About Us

THE STORY

The idea for BugJammer Home & Garden came up during a discussion on the spread of West Nile Virus, a mosquito-borne disease. We knew most types of mosquitoes were only attracted to a specific type of animal. For example, some mosquitoes will feed only on birds, some almost entirely on mammals, while others feed exclusively on amphibians. The mosquito is a very fragile insect and must leave its hiding place and sometimes fly several hundred feet to reach its target.

We asked the question: “How does the mosquito know it is flying toward the correct target?” Since all living things give off carbon dioxide, we ruled that out as a selection factor. We knew in nature, mammals such as elephants and baleen whales communicate with low frequency sound. Insects were also known to use low frequency sound to attract mates and as a part of defensive or alarm behavior.

We speculated that one of the ways a mosquito finds its host is by detecting its unique low frequency heartbeat sound. To test this, we recorded eight seconds of human heartbeat, played it in a loop using a 9-volt battery and a spare speaker from a car radio. This was placed on a card table in a meadow with lots of mosquitoes. 

We sat down some distance away to see if mosquitoes were attracted to the device. The sound was barely audible to the human ear, but the sound was loud; 70 to 90 decibels in the low frequency range. 

No mosquitoes came to the speaker, but we were bitten by so many mosquitoes while we waited that we almost gave up. It looked like it was going to rain, so to protect the speaker we covered it with a plastic flowerpot. Once we did this, the mosquitoes began to swarm around the card table.  It turned out the flowerpot functioned as a resonator for the speaker.

BugJammer Home & Garden was Created!

We quickly discovered that the low frequency heartbeat sound attracted the mosquitoes, but they would not land on the resonator. To make this happen, we added heat to make the trap seem even more like a human being. The result was the prototype unit we call BugJammer Home & Garden.

We worked with a glue supplier to obtain glue that would capture insects that land with a very light touch and made a glue wrap that fits around the resonator. Once a mosquito or fly touches the glue surface, it’s stuck.

If you touch the resonator cap without the glue wrap, you can sense the heart beat vibration, and on the column, you can feel the warmth. It is powered using a low voltage source, like the type frequently used in walkway lighting.

Introducing Knight Stick

In tests to determine how far away mosquitoes would be attracted to BugJammer Home & Garden, we determined that one unit could vibrate a second unit at a distance of over 1,000 feet. In rotational experiments where all units were turned off, we found that we still captured flies, but not mosquitoes.

This led to the development of Knight Stick a biting flytrap with no electrical components. When flies attracted by the visual cues get stuck on the resonator column, they vibrate and send out a low frequency sound that attracts other flies.

This provides a way to control biting flies in locations where no electrical outlet is available. And, so the Knight Stick was born!

knightstick

OUR RESULTS

Stable Flies, Biting Flies and Deer Flies

OUR VIDEOS

Stable Flies, Biting Flies and Deer Flies

Order BugJammer Home & Garden and Knight Stick