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Mosquito control in your home, how to get rid of them for good

Mosquito is a resilient insect which only needs as little as an inch (2 cm) of stagnant water to successfully breed. Typical homes offer numerous breeding sites and it is important to tidy up and prevent such situations to avoid a backyard full of pesky, biting insects. If you want to learn more about mosquito traps you can check out our list of the our favourite propane mosquito traps of 2019

Some of the most common problem areas:
  • Tall grass and untrimmed bushes – mosquitoes like the shade and moisture of tall grass and garden shrubs during the daytime, which means that mowing your lawn and trimming your bushes effectively deprives the insect of its resting place. Even an overturned leaf can provide enough water for the mosquito to lay its eggs or lie low, so raking the leaves is also a good idea to keep your home mosquito free.

  • Empty containers – any yard or garden usually has some water containers stored outside or just laying around. Buckets, empty bottles, even children’s toys, anything that can fill up with water is a potential problem and should be tidied up or stored in a dry place. If you have pet bowls outside, you should change the water daily. Creating some holes to allow the water to drain is also a possibility when you have items outside that unnecessarily hold water.

  • Clogged rain gutters – leaves, twigs, dirt or sand and any number of debris can fill your rain gutters and prevent the water from properly draining and as such cause a potential breeding site for the insects. Make sure to regularly clean your gutters to prevent standing water, especially in the summer.

  • Pools, ponds and bird baths – make sure to keep the water in your pool clean and
    chlorinated. When not used, cover it or drain the water, that applies for any kind of pool. Ponds and bird baths are lovely decorative elements, but you should change or add fresh water weekly to prevent insect infestation. Stocking your pond with fish that feed on mosquito larvae is also a good idea.

  • Low-lying areas in the backyard – water always flows to the lowest point and any such spots can retain water for days after rain or watering your lawn. You should fill depressions like that with dirt or gravel or insure that a drainage system is in place to remove the excess water.

Getting rid of standing water and potential breeding ground for mosquitoes is in no way a guarantee that your home will be insect free as there is always a possibility of them breeding in neighbouring locations and simply flying over. However, the feeding ground of most mosquitoes is within a couple hundred feet of their hatching place, so it will surely reduce their numbers in your immediate area.

Reducing the mosquito population, in addition to the practical advice mentioned above, is also possible using natural or biological methods.

Mosquito-feeding fish, plants acting as repellents, bacteria and even other insects can keep the mosquito numbers in the area in check. Bats, birds, spiders and even some turtles are all animals that feed on mosquitoes, most of them cannot be practically applied for home use though.

Many fish species also feed on mosquitos and one of the most efficient mosquito predators is a freshwater fish Gambusia, also known simply as mosquitofish. It is native to Southeastern USA, reaches the size around 2 inches (5 cm) and is very resilient and adaptable to harsh environments, which makes it suitable to settle in your backyard pond or pool. Mosquitofish feed on mosquito larvae at all stages of their life, adult specimens being able to consume hundreds of larvae in one day, making them an ideal method of mosquito control. A dozen Gambusia are sufficient for water surface area of roughly 48 square feet (4,5 m 2 ). The species is a very effective predator and its diet is not exclusive to mosquitoes, therefore its usage is only recommended in closed systems as it can otherwise cause harmful effects to other native species and biodiversity.

Another successful mosquito predator is the dragonfly and while it may look scary, it is in fact only dangerous to other insects. In its aquatic larvae or “nymph” stage it feeds on mosquito and other insect larvae, while adult dragonflies feed on fully matured insects, being one of the world’s most efficient hunters. In the USA there are documented efforts of importing and introducing dragonflies to the local environment to help battle insect population. For your home situation, you can attract dragonflies by providing them a suitable and safe environment for them to thrive. A small pond with shallow and deep ends, surrounded by aquatic vegetation and some flat rocks for the dragonflies to bask in the sun is usually a good choice.

