Fighting insect-borne diseases and enriching urban agricultural land by using molasses: a common by-product from sugar factories
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most important olfactory stimuli involved in host finding by mosquitoes as it induces and sustains flights of mosquitoes when intermittently detected. Due to this CO2 is considered to be one of the best baits for luring host-seeking mosquitoes in disease vector surveillance and mosquito control programs. Current sources of CO2 have various limitations; and therefore, there is a need for finding a cheaper source of CO2. The action of yeast on sugar cane blackstrap molasses (hereinafter referred simply as molasses) has been proven to produce ample amounts of CO2that can be used to lure mosquitoes as documented by Mweresa et al 2014. At the same time in the agricultural sector it has already been documented that unfermented molasses diluted in water and mixed with effective microorganisms can be used for enriching the soil with organic nutrients like nitrogen and potassium. The project evaluates the potential of molasses as a low-cost source mosquito attractants for use in surveillance of disease vectors, and whether the fermentation residues can be used as a product for soil enrichment for household gardens.