So I have this vague recollection of someone describing how to catch mosquitoes using a cut-up bottle, some sugar water and an ounce of yeast. Since I have a love-hate relationship with mosquitoes—they love me; I hate them—I thought I’d give it a try.
Working from memory, I used a fourth a cup of sugar to a cup of water, heated it, then put in half a packet of yeast. I seem to recall that the original recipe said to use more yeast, but yeast reproduce like microscopic rabbits, so I figured they’d just make more themselves eventually. Also, I didn’t dump the yeast in until the water had cooled a bit because I think if the water is much more than 100 degrees, it will kill off the yeast. While that was going on in a measuring cup, I grabbed a 2-liter bottle and cut it in half. I had wanted to use a samurai sword to see if it could cut an empty plastic bottle as well as it could a stack of bodies, but I didn’t have one handy and I didn’t want to accidentally maim a familial onlooker.
After I cut the bottle in half, I put the sweet yeasty brew in the bottom, and then I inverted the top half and wedged it down in there where the liquid level was below the rim of the upturned top so that the critters could get into the bottle without having to swim for it.
The yeasty water might start frothing a bit as the yeast gets all frisky. The theory is that the yeast pumps out some carbon dioxide as it chows the sugar, and mosquitoes follow the carbon dioxide hoping that it’s coming from the mouth of someone who tastes exactly like Matt Usey. Instead of a juicy calf, they find yeasty sugar water in a semi-inverted old Diet Dr. Soda bottle and get stuck there, wailing and gnashing their proboscises until they finally succumb.
Here it is after a few days. No mosquitoes, but a bunch of flies. I had it on the patio table, but for some strange reason, my wife made me move it when we ate out there with some friends (well, it was one of her friends, but I lurked nearby so that counts). Anyway, I think the flies just like the sweet stuff, so I’m not sure if the yeast helped at all. And the number of flies isn’t really that impressive. If you open your mouth and run through our yard, you’re bound to snag at least two.
So, thumbs down on the mosquito-killin’, thumbs sideways on the fly-killin’. Later I’ll just dump old hummingbird nectar in there without the yeast to see if that does the same not-quite-impressive job.