Class action suit over Spartan Mosquito Eradicators

Spartan Mosquito, Jeremy Hirsch, and the Bonner Analytical Testing Company are targets of a $5 million class-action lawsuit for falsely advertising that Spartan Mosquito Eradicators kill mosquitoes.

Chris Bonner and Jeremy Hirsch
Chris Bonner (left) and Jeremy Hirsch (middle) demonstrating their invention.

The lawsuit is currently in the discovery phase, which means that Spartan Mosquito et al. are being compelled by the court to provide (if they have it) any experimental data that back up the efficacy claims. Plus hundreds of other similar documents that might establish a pattern of obscuring the lack of efficacy. Discovery phase ends on July 12, 2021. The meeting regarding settlement is on September 24, 2021. I doubt it will go to trial.

One reason the case is likely going to go against Spartan Mosquito is that scientists have confirmed that salt (the “active” ingredient) doesn’t kill mosquitoes. And another team of scientists has confirmed that the devices do not control mosquitoes. Both of these studies were peer reviewed. I am not aware of a single scientist or mosquito-control professional who thinks Spartan Mosquito Eradicators work. Even the American Mosquito Control Association knows the devices don’t work.

Please also see my 2019 review of the device.

Select quotations from the complaint

  • “… the Spartan Mosquito Eradicator is a complete scam.”
  • “Product is ineffective for mosquito control because it does not kill mosquitoes or decrease mosquito populations.”
  • “Defendants are well-aware that the Product is ineffective yet sell it anyway in pursuit of profit and in clear disregard for public health and safety.”
  • “If Defendants’ claim of having solved one of mankind’s most vexing problems
    and greatest health challenges using just sugar, salt, and yeast sounds too good be true, that is because it is.”
  • “Defendants already know that the Product does not work. They have repeatedly
    commissioned efficacy tests which found that Defendants’ marketing claims were unsupported and that the Product did not work as advertised. However, they have suppressed publication of these findings using nondisclosure agreements and threats to the scientists involved in this research.”
  • “… the Mosquito Illness Alliance has listed the Product as the first in their list of ‘Myths/Scams (Products that do not work)’.”
  • “Spartan’s founder and spokesperson, Jeremy Hirsch, has made personal threats to at least one scientist involved in this research in order to intimidate him out of publicizing the results of his research.”

Legal teams

Spartan Mosquito and Jeremy Hirsch (inventor, chairman of the board, spokesperson) are represented by Edward Boyle and Anna Dimon (both of Venable LLP). Bonner Analytical Testing Company is represented by Rachel Bandli and Daniel Benson (both of Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP). Bonner Analytical is named in the suit because some of the experiments were conducted at the facility. The attorney who filed the class-action is Yitzchak Kopel, and he seems to specialize on companies that make false mosquito-control claims.

Documents

May 2020

September 2020

February 24, 2021

March 10, 2021

March 22, 2021

  • Judge issues order denying the defendants’ motion to stay discovery

March 29, 2021

April 1, 2021

April 23, 2021

Here is the full listing of available documents. I link to several of the documents below, but if you’d like to receive any of the other documents, contact me.

24 thoughts on “Class action suit over Spartan Mosquito Eradicators

  1. Roberto

    I used the Spartan mosquito product last year and it worked wonders. I used it again this spring with the same results. These are the only 2 years since 1970 that we have been mosquito free. I have no idea what’s in there, or what your complaint is, but it works better than a cigar and is probably healthier than spreading tobacco juice or deet on our skin.

    Reply
      1. Ann

        B.S. It works! You are a pain in the neck law firm. If you follow directions, which some people fail to do, there is no question that Spartan works. It’s a great product – has NOTHING to do with placebo effect. It works.

        Reply
        1. John

          I agree 100%! Just got through hanging mine for the second time this year. I refill them. A placebo effect makes zero sense…..this isn’t a mental issue! It’s as if they want you to believe that there are no more mosquitos bothering you because they are still biting you, you just Don’t feel them or see them because you just hung a red & black tube in the yard? Or! Let me guess…I hung these mosquito killers up but they don’t work because my brain is now sending a signal for the insects to stay away from me because they now know I don’t want them around?! Silliest crap I’ve ever heard of…

          Reply
      1. Colin Purrington Post author

        Company doesn’t make the Spartan Mosquito Eradicator anymore. They want everyone to buy the Spartan Mosquito PRO TECH, a version that costs more and is less effective (you need twice as many tubes/acre). Good luck in your quest!

        Reply
  2. Tom Rodgers

    I have been using spartan mosquito baits with success for the last 3 years. I have tried to replicate them, but for the species of mosquito we have around here they are death. Good work boys, screw New York idiots.