A different way to get rid of annoying mosquitoes and other insects in your garden and around your home is by planting some insect repellent plants. Most of these plants emit fragrances and essential oils that are a deterrent to mosquitoes and at the same time providing pleasant scents for your home or even fine culinary herbs. The best effects however are achieved when the plant leaves are crushed and rubbed against your skin or the plants are disturbed by passers-by in walkways. Both ways enhance the release of the essential oils and fragrance, while masking your own scent at the same time.

Some of the plants most known as mosquito repellents are lavender, citronella grass, catnip and mint in general, basil and rosemary. Most of these are low maintenance plants that enjoy warm climates, which are usually more problematic considering mosquitoes, but can be grown in moderate climates as well.

Lastly, a naturally occurring bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis, which is used in ponds and other mosquito breeding sites as a larvicide. The larvae ingest the bacteria in the water, the bacteria then break down into toxic substances, effectively eliminating the larvae and controlling the mosquito population. Bti is commercially grown in fish meal or soy flour and sold in form of pellets, which are easily obtainable in most home and garden stores. The pellets are placed in water and slowly release the bacteria. Bti is not effective against adult mosquitoes and is not harmful to other animals or even most other insects.

If nothing else works you can always buy a good mosquito trap, some work better than other but at least you’ll see the results – dead mosquitoes in your trap 🙂

You can read more about mosquito control here.

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Home Made and Best Purchasable Mosquito Trap

DIY mosquito trap

This probably doesn’t work, but people still convince themselves that it just might work for them. But go ahead and give it a try … It just might work for you. The idea is that you hang a bag full of water from a tree and this somehow scares bugs away. As we all know, mosquitos and the like don’t like standing water at all.

mosquito-trap

Our List of Propane and CO2 Mosquito Trap You Can Buy Online

Buying a trap is more than just a purchase. You are also making an investment in the safety and convenience of your home. And as it goes with any investment, you should be mindful when deciding how to spend your money.

The traps work in many different ways. Most of them are pretty useful for attracting and killing a few mosquitos, but only a few of them can do it on a regular basis while being affordable and effective enough for you to enjoy being on your yard without worrying about those insect bites.

Luckily, many of the traps were researched by a scientist in order to determine their performance under various circumstances. Dr. Daniel Kline, an established entomologist, has conducted a study called »Large Cage and Field Comparison Tests of Mega-Catch™ and Mosquito Magnet™ Traps«. The study revealed how these machines are able to lure in and kill thousands of mosquitos in a single night. Those rates imply that in two months, the mosquito local population would fall apart.

However, no matter how good the test results, the complete mosquito solution requires an integrated approach that includes reducing mosquito breeding sites while using an effective trapping device.

Our first step in examining these products is checking out the reviews from people who bought those devices. Thankfully, the internet is full of such useful information, so we can easily compare and rate the traps from user feedback perspective. However, we are first going to show how this product works, in order to better understand all the aspects of those devices.

How do we trap a mosquito?

When looking for blood, female mosquitos can fly as high as 25 feet and use many types of sensory organs to find something to feed on. So, what exactly do they use?

  • Antennae that discover the carbon dioxide released from a human or an animal. The mosquito can also sense up to 330 chemicals produced by human skin.
  • Compound eyes that are made of hundreds of small lenses that spot movement and discover the prey. They are very useful for daily-biters that have a more visual approach when feeding. On top of that, they have two simple eyes, sensing any light.
  • Maxillary palpus located on a mosquitos head which is heat-sensitive and allows them to better locate their warm-blooded victim and also to find the veins, that are close to the skin.

These traps lure the mosquitoes by imitating the smells and visuals usually correlated to people. The lure can be CO2, heat, light or any other chemical associated with human skin. After the mosquito is lured, the device traps it into a container where it dies.

