Solar Scare Mosquito





Introduction: Solar Scare Mosquito

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Second Prize in the
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I am pretty sure that there will be people who disagree, but mosquitoes are by far the most irritating insects around. Of course this is the opinion of a person who has to only deal with the itchiness for a few days and then forget about the unpleasant experience. But many are not so lucky.

Every year, over a million people are killed by malaria and there is no effective method to tackle this problem. The only solution is to destroy mosquito breeding grounds and curb the problem at source. As mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, I concluded that surface aeration would the best means of eliminating breeding grounds. It would prevent a mosquito from laying eggs as it can lay eggs only if the water surface is completely still. And even if the mosquito does lay eggs, its larvae would suffocate as they need to remain on the water surface to breath. The device would also reduce the larvae’s source of nutrition as aeration hinders the development of algae, anaerobic bacteria and the surface microlayer. So I built a solar-powered device that creates surface turbulence through aeration and thereby prevents mosquito breeding:

Watch the device in action:Solar Scare Mosquito

This device automatically switches on when it comes in contact with water so that it floats up and starts running when flood-water gets collected. It generates air bubbles that can effectively produce ripples up to a radius of 2 meters. The air pump is timer-based and runs at intervals of 10 minutes to increase the life of the device and maintain a balanced water oxygen level. I have also provided an alarm which alerts if the water body dries up or someone tries to remove the device from the water.

The world is spending billions of dollars for developing vaccines for vector-borne diseases like malaria. However, curbing the problem at source is a much direct and effective solution. At less than $10, this device is not only affordable for developing countries like India, but can be easily implemented at large-scale. At present, there is no such sustainable product to reduce mosquito breeding in water bodies.

If this device is improved upon and ubiquitously installed in villages and cities, then I’m sure the world will soon be free from mosquito borne diseases like malaria and Zika.

Do contact me if you are interested in developing this product or would like to have these installed in your community!

Coming Soon Solar Scare Mosquito 2.0.

For further details, visit:

Step 1: Hypothesis

More than half the world's population is vulnerable to vector-borne diseases. These diseases, namely malaria, largely affect children and poor people and there is no promising solution to eradicate it.

Question: So how can we control malaria using technology?

As mosquitoes transmit malaria and water stagnation is the primary cause of mosquito-breeding, by preventing water stagnation, it should be possible to curb malaria.

Hypothesis: By devising a surface aeration system for small water bodies, it should be possible to control mosquito breeding.

Step 2: Don't Stagnate... Research!

The primary reason why mosquito breeding cannot be easily controlled is that all breeding grounds need to be either regularly emptied or regularly treated with insecticides. Regularly emptying surrounding objects is tedious and often not practical. And employing people to regularly treat water bodies with larvicides and fogging is expensive. Therefore potential breeding grounds are not maintained and stagnant water in common elements of a cityscape like birdbaths, rain barrels, water reservoirs, ponds, swamps and sewage lines become vulnerable to mosquito breeding.

On evaluating the ideal conditions for mosquito breeding, I concluded that surface aeration would be the ideal solution to control this breeding because of the following reasons:

  1. Surface turbulence will prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs on water as mosquitoes can lay eggs only if the water is completely still.

  2. If they do succeed in laying eggs, the eggs may drown or get damaged with the turbulence.

  3. If the eggs hatch, the larvae will not be able to remain on the turbulent surface and get exhausted in the process of diving down and resurfacing.

  4. As the larvae will not be able to remain on the surface and breathe, they will suffocate and ultimately die.

  5. Moreover, surface aeration will reduce anaerobic bacterial development and deplete larval nutrition from the microlayer.

Having concluded that theoretically surface aeration is the key to controlling mosquito breeding, I went on to verify my hypothesis through experiment.

Step 3: Building the Device

The device comprises of the following parts:

Bubble aeration

I chose bubble aeration to create surface turbulence as it requires less power and maintenance than other methods of aeration, such as the use of an impeller or a fountain. For this prototype, I used a portable aquarium pump as a bubble generator.

Solar Power

As the aerator needs to run perpetually, it is not practical to make it battery-powered as the battery would have to be replaced often. So I made the device solar powered. Here, I’ve used a 6v 3w panel.


As most mosquitoes lay eggs between dusk and dawn, the device would be most effective at night. And so with the help of an LDR, which is a light intensity sensor, the device runs only when it’s dark. During the day, the solar panel charges Li-ion batteries and these batteries run the aerator at night.


