Jeremy Hirsch, inventor of the Spartan Mosquito Eradicator

Spartan Mosquito v. Colin Purrington

AC2T, Inc, a Mississippi company valued at over $100 million, is suing me in Federal court over my review of the Spartan Mosquito Eradicator. The device is a plastic tube filled with sugar, salt, yeast, and water and is purported to act as an attractive toxic sugar bait. Box claims that device will eradicate (kill) approximately 95% of mosquitoes in a yard for 90 days — the company does not release efficacy data, but claims it possesses them. My opinion is that the devices don’t kill mosquitoes, and the above review explains my reasoning. The owners, Jeremy Hirsch and Chris Bonner of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, seem particularly upset that I shared my review with state pesticide officials as well as federal regulatory agencies (EPA, FTC). The suit was brought to bankrupt and silence me, so it’s a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation).

Here’s the first part of my motion to dismiss the lawsuit:

“In this lawsuit, Spartan seeks to use its superior financial resources to silence a former college professor who has been exercising his constitutional rights to petition his government and advocate on an important environmental and public health issue: the effectiveness of commercially available mosquito control devices. In Mr. Purrington’s opinion, based upon his personal evaluation of Spartan’s product and his scientific knowledge, Spartan has made false and misleading claims about the efficacy of its product, thereby violating federal environmental regulations and potentially endangering public health. Most of the statements that Spartan cites in the Complaint reflect Mr. Purrington’s efforts to reach federal and state officials with information about Spartan’s misleading and false claims concerning the efficacy of its product. The remaining statements reflect Mr. Purrington’s efforts to raise public awareness of the matters about which he is petitioning, describe his own opinions, or contain facts that Spartan does not, and cannot, deny are true. Applicable law does not provide Spartan with a valid claim against Mr. Purrington under those circumstances. Notably, even if Spartan could show that Mr. Purrington should be liable for his statements, Spartan fails to plead facts that would suggest it has incurred even a cent of damage to its business to justify its claims. That omission suggests that Spartan has sued merely to intimidate Mr. Purrington rather than to recover any demonstrable damage to its business. For those reasons, Mr. Purrington respectfully requests that the Court dismiss the Complaint in its entirety, with prejudice.”

The full brief is here (PDF).

Do other people think it’s a scam?

As of May 22nd, 2020, there are 509 1-, 2-, and 3-star reviews on Amazon. The word “scam” is used 35 times, though many other reviews seem to suggest the same. Here’s the full document (25 page PDF).

Want to help me?

  1. Contact the EPA and FTC. These agencies are busy and will only act if they hear from multiple consumers. During the Covid-19 lockdown this is especially true.
  2. Share my review on Facebook, Twitter, or Nextdoor. This company wants to silence me, so having that strategy backfire would bring me great satisfaction.
  3. Encourage the American Mosquito Control Association to post their findings on the device. AMCA’s lawyers are concerned about litigation and have blocked its Science Committee from disclosing results of its investigation.
  4. If you’re a pro at adding content to Wikipedia, please add the Spartan Mosquito Eradicator to the page on attractive toxic sugar baits or mosquito control.
  5. If you’re a reporter, please write a piece on this company. It’s the gem of Mississippi.

NB: The photograph at the top of the post is Jeremy Hirsch, the inventor of Spartan Mosquito Eradicator.

UPDATE: Spartan Mosquito, Jeremy Hirsch, and Bonner Analytical Testing Company are being sued in New York District Court for fraud. Here is the 16-page complaint.

17 thoughts on “Spartan Mosquito v. Colin Purrington

  1. nightsmusic

    You’ve got to be kidding me! I know you’re not, but how ludicrous! You’re entitled to your opinion as is anyone else who has used them. Makes me wonder if they sue anyone on Amazon or any of the other sites that sell their product as well when the review is less than stellar. I’m so sorry.

    Reply
  2. Ingrid

    I encourage you to find a way to keep and document the Amazon reviews now. I had a parallel experience and suspected the plaintiff pressured Amazon to remove negative reviews (or possibly the individual reviewers?) because they disappeared. I have a friend who is a lawyer at the EPA in Atlanta who I talked to in my mosquito-spray research. I am appalled at how much power the pesticide companies have! Please keep us posted with the progress (as you are able) and continue to make us aware of what we may be able to do to help you.

    Reply
  3. McGreggor

    Colin, I agree. After having 4 of these in my yard for two mosquito seasons (keeping them refreshed with the attractant), I concur that there was no drop in our mosquito population.

    Reply
    1. Colin Purrington Post author

      Did you ever contact company for support? “Deployment Specialists” at Spartan Mosquito invariably blame the consumer, telling consumer that they clearly must have deviated from the directions on insert. Or they blame the local water. Etc. Company apparently has a group of people in Texas that are trained in the “Ma’am, you have to follow the directions …” routine. It’s really fascinating.

      Reply
  4. maxwell marshall

    Hi Colin, just one guy’s experience: my spartan eradicator is full of dead flies and mosquitos, so I’m not sure you are correct that it doesn’t work… maybe my results are a fluke, or maybe your results are a fluke. Either way, I’m not sure if you’ll be able to prove whether they work or not unless someone does an empirical controlled study. Either way, I hope you weather this lawsuit; sounds nasty.
    -max marshall

    Reply
    1. Colin Purrington Post author

      Also, if you are using them now, would you mind recording an hour of video for me? I’d love to see evidence of mosquitoes flying around the devices. The company makes frequent warnings that they attract clouds of mosquitoes. I’m skeptical.

      Reply
    2. maxwell marshall

      Correction: after reading some of your other material on this website about how these things attract other species (but not mosquitos), I reexamined my eradicator and found *only flies*. Sorry for the hasty post!

      -max marshall

      Reply

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