In order for your mosquito trap to be as effective as possible, you should put it in a good spot, for it to trap as many mosquitos as possible. The ideal place would be any shady area between the mosquito source and the place where people are hanging out. To determine the best spot, just reposition your trap a couple of times until you are satisfied with the results. You should also try out a few different traps to figure out which attractants work the best in your local area.

The biggest brands are:

  • Koolatron™is the name of the Canadian company, that produces four different traps: The Bite Shield Guardian Pro and Bite Shield Guardian burn propane to release CO2 and use other attractants like moisture, a thermal source, and light. The difference between the pro version is cordless and works with batteries while the regular one requires a plug. The Bite Shield Champion and Bite Shield Protector are electric trapping devices and are also corded. They use Octenol CO2, produced from a coated UV tube and UV light as mosquito bait.

koolatron-traps
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  • Mega-Catch™is a popular line of traps, produced by EnviroSafe Technologies International Ltd. The line is comprised of four trap models; the:  Ultra, Premier, Premier XC, and traps that combine multiple baits, they run on a safe 12 Volt power and use their own lighting, infrared heat, and baiting strips to lure in the mosquitos. The Ultra and Premier XC traps can also use the Carbon Dioxide (CO2) as an attractant. The companies most sought-after product, Ultra Trap is CO2 ready, you just need to attach the CO2 cylinder. They are all better known as CO2 mosquito traps.

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  • Mosquito Magnet® is a brand that includes products such as Patriot, Executive, Independence, and the most recent Patriot Plus. The earlier models got a lot of negative reviews in connection with starting up the trap and issues with propane clogging. The traps use CO2 along with secondary chemicals released from Ocetnol or Lurex cartridges. The models are battery powered or electric and they all burn propane to produce the CO2. They are all better known as propane mosquito traps.

mosquito-magnet-traps

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  • Dragonfly II is a product from BioSensory Inc., a company established in 1996. Their main purpose was to research better attractants to lure the insects and is one of the leading entities in the field. Both Koolatron and Mega-Catch use the BioSensory’s Octenol baits in their trapping devices. The Dragonfly ll is an electric device that traps mosquitos using CO2, infrared heat, a UV light, and other baits. It is programmable with eight different setups. In 2009, the Consumer Product Safety Commission ordered for Dragonfly ll to be recalled due to CO2 pressure sensors that could crack and release a significant amount of CO2. The Dragonfly ll is currently not available, however, they do have a new version already in design.

dragonfly-traps

  • Skeetervac®traps are produced by Ferrelgas company. They are self-powered, are cordless and use propane to make CO2 and use it as a mosquito attractant. The traps also use Octenol lure chips as an extra way to lure in the insects.

The features

There are many ways that these traps use to lure in and kill the annoying insects. But there are a few commonalities that are present in most of the traps. The effectiveness and availability of those features can vary though.

  • Lightning source – When looking at lightning, the Mega-Catch has one of the best systems that flash visible and invisible rays (from a human perspective) on frequencies, proven to be the most appealing to mosquitoes. The Dragonfly ll has also a light scheme while Koolatron lures the insects with a blue light. However, the Mosquito Magnet traps do not have that ability.
  • Attractants – Every product has some kind of lure as it is necessary to attract the insects into the trap. Octenol is one of the most efficient attractants. It was discovered in Africa as a side product of a research into a sleeping sickness in cattle. Due to some mosquito species attacking both cattle and human, the scientists used Octenol and CO2 to lure the mosquitos. It was also noted, that Octenol varies in efficiency depending on the species of the insects.
  • CO2 systems – There are many traps that burn propane to produce CO2. For example, Mega-Catch has an option of an extra CO2 system to supplement its Ultra trap. They have a five setting option that offers the user a choice on the timed release of CO2 from the cylinders. The Koolatron Bite Shield Protector is also advertising a new way of making CO2 through a photo-catalyst method.
  • Heat systems – Every trap uses a heating system model that lures in the mosquitoes. The heat source is mostly found close to the entry of the trapping device.
  • Catch system – To trap the mosquitos, some traps use a vacuum system or a catching net/cup. The SkeeterVac traps have a sticky pad to catch the insects and other devices could have a fan that vacuums the insects into the catching net. Mega-Catch uses a couple of ways to catch the mosquitos. A mesh catch method or a liquid catch container that uses a combination of water, soap, and The latter has a double function as it kills the insects while attracting even more with the help of humidity and sweet smell.

