to your trap!

You’ll want to place the mosquito traps somewhere with low foot traffic so you don’t accidentally spill it. Instructions say to keep it away from you, but I kept two in my room on the opposite side of the room where my bed is, since those annoying creatures like to hang out waiting for the moment I least expect them. I also left one by my bathroom sink since I’ve noticed they like to chill there too.

I’ll let you know if it ends up working!! Comment below if you tried this DIY idea before, or if you have other tried and true ways to protect yourself against mosquitoes and also what you do to kill mosquitoes in your home.

Living Like a Local: Dealing with Pests!

I’m just about to hit my two-week mark living in Agua Caliente Nueva, and I don’t know if I’ve become desensitized to all of the creepy crawlies I’ve encountered, but it’s starting to not faze me as much when I see them crawling around. On night 1, I was attempting to go to sleep and I felt something on my neck, and I thought it was just a strand of hair and brushed my neck…and then I felt something more substantial on my leg and turned on my phone’s flashlight to find some beetle nearly the size of a dime just chilling on my bed! Trust, I was pretty skeeved and spent a good 10-15 minutes trying to calm myself down before trying to sleep again.

Luckily, that hasn’t occurred every night I’ve been here, but I’ve been disturbed by these bugs’ constant presence in the kitchen and around my bathroom sink! Just last night, I saw a macarena line of tiny black beetles marching in my bathroom sink, this strange-looking insect with funky, feathery antennae, and another beetle with these bright orange markings on its back. I literally can not for the life of me figure out where they are coming from when there are nets lining the windows! -.-

And then there are the mosquitoes… I’ve gotten so up close and personal to these abominations that I’m pretty confident I can identify the Anopheles from the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Bringing some public health into this post, there’s a health clinic in the town that has a poster outside to bring awareness and educate the community on the different vector-borne illnesses different genus mosquitoes can transmit to humans:

  • Aedes aegypti mosquitoes can transmit yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya, and Zika depending on what they’re infected with
  • Infected Anopheles mosquitoes can transmit malaria to humans

Health clinic vector-borne illness poster.JPG

I love how they included some methods to prevent mosquitoes from encroaching on people’s territories, such as emptying stagnant water and changing out uncovered reservoirs of water every few days. It would be even more effective to provide options for how one can protect themselves from mosquitoes, such as wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, or wearing insect repellent, using mosquito nets or staying indoors in the early morning and after dusk.

Contra el mosquito sign.JPG

I saw this really awesome sign on one of the houses that asks passersby: “What did you do today to combat mosquitoes?”

And then we have the lizards who like to stay out of plain sight, hiding behind my bathroom mirror and other picture frames. It’s a wonder how there are so many pests still lurking around the home when there are at least maybe five lizards/geckos I’ve spotted throughout the house. I’m just thinking, what the heck are you doing all day if you’re not eating these bugs for us?! They just slither along the walls like Spiderman and leave droppings wherever they go. What a useless bunch of reptiles!! What are they good for if they won’t help eat the bad insects?! 😡

Just thought I’d share the reality of living like a local where bugs run rampant both inside and outside of the house! Just this morning, I was negotiating with this bee that was holding my laptop hostage! It was hovering around my laptop when I had it outside on the terrace, and I had to have JUST the right timing to swoop in and collect my items before it came after me. Life’s rough living like a local when you’re used to  mainly black ants and mosquitoes in NYC! I miss my clean home free of any pests, but I’m finding living here to be a true taste of reality and cultural immersion.

Until the next post, hasta luego!