Biogents – Science for Your Protection –

The significance of carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide (also known as carbonic acid or CO2) is the most important attractant for the majority of blood-sucking insects. The gas is present in the breath of humans and animals. It is only present in minimal amounts of around 0.04 % in the air. Human breath contains about 4 %, and an adult human emits approximately one kilogram of carbon dioxide per day.

Almost all mosquitoes and in particular the species found in Central Europe and other temperate zones (e.g., house mosquitoes or the flood mosquitoes, which also occur in masses) are dependent on carbon dioxide as an attractant. This is the reason why Biogents traps are operated with CO2 here. We use pure carbon dioxide, and combined with optimum application, we can already achieve an attractiveness similar to that of a human with as little as 200 to 500 grams of carbon dioxide per day.

In the BG-Mosquitaire CO2 the carbon dioxide is dispensed from standard gas cylinders (the cylinder can be stored unobtrusively). It is the same gas that is used in the production of beverages in restaurants and other eating and drinking establishments. The carbon dioxide is supplied to the trap through a 5-meter long hose.

The carbon dioxide for the mosquito traps is dispensed from standard gas cylinders.

Carbon dioxide plays a subordinate role for a few mosquito species that have specialized in human beings

These species especially include those that transmit diseases like malaria, dengue fever, or yellow fever. These mosquitoes recognize humans mostly by their skin odor.

Therefore, the Biogents traps with their visual skills in combination with the synergistic human scent imitation are still ideally suited for capturing these mosquito species without the addition of carbon dioxide. This especially applies to tiger mosquitoes (accordingly, the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti, or the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus), but certain house mosquitoes (especially Culex quinquefasciatus and related species) or a few malaria mosquitoes (Anopheles) as well. Although the use of carbon dioxide can partly increase the capture rate significantly, traps can also be used without it in regions where the gas is hard to obtain.

Carbon dioxide FAQs

Where does the bottled CO2 come from?
Carbon dioxide is not explicitly produced to be bottled, rather, it is a recovered by-product from other industrial processes. An important source is the production of hydrogen (from methane or other hydrocarbons). Breweries and producers of other alcoholic beverages are another prominent source. This carbon dioxide is produced during the biological fermentation. The raw CO2 is then purified, compressed, and filled into bottles or cylinders.

Is CO2 safe for me and the environment?
The main use of carbon dioxide from pressurized bottles is in the production and distribution of carbonated drinks. It is safe and does not contain toxic by-products. The amount of the released carbon dioxide is between 200 and 500 grams, depending on the target mosquito species and their density. In comparison, an adult human being exhales about 1000 grams of carbon dioxide every day, and an average car produces about 150 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer.

How to store carbon dioxide cylinders?
Carbon dioxide cylinders should be stored outside of the direct exposure to the sun and other heat sources. The gas is heavier than air; in case of a leakage, CO2 might accumulate in enclosed areas, especially below ground level, if the storage site is not adequately ventilated.

Checking the CO2 release rate for Biogents mosquito traps

Increasing the release rate of CO2 for Biogents mosquito traps