What’s Growing On: Inzecto vs. Mosquitos

Thousands of Mosquito Traps Being Donated to SW Florida
Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 5:27 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Mosquito season in North Central Florida is wrapping up but people in southwest Florida are still feeling the impact of the insects, especially in areas hit hard by Hurricane Ian.

And in this week’s What’s Growing On, TV20s Scott Gagliardi tells us about a scientist at the University of Florida who is donating mosquito traps he helped create to hurricane victims.

His name is Dr. Phil Koehler and he is a former professor at UF in the Entomology and Nematology department.

This product developed in a University of Florida lab designed to protect American soldiers from insect-borne diseases is helping wage war against the surge of mosquitoes in areas hardest hit by Hurricane Ian.

Koehler says, “We actually first developed the mosquito Inzecto Mosquito trap for use with out deployed forces. It was funded by the department of defense in their deployed warfighter protection program.”

In World War 2 more troops were dying due to malaria rather than opposition forces, so this kind of technology was crucial.

For a decade worked to perfect the science behind the traps. He partnered with a Gainesville based business, Inzecto, to produce them, and the way it works is pretty simple.

A tea bag filled with organic matter inside the trap makes water smell stagnant. High humidity and low air flow attract mosquitos.

The trap is activated by adding water and lasts for three months. All mosquito larvae are killed by the micro-dose coating of insecticides when female mosquitoes enter the trap to lay their eggs

This week, Inzecto donated 100,000 traps to communities struggling with large mosquito populations as a result of the floodwaters left behind by Hurricane Ian’s rain and storm surge.

Koehler tells us, “Some of the traps were actually flown onto Sanibel Island the other day by helicopter in order to make them available to residents there.”

Koehler says mosquito eggs can live for several years without touching any water, so when floodwaters rise it allows hatchlings from not just this year, but the last five years.

The $2.3 million dollar donation was deployed to four florida counties, including Orange, Lee, Charlotte and Collier.

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