Recipe for a flytrap

Crushed seashells and vinegar or baking soda and fruit acid could be the ingredients of a new insect lure that could be used to monitor and ultimately reduce the deadly impact of disease-bearing insects in Africa, according to researchers at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. The readily available materials could be used to generate mosquito-attracting carbon dioxide, which is not as accessible a commodity in gas cylinder form in remote parts of the developing world as it is in a well-equipped laboratory elsewhere. In field trials, the team could trap thousands of mosquitoes by luring them into the trap with carbon dioxide generated by the reaction of sodium bicarbonate and citric acid, for instance. “We developed and tested inexpensive and easily reproducible methods of carbon dioxide production from the combination of acids and carbonates,” said Burkett-Cadena, a faculty member at the University of Florida's Vero Beach laboratory in Burkina Faso.