CO2 and Propane Mosquito Traps

mosquito-traps-for-summer

If there is one thing mosquitos love more than sucking blood it’s hot water. Therefore, Texas summers provide the ideal environment for those creatures. Even when not considering the dangerous diseases they carry, mosquitos are just a significant nuisance when being outdoors. Some mosquitos lay eggs in water, others can do it in places that are often wet. So, even if you manage to get rid of all the standing water in your area, you will still not be getting rid of the mosquitos. Anti-mosquito candles and sprays have only a limited effect and do not offer the complete coverage when dealing with those insects.

How Does Propane Mosquito Trap Work?

So, what is the best way of dealing with mosquitos then? Well, this propane traps are a very effective way to make sure nothing bothers you when you are relaxing in your garden. Propane mosquito trap use propane as an attractant, imitating human breath. When mosquito approaches the trap it gets sucked in by a powerful vacuum.

nelson-propane-mosquito-trap

The majority of propane traps are easily maintained, you can move them without effort and they get rid of the mosquitos in up to one-acre area. What’s even better, those kind of traps are safe for kids and animals and are odour-free, unlike most of the candles and mosquito repellents. And even though propane traps use a powerful vacuum to suck in the insects, they still don’t produce much noise, so they won’t disturb your peace.

You will need to regularly buy and switch the propane tanks, in order to power up the traps. All propane tanks must have an OPD valve, preventing any overfill and they have to be purged before you put them in. If you don’t purge the propane tank, it could cause additional pressure that can disturb the propane vapour.

Nelson propane can help you out if you need advice on purging and setting up your propane mosquito container. You can also arrange a regular propane delivery to make sure your trap is always ready and functional.

If you want to know more about propane mosquito trap than watch the video below:

Propane and CO2 Mosquito Trap In Comparison – What Works Best?

The two big companies, Mega-Catch and Mosquito Magnet use two different methods – CO2 and propane.

  • The Mega-Catch devices have a lot of good reviews, mostly for useful features and for being very efficient. The brand has a good track record of satisfied customers and good reliability.
  • The Mosquito Magnet, however, has a lot of bad reviews due to an impractical design and engineering problems. The propane tank in some of the previous models was often clogged and the propane system had a lot of starting-up issues. When the company tried to solve the clogging issue, they put out a device that was also defective, they even had to recall it as some people were injured by their product. Their trap still works but it comes with a lot of negative reviews and other issues that appear along the way.

The propane traps are not just less reliable, they are also more expensive to run. You use as much as a full tank of propane in a month and with the rising costs of the gas that could become even more expensive.

The Dragonfly and Mega-Catch CO2 traps do not use propane. They produce their CO2 by using food-grade cylinders, which are cheaper to have. The tank for such a system can last as long as 4 months.

If you have problems with a Mosquito Magnet you are out of luck. You will have to send it to the company for an expensive repair. There is also no support offered for some of the older models. On the other hand, Mega-Catch CO2 traps are advertised as DIY and can be easily repaired. All you need to do is download the repair manual and follow the simple instructions. You can repair almost any part of the trap with cheap replacement parts. The defective parts of the device can be replaced for free if the device is under warranty (12 months).

So there it is, based on all the facts, I believe the Mega-Catch is the best buy when it comes to trapping the mosquitos as it is versatile, reliable and easy to use and repair. It is not strange that it is one of the most popular CO2 traps on the market right now.

