"You plug it in", Ashbaugh explained, "and then you just wait, maybe forever, for you prey to get within dangerous proximity."Last summer, Ashbaugh snagged about forty victims,exhibiting them "like stuffed moose heads," under pieces of Scotch tape stuck to his refrigerator in Maine."Killing these things fills me with a meditative, Luddite sense of bliss," he went on, fiddling with a mechanism that utilizes a clothespin to fatally squeeze mosquitoes once they have been lured by carbon dioxide exhaled by a human drinking straw."Who likes mosquitoes?" he said. "Not bats,not bees--nobody. More human beings have been killed by mosquitoes than by human beings. Mosquitoes have only one purpose: to evolve, which they've being doing for a hundred and seventy million years."

On the same table as the Culicutron were several unnamed devices, including a slingshot attached to a rearview mirror, a rubberized bottle cap, and a corkscrew. Another insect-killer was a spring-loaded plunger that activates a four-pronged pincer and inflicts an electric shock on its winged captive, who has been lured by a light on the tip of the spring. Then, there was a rubber flip-flop remnant, rigged with nautical string so that it flexes upward and, on release-splat!-squishes its target. Nearby was an empty Mason jar labelled "Human Sweat" and a bunch of yellow sponges in a plastic bag marked "Human Bait." Both were left over from Ashbaugh's research phase, when, to the dismay of his Wainscott landlord, he bred mosquitoes in stagnant water on his porch. In the pursuit of science, Ashbaugh has also spray-painted spiderwebs with fluorescent paint.

"Next on my agenda: becoming a plant guy," Ashbaugh said. "I'm going to study the strategies and techniques of Venus flytraps to see what cool tricks they have to kill and scare their prey." Does this mean that mosquitoes can rest easy? Not a chance! "Venus flytraps get fat and hardy on meat," Ashbaugh said. "And mosquitoes are damn tasty meat!"