Spring is coming – and so are those nasty mosquitos! A number of our neighbors are working together to implement a community-wide preventative strike against these menacing pests so we can all enjoy being outside in our yards, decks, and porches bite free!
This effort focuses on invasive mosquitoes that lay eggs in standing water. No standing water? No eggs! So, the first thing is to be watchful every 3-4 days for standing water in bird baths, lawns, planters, etc. In addition, studies have shown that communities that have a coordinated implementation of installing GAT traps have been highly effective in drastically reducing mosquito populations. The success of this model relies on community-wide organization and individual investment. As of March 5th, more than 60 households in North Woodside have indicated their buy-in – you can too!
What is a GAT Trap?
A scientist in Australia has come up with this insecticide-free way to combat mosquitos. The approach involves two things: using these low-tech traps and getting to know your neighbors.
GAT stands for Gravid Aedes Trap. Aedes is short for Aedes albopictus, known as the Asian tiger mosquito, which bites aggressively night and day. The trap is basically three plastic buckets stacked together. The mosquitoes fly into the trap through a hole in the top bucket but have a hard time flying out. To make matters worse (for the mosquito) you can dangle a piece of sticky paper inside the top bucket to catch a wayward pest that happens to land there.
The traps are low maintenance: Simply add some water and a few blades of grass, place in shade/part shade, and about once a month, pull out the sticky card and throw it away. Then replace the water and blades of grass and a fresh sticky card. Put out between May 1-June 1 and continue your monthly maintenance until fall. The traps come 2 to a box with 20 cards to last you two seasons of use.
Your participation in this effort is easy to do!
- Indicate your participation by entering your household information on the survey accessible by visiting the North Woodside through this online form: NW Mosquito Form
- Commit to a buy-in of two traps, estimated to cost between $50 – $70 for the two. (We are exploring the possibility of ordering in bulk to reduce costs.)
- Communicate with your assigned “Captain” to purchase your traps, attend a mutually scheduled group workshop (no more than 30-minutes) for installation instructions, and then set your traps!
Mosquito Busters Captains* will be assigned to coordinate the efforts on your street. They will be in contact with you for next steps.
Thanks for your consideration to participate in this community project! Please sign up by March 16th.
* In the spirit of “divide and conquer” we have established the role of Captains to facilitate the implementation of this plan among nearby neighbors. The role of Caption is designed to:
- Serve as conduits to coordinate our collective efforts.
- Communicate with their nearby neighbors to ensure the implementation of this project (mostly likely 6 – 10 households per Captain).
Specifically, GAT Captains will:
1. Participate in a meeting among fellow Captains to ensure a cohesive strategy for implementation.
2. Distribute flyers to their neighbors about the program for those who have not yet indicated interest online, with directions on how to join us.
3. Coordinate neighbors to purchase traps in bulk to reduce costs.
4. Distribute traps to neighbors and coordinate a mutually convenient time for a workshop on how to set the traps and how to space them for maximum effect.
5. Pair next door neighbors to coordinate installation and spacing.
It is estimated that commitment to be a Captain will require less than 6 hours over two months. Maybe less.
Added Bonus: This plan will help neighbors connect with one another and form friendships while providing a unified attack to prevent these menacing biters from taking away our joy of being outside!
Questions? Contact the Mosquito Busters Group.
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