Tag Archives: ATSB

Spartan Mosquito Eradicator vs Spartan Mosquito Pro Tech

Here’s a table comparing the two attractive toxic sugar baits (ATSBs) sold by Spartan Mosquito. Please feel free to share on Facebook, Nextdoor, and Pinterest.

If you see anything that needs updating, please let me know.

Notes

  1. Spartan Mosquito no longer makes the Eradicator but it is still available at some retailers. The company likely has focused production on the Pro Tech because it gives a higher profit margin — homeowners need more tubes per acre, more frequently, and at a higher price.
  2. The company has said it is working on selling refills for three years. I don’t think it will ever happen because there’s not enough profit in selling refills (ingredients cost pennies).
  3. Per the fine print, the 30-day guarantee clock for the Pro Tech starts the day you purchased the device (or the day it was delivered). I think you have to initiate the return before the 30 days expires. So set it up immediately and never buy in bulk for future use.
  4. Scientists have evaluated the Spartan Mosquito Eradicator and found no evidence it controls mosquitoes, and have separately determined that salt doesn’t kill adult mosquitoes.
  5. Here is my review of the Spartan Mosquito Eradicator. I’m not aware of any other unbiased review. I.e., other reviews tend to profit via affiliate links and therefore cannot really be trusted.
  6. The Spartan Mosquito Eradicator is the focus of a $5 million class-action lawsuit. That could mean full refunds for everyone who ever purchased the device.
  7. Scientists haven’t published findings on whether the Spartan Mosquito Pro Tech is able to kill mosquitoes. When I used a camera to spy on one in my yard, no mosquitoes arrived.
  8. Here is my review of the Spartan Mosquito Pro Tech when it first came out.
  9. Retailers tend to tell customers that both devices work. However, it’s probably important to note that retailers make approximately $10 on every box they can sell. They might be great people, but they have an interest in making customers believe the devices work. Few other items offer the profit margin that Spartan Mosquito tubes do.
  10. Neither device has been recommended by the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) or the CDC as effective at controlling mosquitoes. The AMCA has apparently banned Spartan Mosquito from exhibiting at annual meetings. It has also prepared a report on the devices but hasn’t made it public.
  11. Here are the approximate ingredient amounts for the Eradicator in case you’d like to make your own refills:  2 1/2 tbsp sucrose, 1 tsp salt, 1/16 tsp yeast. Then add warm water to fill line. Here’s the recipe for 40 refills (feel free to share on Facebook). Refill ingredients cost less than a nickel per tube. To refill a Pro Tech: 0.48 tbsp boric acid, 0.48 cups sucrose, 1/16 tsp brewer’s yeast.

Does the Spartan Mosquito Pro Tech attract mosquitoes?

This post evaluates the claim on the label, “mosquitoes will gather near them”. Per the company, it is the first step in how the device kills mosquitoes. I.e., the device needs to attract mosquitoes if it is going to work.

mosquitoes will gather

Evaluating the claim

I used a security camera to record activity around the cap area. Here’s a photograph of how I arranged everything:

Spartan Mosquito Pro Tech with security camera

Below is a 15-second time-lapse to show that small insects such as ants were easily visible, even at night. I think they are Prenolepis imparis, which are 3-4 mm long —mosquitoes are larger and thus would be detectable even in flight.

On the day that began filming (September 2nd, 2020) I counted over a dozen mosquitoes (all Aedes albopictus) landing on my arms and legs within 30 seconds. According to the instruction sheet, the device begins to work instantly, as soon as water is added, so an hour of remote, video observation should be a sufficient amount of time to evaluate the attraction claim.

Spartan Mosquito Pro Tech begins working instantly

I collected continuous footage for over a week, ending observations on September 10th. The mosquitoes were still plentiful on that day.

Results

During 183 hours of footage, I couldn’t find a single mosquito on or near the device. Here are the contents. I also posted a photograph to iNaturalist.

Conclusion

I don’t understand how the device can kill mosquitoes.

In related news, I’m aware of three of other people who have used security cameras to assess whether mosquitoes gather around Spartan Mosquito Eradicators. None found mosquitoes.

Footage

In case anyone might be skeptical of my results, I decided to upload all 183 hours of footage onto YouTube. I had to break it into 16 segments due to size limits on YouTube.

Scientists find that Spartan Mosquito Eradicators don’t work

Research conducted in Florida found no evidence that Spartan Mosquito Eradicatiors are effective mosquito-control devices. Here’s the citation:

Aryaprema, V.S., E. Zeszutko, C. Cunningham, E.I.M. Khater, and R.-D. Xue. 2020. Efficacy of commercial toxic sugar bait station (ATSB) against Aedes albopictus. J. Florida Mosquito Control Association 67: 80-83. PDF

Laboratory experiment

Below is a rough reconstruction of the laboratory experiment they conducted. In each of the cages (BugDorm-2120), 100 male and 100 female tiger mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus) were released, then monitored for mortality at 24, 48, and 72 hours.

Schematic of laboratory experiment based on description in Aryaprema et al. 2020.

Below are the cumulative mortality data for the three cages. Result: the Spartan Mosquito Eradicator filled with the provided packet ingredients (treatment) did not result in higher mortality. I.e., there was no evidence the device killed mosquitoes under laboratory conditions.

Field experiment

The researchers also conducted a field experiment using two sites that had large populations of tiger mosquitoes (because of the presence of tires). At each site they deployed five tubes (separated by 4 m), switching whether the tubes were “treatment” or “control” tubes every 2 weeks. A BG-Sentinel trap (without carbon dioxide) was used to quantify mosquito numbers every week.

Schematic of field experiment based on description in Aryaprema et al. 2020.

Below are the weekly numbers of mosquitoes caught in the BG Sentinel traps. Results: there was no evidence that presence of treatment tubes (filled as per company guidelines) reduced the numbers of mosquitoes at the sites.

Conclusions

The scientists concluded that “Both laboratory and field components of our study show that the Spartan Mosquito Eradicator is not effective in reducing abundance of Ae. albopictus.” They speculate that the contents do not attract mosquitoes and that the holes on the device (~3 mm) are too small for mosquitoes to easily reach the fluid inside. They also highlight the need for an experiment to evaluate whether the active ingredient (1% sodium chloride) kills adult mosquitoes. I.e., even if mosquitoes were attracted to Spartan Mosquito Eradicators and could easily get inside, the salt might not be lethal.

Update: the salt experiment has been conducted.