Through the Eyes of a Mosquito
Did you ever wonder how mosquitoes can find
you at night when there is no light to see you? Are there
so many of them out there that you "bump" into them
and therefore they don't have to see you?
Even though it may feel like you are bumping
into them, mosquitoes actually navigate to you by following
your trail of carbon dioxide (CO2) that you are exhaling and
then "seeing" your heat signature when they get
in closer proximity. This heat signature tells them that you
are a warm blooded host and a candidate for a meal.
Thanks to the technology of FLIR Systems™,
we can see thermal heat patterns through the eyes of an infrared
camera. Colors in the infrared image show varying levels of
heat. The darker the color, the colder the object is. Even
at night, a warm object will look very visible. This is why
their technology is used in law enforcement and military operations.
The ability of a mosquito to see infrared
radiation gives it an advantage as she can hunt in the cool
of night, under the cover of darkness, and still be able to
navigate to a potential host.
The Backyard AVENGER™ uses this ability
of the female mosquito in a most efficient way. By creating
a heat pattern that has the right thermal profile and locating
it such that the only way to get to it is through an electrified
grid, her options are limited!
|Click on the image
below and watch the thermal patterns change
on the Backyard AVENGER™ (8mb AVI)
Notice that the Backyard AVENGER™ is optimized
for the chemical and the heat sensing abilities of the female
mosquito. All of the mosquito "lures" are focused
behind the 204 square inches of "killing zone".
Because the Backyard AVENGER™ rhythimically
operates, these thermal patterns change throughout the cycle.
As you can see from the thermal image of
the Backyard AVENGER™ above, the temperatures are very
similiar the the thermal image of Kyle Mckibben above. The
electric grids which surround the inside of the Backyard AVENGER™
almost look thermally like an array of blood vessels.
Propane traps on the market are not efficient
from this perspective because there is too much heat which
has to be released in the burning of the propane to get the
desired amount of CO2. As a result of this heat of combustion,
the heat cannot be precisely focused. Additionally, it cannot
be set up to rhythmically operate. While these propane-based
traps do have a thermal image, there is no specific killing
zone that combines the heat and chemical cues to focus the
mosquitoes' attention. We have seen units with more mosquitoes
resting all over the unit than in the dehydration net.
|Thermal image of a
top of the line propane-based trap
According to the temperature indicator located
on the unit, this thermal image was taken at the unit's operating
temperature. Notice that all of the heat is generated where
the propane is being burned. Where does the mosquito focus
|Thermal image of mosquito
trap and person standing behind it.
You can see that this device is not optimized
for using the mosquito's sense of heat. The "killing
zone" is identified by the red arrow in the thermal image.
How does that compare with the thermal target of the Backyard
Wizard Innovations, LLC gives credit to
Michael and Kyle Mckibben for the thermal image contributions
to this web page.