No one yet knows if the late frost will delay the arrival of mosquitoes, and the most annoying of them, the tiger mosquito. But in Toulouse as elsewhere, the ambient humidity is not a good omen and the first disturbed barbecues are looming. The Toulouse start-up My Mosquito Box is on a war footing, ready to spread its wings to provide for the first time on an industrial scale its trap, which looks like a banal designer planter, which turns into a real insect vacuum cleaner.
The device uses a concept of biomimicry already proven in the fight against tiger mosquitoes: by releasing CO2 – but also a slight odor similar to perspiration “without being bothersome”, it reproduces human breathing and entices intruders which he swallows greedily. Deja vu? “But our device is the first not to use fossil gas. It works with biogas canisters from agricultural waste”, emphasizes Guillaume Lombart. The 35-year-old engineer embarked on mosquito control with Romain, a promotion friend, during a hike in the Pyrenees during which the conversation crystallized on their respective difficulties in enjoying their gardens. “We documented ourselves, with the ambition of producing in a short circuit with a better carbon footprint,” he says. Two years later, they are ready: the devices are manufactured near Grenoble, Guillaume’s homeland, and My mosquito box is “accelerated” in Toulouse, that of Romain, in the regional incubator Nubbo.
1,000 euros per device… for now
The patented device was tested during the 2021 season by its inventors and volunteers. “We can guarantee an efficiency of 80 to 85% on the mosquito population within a radius of 15 to 20 meters”, assures the co-founder. The device is sold in the 1,000 euros and the service includes advice for installing it in the most strategic place of the terrace or garden. The “planter” lure is also connected. Via an app, it sends notifications to its owner’s smartphone when the biogas bottle starts to run out. “It can also be adjusted remotely depending on the weather,” adds Guillaume Lombart. For the time being, via partner professionals such as landscapers, My Mosquito Box is targeting the professional market: cafeterias, restaurants or local authorities for whom prevention is no longer enough in schoolyards or infested cemeteries. But it also supplies individuals, “on estimate”, and is already studying the manufacture of series devices at a more affordable price. And even a solar-powered model.