    Reply
  3. Matt

    Do any of the people leaving positive comments have young children? I bought 4 (2 boxes) of the Pro Tech. and my kids were still getting so many bites everyday. We don’t let them go outside in the evenings now. I spoke to our local feed store and they swore by them, so I bought more to replace the old ones. 3 weeks later and no change. I just went outside and killed 2 within 5 minutes. I live in a wooded area, but I don’t believe they work. I won’t give them anymore of my money.

    Reply
    1. Colin Purrington Post author

      Please share your views on Facebook if you can. You’ll probably be unfriended by hundreds of true believers, stoned, and accused of being un-American … but it would be great to prevent others from being scammed. Thanks for visiting my site and leaving a comment.

      Reply
  4. JustAnotherJoe

    In reading this specific claim: “kills and inhibits mosquitoes to grow and breed again”, that is quite a stretch… Technically, I guess a mosquito could be trapped in this thing and eventually die, which also eliminates it’s ability to breed (LOL). It’s DIFFICULT to imply a placebo effect when it comes to mosquitoes and their human victims. I am a mosquito-bait human and am ready to try this based on the 2nd year experience of one of my business partners. Reading the reviews, they are weighted heavily towards mostly to completely effective, with a clear minority in the partly to ineffective range. People who are dissatisfied are more apt to publicaly announce their dissatisfaction (anecdotally by a factor of 10:1) over those who are satisfied. That would tell me that there is something positive about this product.

    Using “…a favorite of Trump and similar folks” as an element of the reasoning/justification behind this suit shows the character of the complainants. NOT to diminish or nullify any of the legit complaints, they need to be heard. But, really???

    Reply
    1. Colin Purrington Post author

      I think the ratio of satisfied/unsatisfied reviews is an interesting metric. I could be wrong, but I’m wondering whether it varies with buyer demographics. For example, ratings on Amazon for divining rods are almost uniformly positive even though it’s well accepted by the general community that divining rods don’t work at all. The difference is that the pool of people buying and review divining rods is likely not a random sample of people. I suspect Spartan Mosquito is relying heavily on user testimony in its legal filings. It has a massive fan base, though it is losing marketshare to the six other companies that are making the same thing. Its decision to stop making the Eradicators is also angering many, especially because the replacement is more expensive and less effective. It will be interesting! Anyway, please do give it a try and let me know whether you see clouds of mosquitoes around the cap (the company claims that happens).

      Reply
  5. Paul

    Ok, I would love a response from the professional professor.
    I live in Texas and had a bad mosquito problem. I tried the Spartan traps at the recommendation of the Home Depot sales person… Guess what., ZERO misquote bites to me OR my quests while sitting outside at night for 25 days straight.
    But after 25 days it seemed to be lessoning on effectiveness. $25 can quickly be spent on cans of foggers. So yes I got another pack and replaced them… Guess what Zero mosquito bites again. So professor, I’ll try to refill my old tubes with your recipe to see if I get the same great results and save $25. All the houses around me are an Acre, hard to replicate the same great results that I have experienced with Spartan I am sure. But I’ll give your home brew a shot and compare. And there isn’t a placebo effect with mosquito bites… you either get bit or you don’t. Wish they had a fire ant product that was this effective.

    Reply
    1. Colin Purrington Post author

      Good luck. Out of curiosity, for those periods during which you believed the tubes were attracting/killing mosquitoes, did you observe mosquitoes gathering around them? Per all the ads I’ve seen that’s what is supposed to happen. But I haven’t been able to get confirmation, either from the company or from users, that the gathering actually happens.

      Also, you might check with Denton County Public Health. They monitor mosquitoes for diseases and occasionally spray parts of your area. Might be worth contacting them to see whether there might be other explanations for the variation in mosquito populations. The Justin public works department could also help you out, I’d bet: 940-648-2541.

      Reply
  6. Larry

    I work at a Farm and Home store where these are sold. We have sold thousands and I would say 75% or more are repeat costumers. I trust the consumer that is buying and using the product that is why I just purchased a box for my yard. If it works, great…if not…oh well. At least I will have given it a shot.

    Reply
    1. Colin Purrington Post author

      Please spy on your tubes with binoculars are big-lens camera. Company claims “mosquitoes will gather” but I’ve never seen that happen in my yard. And over the years of asking people to spy on their tubes, nobody has reported back seeing even a single mosquito. The devices (both the Eradicator and their newer Pro Tech) just don’t seem to be capable of attracting mosquitoes in the real world. But even if you did see a cloud of mosquitoes, the Eradicator simply cannot kill them … the salt has absolutely no effect. That’s not just my opinion — per experiments done by scientists, salt does not kill adult mosquitoes. Hence all the companies claiming otherwise are making false claims. They are charlatans who know how to pitch ads and build brand loyalty.

      Out of curiosity, if you conclude that device is a scam, will you stop selling it?

      Please report back, regardless, and thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  7. chester price

    I put one in my yard 3 weeks ago just like the directions said. I havn’t noticed any effect it has had on mosquitos . They are still bad!

    Reply

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