A 555 timer circuit switches the pump on and off at intervals of 10 minutes to increase the life of the pump.

Automatic Start

In the case of rainwater, roadwork and construction sites, no arrangements are made to treat such temporary water bodies that are potential breeding grounds.

So to deal with this problem, the aeration device automatically starts when it comes in contact with water so that it can be installed in a catchment area and when water gets collected, it starts running immediately and leaves no room for mosquito breeding.


The device also includes an inbuilt alarm to alert if the water body dries up or someone tries to remove the device from water.

Step 4: Get Your Hands Dirty

This is the best part of the project...building the circuit! It takes no time to build this circuit which could potentially save you from those nasty mosquito bites. So get tinkering!


  1. 6V 450mA Solar Cell
  2. Portable aquarium aerator
  3. 2 x Lithium Ion Rechargeable Batteries (laptop batteries - 18650A)
  4. Piezo Buzzer
  5. Perfboard
  6. 555 Timer IC
  7. 3 x 2N3904 NPN Transistors
  8. BD135 NPN Transistor
  9. Heat sink
  10. Capacitors - 470 uF, 0.1 uF
  11. Resistors - 220 ohms, 470 ohms, 2 x 10 k, 100k, 1M.
  12. Indicator LED
  13. Toggle switch
  14. Jumpers

Electronic Parts:

  1. 6V 450mA Solar Cell
  2. Portable aquarium aerator
  3. 2 x AA Rechargeable Batteries (I used 2 AA alkaline batteries as I did not have rechargeable ones)
  4. Piezo Buzzer
  5. Perfboard
  6. 555 Timer
  7. 3 x 2N3904 NPN Transistors
  8. BD135 NPN Transistor
  9. Heat sink
  10. Capacitors - 470 uF, 0.1 uF
  11. Resistors - 220 ohms, 470 ohms, 2 x 10 k, 100k, 1M.
  12. Indicator LED
  13. Toggle switch
  14. Jumpers

Other materials:

  1. Casing
  2. 3 x 2" Stainless Steel bolts (that will serve as water probes)
  3. PVC pipe and fittings
  4. Miscellaneous tools

Step 5: Observation, Experimentation and Results

To test the device, I installed it in a small pond where rainwater had recently collected.

I waited until mosquito larvae began appearing in the pool to ensure that the pool was suitable for mosquito breeding. About three days after the larvae were born, I installed the aerator in the pond and observed the larval population in the pond. The results of the experiment are tabulated in the image above (I did not provide photos of the experiment as the larval population in the pond was not visible in the photos).

The experiment shows that while the aerator was not sufficiently powerful to suffocate and kill the full-grown larvae, within two hours it wiped out the majority of the young larval population and ensured a mosquito-free water body thereafter.

Step 6: A Mosquito-free Tomorrow

My observations have shown that, by preventing water stagnation by means of aeration, it is possible to control mosquito breeding and thereby control the proliferation of malaria.

The aeration device that I have built costs less than $ 10. Considering that every year, the global medical expenditure on malaria control amounts to over US$ 6 billion, ubiquitously installing this device in villages and cities would cost only a fraction of that amount.

I hope that, one day this cost effective and sustainable device will save the world valuable money and priceless lives.



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    Just amazing.great idea congrats sir.just 2 question
    1.Does small turbulence do the job(air buubles dont make strong turbulence i think)
    2.Will it work in large water area or better to use more of this device in large area
    Thanks sir

    I developed the same idea with arduino, but this project is much more viable in terms of cost, I'm doing a study for presentation of course completion in college, I live in Brazil where the case of zika is very high this idea can save many lives , If you can help me how do I contact you?

    This is an awesome device and I live in Florida where there are already confirmed case cases of Zika so I was wondering if it would be possible to purchase one of these from you.

    What a great idea! Thank you. As a person living in Texas constantly under threat of yellow fever, west nile virus, dengue fever, all sorts of encephalitis, and now zika WE in the non-developed world appreciate your work . When west nile first hit, the blue jays were hit very hard so it's not always people who may be vaccinated, the fauna are also effected . Thanks again !

    You're most welcome! I hope this device is available in your area soon

    How did you make it to work only when in contact with water?

    amazing project,will try it soon...

    Hi! I am from Brazil and I loved your project! I was wondering if you could help me build smth similar for my school project! Very good initiative!