CO2-mosquito-trap

Dealing with mosquitos takes more than just trap

While dealing with mosquitos, the traps are used to capture and kill the adult mosquitoes. A more holistic approach requires targeting of the entire mosquito life cycle.

If you want to get rid of mosquitos for the good, you should make sure there is no standing water in the proximity of your yard or house. Since mosquitos lay eggs in the standing water, you should treat it with Mosquito Dunks to target the mosquito larva or get some mosquito fish that feed on mosquito larva as well as adult insects. The dragonfly also helps as they are the natural predator to mosquitos.

Other precautions include wearing mosquito repellent when outside and trimming your grass and bushes so mosquitos have less resting space during the day-time. The outdoor lighting should also be picked carefully so it doesn’t attract the mosquitos.

Any area can have a bunch of different mosquito species present, and each species acts in a different way. Aedes mosquitos hunt during the day, they like to bite people and are more reliant on their visuals when finding a prey. Culex mosquitoes are drawn to birds and are more of a night time predators, finding their blood meal by smell. Some mosquitoes prefer people, while others like different animals. The mosquito preferences and characteristics vary greatly so you should take that into consideration as various traps and attractants are more effective against some species than others. Even though their efficiency varies quite a bit, the traps still kill a bunch of those insects.

What’s Next?

If you like this article you may be interested in our latest reviews as well.

This are some of the recent publications:

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Our List Of Best Mosquito Traps of 2019

best-mosquito-traps-2018

Our List Of The Best Traps of 2019 To Get Rid of Mosquitos

Are you looking for the best mosquito traps and you want our thoughts about it?

You are in luck because we are going to tell you everything you need to know about mosquito traps in 2018. We will go through the following topics:

  • What are those traps and how they work,
  • Indoor versus outdoor use,
  • What to focus on when buying a trap,
  • Main types of those traps.

Are you looking for the ultimate mosquito-killing machine, to get rid of all of the mosquitos in your area?

Unfortunately, such a thing doesn’t exist yet. However, you can achieve exceptional results using the holistic approach to the mosquito problem. In order to do that, you have to target the entire mosquito life cycle. In addition to having an effective trap, you should get rid of the standing water in your area to prevent mosquitos from laying eggs. If you can’t, you should use Mosquito Dunks, to poison the mosquito larva. Another solution is getting fish that feed on mosquito eggs. Dragonfly is another natural predator that could help getting rid of those annoying insects. Furthermore, pick your outdoor lighting so they would attract as little of mosquitos as possible. Trim your bushes and hedges cutting out mosquitos resting space. Place the trap in the most effective position – in a shady place between the mosquito source and the usual area where people enjoy the garden. It is a place where mosquitos like to rest between feeding, making your trap very efficient. It is also important that you put it in a downwind position if it is windy outside. Otherwise, the mosquitos won’t be able to fly towards your trap. You should also wear mosquito repellent, and last but not least: educate yourself on the prevalent species of mosquitos in your area. Different kinds of mosquitos have different habits and if you want to have a trap with the right attractants for your mosquito problem, you should be aware of what you are dealing with. A good  trap will always kill a lot of insects, however, if you pick it to target the specific kind of a mosquito you will deal with them in the most efficient way.

What Are This traps Made Of?

Mosquito trap is a devices, designed to lure in mosquitos, using different attractants that imitate the signals mosquitos use to find their prey. Be it CO2, the chemicals we release from our bodies, light or heat. After the device lures in the mosquito, it kills him using different methods. It can be electricity, a pool of water or a trapping chamber from which they are unable to escape.

how-do-mosquito-traps-work

How do they work?

Mosquito is lured in using many different attractants. Mosquitos find their pray in many different ways. They are able to sense CO2, more than 300 chemicals that are a byproduct of our bodies, light and even heat. Different mosquito species are more sensitive to different attractants. The traps usually use a combination of those attractants to lure in the mosquito. After the mosquito enters the trap it is met with various methods that kill the insect. They could be drowned in a pool of water, electrified or just closed in a chamber where they starve to death.

