Tag Archives: boric acid

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.

Yeast-based mosquito control devices

If you’re even remotely interested in killing mosquitoes, you’ve probably seen ads for plastic tubes that are filled with water, sugar, and yeast. The marketing pitch is that the thousands of mosquitoes lurking in your yard will be drawn to the devices by carbon dioxide (emitted by yeast when it consumes sugar), then will all enter the device through tiny holes at the top, ingest some of the fluid inside (because mosquitoes forage for sweet liquids like nectar), squeeze back out of the tube through the same holes, and then die due to the effects of a chemical (table salt, boric acid, garlic oil, etc.) dissolved in the fluid. According to marketing claims, these tubes will completely rid your yard of mosquitoes for months.

Below are details on the eight such devices currently marketed in the United States.

Spartan Mosquito Eradicator

First sold in 2016 as the Spartan Mosquito Bomb, the company says these tubes will eradicate mosquito populations for up to 90 days. Active ingredient is table salt. Company is based in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and was founded by Jeremy Hirsch (a Which Wich? Superior Sandwiches franchisee) and Chris Bonner (works at chemical testing company).

Spartan Mosquito Eradicator

Sock-It Skeeter

Produced by the same company (AC2T, Inc.) that makes the Spartan Mosquito Eradicator. Likely also contains sodium chloride. Here is a commercial about the device.

Sock-It Skeeter

Donaldson Farms Mosquito Eliminator

Marketed to eradicate mosquitoes for 90 days. Owners say that it has “more potent attractants in the lure for the traps than Spartan”. Company is based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and owned by Jeff Clowdus (owner of JCL Tech LED lighting) and his brother Tim.

Donaldson Farms Mosquito Eliminator

Mosquito XT

Company is based in Paragould, Arkansas, and owned by Kevin King, an insurance broker.

Mosquito XT

Spartan Mosquito Pro Tech

This device is essentially the same as the Spartan Mosquito Eradicator except that boric acid replaces table salt as the listed active ingredient. Here is a more complete comparison. Company claims it kills mosquito for 30 days.

Spartan Mosquito Pro Tech

Skeeter Eater

Company says it eradicates mosquitoes for 90 days. Distributed by Copia Products (makes baby products) in Memphis Tennessee and is owned by Wade Whitely. Manufactured in Columbia.

Skeeter Eater

Skeeter Hawk Backyard Bait Station

Label lists garlic oil (not salt) as the active ingredient. Described as “highly effective” and providing “chemical free”, “round the clock”, “full-perimeter protection”. Company is part of Alliance Sports Group based in Grand Prairie, Texas. Owned by Larry Easterwood and family.

Skeeter Hawk Backyard Bait Station

Mosquito Dynamiter

Owner claims the device will eradicate up to 95% of mosquitoes in 15 days for up to 90 days. Says mosquitoes “literally explode”. It appears to be a black version of its Wasp & Bee Sugar Trap. Made by Vic West Brands based in Austin, Texas, and owned by Nick Olynyk, an expert on junior hockey.

Grandpa Gus's Mosquito Dynamiter

Do any these devices kill mosquitoes?

Only one of the above devices (the Spartan Mosquito Eradicator) has been evaluated by scientists, and they found that the device did not work. Also, Yee et al. 2020 determined that salt does not kill adult mosquitoes.