“Mosquito Magnets have a primal instinct not to function”

Here she is in her full grey and green plastic and majestic glory. My Mosquito Magnet (branded a “Defender”) . . . oh please. 

Now as a product designer by trade, I am probably more critical of consumer products than the average Jo but this particular product line leaves me scratching my head (with or without a mosquito present). I have had three of these temperamental machines over the last decade and I must say at around the $700 mark (each) I have earned the rights to this little rant! The inherent dilhema I have is that they do indeed catch mosquitos, if fact quite a lot of them, but I never really notice a significant drop in bites. I keep my “defender” running all through the season for the simple reason: “well it must be helping”. 

Like most people who like to spend time outdoors in the summer I have tried all manner of mosquito deterrants; I have sprayed garlic oil and other mosquito barriers, I use dunks like an obsessive compulsive person, I even tried spraying Listerine after hearing that this was THE ultimate 2008 wonder deterrent, …not. I don’t think anything really works effectively, but as long as my “Defender” continues to catch even some of “Satan’s spawn” I will continue to hump the propane tanks back and forth to get filled. (I use about 6-7 cannisters per season (24/7) for anyone remotely interested in rather arbitrary facts)).

One fact you do need to know about Mosquito Magnets, is that all the different models are slightly different.When it comes to replacing component parts, it is hard to get the right one, a replacement net will only fit a specific model – so annoying. They are also incredibly temperamental and very, very twitchy to get started. They have a primal instinct not to function.

Note: Get onto a good anti-anxiety regimen before purchasing a Mosquito Magnet.

I consider it a quest at this point to start one of these machines first time.  It thrives in the arena of futile randomness, an area that imediately raises my blood pressure through the roof in less than a second, (it is like my “Defender” knows exactly just how far to push me) before it decides to function. A new propane canister can work first time or it can take 15 attempts! (oh, and to add insult to injury, each “reboot” takes a good 20 minutes before you really know if themachine has “accepted” the propane cannister)… Nice!
How did we ever make it too the moon?

This is the tunnel of death where the mosquitos are sucked up into a net
where they will die of dehydration. That is if you can get the whole thing

Talking of Mosquito bites, I got 7 filling up all these starter pots with Thunderbird cactus soil, in anticipation of inheriting a bunch of “pups” from my dying Agave plant. I must say the mosquitos have not been bad in Austin this year until this week…..any other reports welcome!

and a lot more to fill up! I got all these starter pots from the recycling
area at Barton Springs nursary…perfect.

The Tower of life, as the host Agave plant dies.
And the Pups . . . hundreds of them – perhaps thousands, I need to do some calculations! 
I plan to start potting these as soon as they start falling off the beanstalk, and the beanstalk is leaning at an 
alarming angle…
The leaning tower of Agave. It is like a Guillotine over the pathway!

Captain she is gonna blow…and all those pups will be scattered 
over the cosmos. We must leave now Captain!
Warp 9 in 5 minutes and counting…….
This is a “tester” that I pulled off the post and planted to see if it will take . . only time will tell! Agaves are super resilient though.

Other Yardy stuff… interesting thingies and such…

picture of the side of the yard.

… and a few more                                 another one of my stock tanks – this one houses some herbs and peppers!

a water lily shot in the morning opening up, I went back 10 minutes later and it was fully open.
A brand new Satsuma – only one on the small tree so far!
And what do we have here! are they growing back again?…and to think I almost 
gave up on them!
They are still not healthy but at least the poor creatures have 
some foliage now, and some more flowers! – a huge step in the right direction! 
They do still cough occasionally when I pass them, but now no incessant 
wheezing or spluttering!

Basil doing great in very poor soil!

Stay tuned for:
“Summer = Insanity in Texas”



~ by eastsidepatch on June 22, 2008.

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