Tag Archives: fraud

Scientists conclude Spartan Mosquito Eradicators don’t work

Research conducted in Florida found no evidence that Spartan Mosquito Eradicatiors are effective mosquito-control devices. Below is my reconstruction of the two experiments they conducted. One was in the laboratory, one was outside.

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.

Here is a photograph of one of the choice cages:

Below are the cumulative mortality data for the three cages. 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.

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

Update: the salt experiment has been conducted. And the result is that salt does not kill mosquitoes.

All of these results are no surprise to anyone. Please see my 2019 review of the Spartan Mosquito Eradicator for details. I also reviewed the Spartan Mosquito Pro Tech, the company’s newest tube. It is just as effective.

Class action suit over Spartan Mosquito Eradicators

Spartan Mosquito is facing a $5 million class-action lawsuit for falsely advertising that Spartan Mosquito Eradicators kill mosquitoes.

The device is a plastic tube filled with water, sugar, yeast, and salt. The company advertises that mosquitoes are drawn inside the device, drink the fluid, exit, then die. The claim is that up to 95% of mosquitoes in a yard are killed for up to 90 days. I reviewed the device in 2019.

Below is a photograph of the founders, Chris Bonner (orange shirt) and Jeremy Hirsch (blue shirt), demonstrating the Eradicator.

Chris Bonner and Jeremy Hirsch

Here’s a PDF of the complaint. Some additional files are available at Court Listener. I have all the files if you are interested.

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 …”
  • “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.”
  • “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.”

Trial

One reason why Spartan Mosquito seems likely to lose is that scientists have confirmed that salt (the “active” ingredient) doesn’t kill mosquitoes. And another team of scientists has confirmed that Spartan Mosquito Eradicators do not control mosquitoes. So there’s rather good evidence the tubes don’t work. It’s likely the scientists who conducted the studies will be called to testify.

The attorney who filed the class-action, Yitzchak Kopel, seems to specialize on companies that make false mosquito-control claims.

I plan on attending the trial.

  • Spartan Mosquito is being sued by the non-profit, Remember Everyone Deployed, for copyright infringement (and etc.). Spartan Mosquito now runs a similar website and Facebook page. Details.
  • Spartan Mosquito is being sued by Lights On Distributors, Bryan Carter, and Think Webstore (the ad agency responsible for Spartan Mosquito’s success) for breach of contract, etc. Documents claim, in part, that Spartan Mosquito hid profits by funneling “significant sums of money” to the company’s treasurer, Lady Josephine Hirsch (wife of co-founder, Jeremy Hirsch). Details.
  • There’s a NASCAR suit involving breach of contract, etc. Brennan Poole is also named in suit. Details.
  • Spartan Mosquito is suing me for alerting the EPA. Not sure when the trial will be held. I plan on attending. Details.

There may be other lawsuits that I don’t know about. For example, the company posted on its Facebook page that a group of scientists at Purdue University is suing Spartan Mosquito, perhaps over the $500,000 prize for a contest announced on Facebook (I’m guessing Spartan Mosquito doesn’t want to pay up). I’ve also been informed that the Environmental Protection Agency is investigating Spartan Mosquito, so perhaps Federal charges will materialize at some point. But the latter might relate to the company’s other device, the Spartan Mosquito Pro Tech.

I’ll update this page as cases work their way through court system. If you have information on any of the above, please contact me.

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. It’s a SLAPP — a strategic lawsuit against public participation. I.e., it was filed to silence me (by bankrupting me). A secondary goal of the lawsuit is to silence others who might otherwise inform the world that product is a complete scam. Spartan Mosquito is likely pleased with how it’s all going at the moment, but eventually it will regret suing me.

Court documents can be downloaded at Court Listener.

The device in question is a plastic tube filled with sugar, salt, yeast, and water. The box claims that tubes will kill up to 95% of mosquitoes in a yard for 90 days. Watch this to see the founder and pitchman. That video will be featured at the trial against Spartan Mosquito (it’s a class-action lawsuit).

The tubes are primarily sold at feed stores in rural areas of the United States. Among a certain demographic the device is hugely popular.

If you’d like to contribute toward my defense, I set up a GoFundMe page. But what I’d really like is for people to send a message to their regional EPA offices. Please tell them to investigate this company. I would also be grateful if you shared my review on Facebook and Nextdoor.

Spartan Mosquito v. Colin Purrington