Tag Archives: fraud

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.

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.

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

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.

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.”

One reason why Spartan Mosquito is 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. Both of these studies were peer reviewed and are presented as part of the court record. It’s likely the scientists who conducted the studies will be called to testify. The jury, I suspect, will not be impressed with Spartan Mosquito’s defense. It will be interesting whether Spartan Mosquito presents any evidence that their tubes work. My guess is that they won’t.

[In case you might be interested, the Pandora Papers aren’t yet searchable by the general public, but am looking forward to the day when they are. It just strikes me that a $100 million company facing bankruptcy might be motivated to hide a bit of it.]

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 (e.g., here’s Jeremy Hirsch in a lab coat at Bonner Analytical Testing Company). The attorney who filed the class-action is Yitzchak Kopel, and he seems to specialize on companies that make false mosquito-control claims.

Court documents by date

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

I plan on attending the trial.

September 14, 2021

Motion to postpone the settlement conference scheduled for September 24th until after judge rules whether to certify class action.

September 15, 2021

Judge rules to dismiss complaints against Jeremy Hirsch and Bonner Analytical Testing Company, but not against Spartan Mosquito. So the case goes forward.

September 20, 2021

Counsel for AC2T, Inc., submits motion for adjournment of settlement conference to 30 days after judge rules on certification of class action.

October 6, 2021

Spartan Mosquito’s “Answer” to amended complaint.

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. 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.

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.

Spartan Mosquito v. Colin Purrington

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.