ROCKLEDGE, FL – June 14, 2010 – Mainstream Engineering Corporation, a leading research and development company specializing in advanced thermal control and energy conversion, has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Army to develop mosquito tent traps for military entomology units.
Historically, more deployed military troops sent into battle are taken out of action by insect-borne diseases than are injured in combat. In more recent decades, diseases such as malaria and dengue fever continue to pose a significant threat to deployed military troops. To assess the risk of insect-borne diseases for deployed military forces, entomology units need to collect and identify local insect vectors. Traditional mosquito collection devices present logistical challenges for widespread military deployment in that they often require dry ice, which produces carbon dioxide as the mosquito attractant.
To address this challenge, Mainstream has proposed an innovative military tent design which also traps and collects mosquitoes using a small battery-powered fan. Mosquitoes are initially drawn to the tent by the odors, heat, and carbon dioxide exhalation of the human occupant. Since no supplemental mosquito attractants are required for operation, tent traps offer an ideal solution for widespread military deployment. Mainstream will produce several prototype tent traps and enlist the help of scientists at the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory to test these prototypes in the field. The effectiveness of the tent trap design will be evaluated in terms of both the number of mosquitoes collected in addition to the number of species collected.