Meet the man who invented a solar mosquito trapper-cum-destroyer
When Mathews K Mathews from Kottayam district in Kerala invented a solar mosquito trapper-cum-destroyer in 2000, it was the result of years of trial and error. Now, his innovation — known as Hawker — is a cost-effective way of getting rid of mosquitoes.
Growing up among rubber plantations, Mathews had witnessed just how big a threat mosquitoes really are. Keen on ridding the world of this disease-causing menace, he began working on a non-toxic solution. According to Rediff, he said,
This cost-effective and eco-friendly product can be installed anywhere; it does not use any chemical to destroy the mosquitoes and flies unlike other mosquito repellents which emit gases that could cause asthma and lung cancer.
The official announcement on the National Innovation Foundation website says that this device makes use of the smell from septic tanks to attract mosquitoes. Once the mosquitoes get trapped, the heat built up inside the device as a result of direct sunlight kills them. It can be installed near septic tanks which will then trap and kill mosquitoes directly at their breeding grounds. It measures 25 cm × 20 cm × 25 cm and weighs about 1.5 kg.
Mathews hails from a plantation family, with his ancestors having cultivated rubber, coffee, coconut, pepper, and other cash crops. During his childhood days, he spent a large amount of time capturing and playing with rodents and flies. Soon after his graduation, he spent over a decade developing a product that traps and kills mosquitoes. He also holds an important designation at Kine Technologies and Research India, based out of Kottayam, the first city in India to be selected by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India for transformation into an eco-city.