Beat the bite

Advanced mosquito repellent zings the sting

With the mosquito season upon us and last year’s scare over West Nile virus still on our minds, the abundance of zappers, repellents, candles and coils on the market can be confusing. These products claim to keep you and your barbecue guests bite-free, but are they any good? The reliability of the various bite busters is mixed, but Lentek, an Orlando, Florida-based environmental pest control company, offers a new solution.

You can try the company’s TombTM Mosquito Destroyer. The product uses a technology called “electro-chemical evaporation.” The premise is simple. The Tomb consists of a pad pretreated with a chemical that the company claims is highly toxic to mosquitoes but not to humans or most pets. (but, in case you’re tempted, don’t submerge this product in your fish tank!) The pad is placed in a heated chamber that diffuses the chemical into the air, destroying the buzzing pests. The device emits a light fragrance similar to the smell of baby powder, says Lou Lentine, Lentek’s president.

The Tomb originated four decades ago in Japan under the name Vat Mat. Recently, after getting Environmental Protection Agency approval and meeting Underwriter Laboratory electrical standards, Lentek launched the product in the U.S. The Tomb is available directly through Lentek (888-353-6835) and discount stores. It is available in a tabletop version ($24.95), which is wall mountable and has a retractable cord for storage, and as a small plug-in ($14.95).

Both versions have proven highly effective when used in a space of up to 2,300 cubic feet (approximately 15 by 19 by 8 feet), says Akihiro Hayashi, director of Fumakilla Ltd., the Japanese company that developed the original technology.

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