MOSQUITO TRAP: An Innovation To Fight Tiger Mosquitoes For Improved Quality Of Life Within Communities

Date: 19 Aug 2020

In the past few decades, dengue fever has been one of the most significant global public health issues with the tiger mosquito as an agent, as the disease is prevalent in many countries all over the world, and it is estimated that 100-400 million people are at risk (Source: World Health Organization (WHO)). In Thailand, the Department of Disease Control reported that in 2020, there were 25,000 cases of dengue fever, with 15 deaths, which is a higher than the normal rate of incidence and mortality compared to statistics from the past five years.

In order to solve this problem, SCG is collaborating with the Pasteur Institute of France and the Department of Medical Sciences, the Ministry of Public Health, to research and develop the “Mosquito Trap,” an innovation to reduce the propagation of disease-carrying tiger mosquitoes and, thus, the number of people infected with dengue fever in order to improve the quality of public health and health services for communities in Thailand.

Striving towards creating an innovation for society
The spread of dengue fever is a highly concerning public health issue in Thailand. Presently, the average rate of infection in Thailand is 100,000 patients per year, with 100 deaths. The Mosquito Trap is an innovation created and developed through a collaborative effort between SCG and the Pasteur Institute of France that plays an important role in effectively and sustainably reducing the population of tiger mosquitoes, the primary carriers of dengue fever.

There are two key mechanisms involved in the innovative Mosquito Trap: 1) the trap and 2) a sponge within the trap coated with a special substance. In designing the trap, SCG took into consideration the natural behavior of tiger mosquitoes and the environment that is conducive to their egg-laying, from the color of the plastic material used, the size and shape of the opening, the water level, and the amount of space available for mosquitoes to fly, perch, and lay eggs within the trap all the way to sizing and functionality for ease and suitability for use both indoors and outdoors. Furthermore, the interior is also coated with a tiger mosquito attractant developed by the Department of Medical Sciences, the Ministry of Public Health, and Ikari Trading (Thailand) to lure mosquitoes into the trap.

The special substance used to coat the sponge within the trap is a functional material that SCG has developed to enhance the effectiveness of BTI (Bacillus Thuringiensis Israelensis), which is used to inhibit the growth of mosquito larvae. SCG has developed this special additive to enhance the effectiveness of BTI by promoting its adherence to the appendages of mosquitoes. When the mosquito lands on another body of water, the special substance will dissolve into the water, wherein it will inhibit the growth of mosquito larvae without adverse effects on the environment and other living things within the ecosystem. Most importantly, this substance increases the efficiency of controlling mosquito larvae in a more widespread area, thus reducing the propagation of tiger mosquitoes and the spread of dengue fever.

Pilot Programs to Optimize Results
To test the effectiveness of the Mosquito Trap, SCG has collaborated with the Department of Medical Sciences, the Ministry of Public Health, to install 200 units of this innovation in both its laboratories and in the field in Chanthaburi Province, an area which is rampant with “forest mosquitoes” (Aedes albopictus) year-round.

Most recently, the effectiveness of the Mosquito Trap was tested out in the Map Ta Phut and Baan Bon communities of Rayong Province, areas which have the second highest incidence rate of dengue fever in the country. This experiment focused on studying the effectiveness of the Mosquito Trap on “common house mosquitoes” (Aedes aegypti). This pilot project was conducted over three months, and the resulting data would be used to further develop this innovation for greater effectiveness before the program is expanded to other provinces with critically high incidence rates of dengue fever in the future.

The Mosquito Trap is yet another innovation resulting from SCG’s dedication to improving the quality of life of people in society by leveraging its expertise in innovations in conjunction with a strong basis of collaboration in order to move forward in defeating the problem of dengue fever and raising the quality of public health and health services for communities in Thailand.