If summer's bugging you, get a mosquito kit (The Citizen's Voice) - Spartan Mosquito
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If summer’s bugging you, get a mosquito kit (The Citizen’s Voice)

Denise Allabaugh
The Citizens' Voice
Location of Publication
Wilkes-Barre, PA

If summer’s bugging you, get a mosquito kit

Some businesses are booming because of bugs. As mosquitoes with West Nile virus start to pop up in Northeast Pennsylvania, Mosquito Eradicators are flying off the shelves at some stores. Yost’s Country Store in Sugarloaf Twp., Moscow Agway, and Nescopeck Agway are among the stores that sell Spartan Mosquito Eradicator kits for $24.95 each.

Each kit comes with two Eradicators that work together to diminish the mosquito population on one acre of land.

According to the company that sells Spartan Mosquito Eradicators, the products eliminate mosquitoes without using chemical sprays, fogs, or candles.

An Eradicator doesn’t require batteries or electricity, just water. The only ingredients are salt, sugar, and yeast, and the user adds warm water and shakes. Spartan Mosquito Eradicators are designed to protect people’s properties for up to 90 days.

Company officials say the products are more effective at controlling mosquitoes than other methods such as spray services, fogging devices, bug zappers, lanterns, candles, and torches.

Since mosquito season has started, company officials recommend people have a minimum of two boxes per acre for the products to be effective. When properly prepared and deployed, the Eradicators begin to work immediately, they said.

Jason Toy, owner of Moscow Agway, said the Eradicators have been selling well. He said he has received positive feedback from customers, and people are buying them after their neighbors do.

Richard Yost, owner of Yost’s Country Store, said he has four Mosquito Eradicators hanging in his yard, and he hasn’t been bitten by a mosquito yet. He said people should place them 100 feet from their homes.

He said the Mosquito Eradicators are more effective than spray services and fogging devices because they are working all the time. Since this is the first year he has been selling them, Yost expects sales will be better next year when more people become aware of them.

Tim Lehman, owner of Nescopeck Agway, said Mosquito Eradicators were already popular in the South and this also is the first year his business and other local stores are selling them.

“It has been a popular seller,” Lehman said. “A lot of times, people come in asking for it after seeing it online or on Facebook. We recommend it. It covers such a big area, and it’s all natural. You don’t spread chemicals in your yard, and it’s easy to use.”

Sales of Eradicators comes in the middle of mosquito season and amid concerns about West Nile virus.

“There was so much moisture in the spring and there have been a lot of mosquitoes hatching around standing water,” Lehman said. “It’s definitely a problem this year.”

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, three mosquitoes in Luzerne County, three in Schuylkill County, and two in Carbon County tested positive for West Nile virus. Statewide, there have been no confirmed cases in humans.

Toy and Lehman said they also have seen increases in sales in insect repellents and flea and tick spray amid concerns about the tick-borne Lyme disease.

Gov. Tom Wolf recently announced he would bolster funding to protect Pennsylvania residents from West Nile virus and Lyme disease as part of the recently signed budget.

Increases to both the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Health will go toward improving mosquito and tick surveillance and education about the diseases associated with these insects, Wolf said.

In addition to using insect repellent when outside, people can follow other simple steps to reduce places where mosquito populations flourish.

These steps include eliminating standing water in places such as kiddie pools, bird baths, and wheelbarrows that can be magnets for mosquitoes, cleaning clogged gutters, and discarding tires or other refuse that can hold water. Even a small amount of water can allow mosquitoes to breed.