Indoor or outdoor traps?

There are some differences in use cases for outdoor and indoor traps. While indoor traps have a smaller reach and are not water resistant, outdoor traps use larger quantities of CO2 when attracting the insects.

Indoor traps

They are most effective in small indoor spaces where there is a limited number of mosquitos. You can place them in a room, close all the doors and windows, and after an hour, the room should be mosquito-free.

Always leave the room or the mosquitos will not fall into the trap – they will go after you instead. The indoor taps are not very strong and are not very effective in open areas or larger rooms. This type of trap is a short-term solution to get rid of a small mosquito population. Indoor traps are cheap and easy to carry. Most often they use light or heat to attract the insects.

Outdoor traps

The main target of mosquito outdoor traps is the female mosquitos in the area. By reducing female mosquitos we influence and lower the mosquito reproduction which can lead to a drastic change in population, sometimes wiping it completely.

Outdoor traps should be powerful and capable to attract the mosquitos in a larger area. Some of the most efficient traps attract mosquitos in a distance of more than 300 feet. Outdoor traps are a very good solution for your garden. However, the results are not instant. You should wait for six to eight weeks to see the results of your outdoor trap. You need to have a systematic approach and test different positions and tactics to get the most out of your trap.

The main types of traps for killing mosquitos

There are quite a few differences when looking at the traps. The main feature of traps is the attractant they use. It can be heat, light, CO2 or other chemicals.

Carbon Dioxide Traps

Carbon dioxide traps imitate the CO2 emissions coming from human breath. They are mostly propane fueled traps: the propane is transformed into CO2 which is used to attract the mosquitos. They are more expensive in terms of purchase as well as maintenance. Another thing to consider is the flammability of propane – it could be dangerous if not handled properly. Despite some downside, that kind of traps is very powerful and effective.

Heat And Light Traps

Those type of traps hunts for mosquitos using either different frequencies of infrared or UV light. The infrared light imitates the human or animal heat, tricking the insect into believing it is the heat of their prey. A UV light is set to frequencies known to attract the mosquitos, zapping them when they come nearby. Heat and light traps are not as strong, however, they are portable and can be used both inside and outside in most cases.

Homemade Traps

Homemade traps usually consist of a yeast and sugar solution, to produce the carbon dioxide, a known mosquito attractant. When the mosquitos approach the trap, they are usually caught by a pool of water where they drown. It is not that effective indoors, and using it outside is completely pointless.

What to focus on when buying a new trap?

Various types of traps perform differently in different places. You have to do your homework and do some research for what’s best for your situation before you buy the trap. Here are some of the things you should consider before making a purchase:

  • The size of your mosquito problem and what is your final goal

If your problem already falls under infestation level, you could be too late for a trap. Even the best available traps cannot completely solve the extreme mosquito situations. In that case, you will have to consider some of the more powerful methods of mosquito extermination.

The most effective traps for moderate levels of mosquito population are those with a CO2 attractant including a long range of effect. If you want to get get rid of indoor mosquitos or a smaller population in your garden, you can also use heat and light based traps.

  • The types of mosquitos in your area

There are more than 3,500 different kinds of mosquitos. Their habits and preferences vary greatly. You need to carefully consider the type of mosquitos you are dealing with in order to buy the most effective trap for the specific species of mosquito that is bothering you.

  • Where to put the traps?

 The best location is a shady place between the source of mosquitos and the area where the people like to hang out in your garden. Another thing to be mindful about is the wind direction. The traps should be placed in a downwind direction in cases of stronger winds.

  • Budget

When buying anything, you should be aware of your budget. The prices of traps vary greatly, so you should be mindful of what is the most effective trap inside your budget. The propane-fueled traps, for example, are expensive also when considering the maintenance cost. They use more electricity and you also need to replace the dioxide cylinders.

Your budget is another reason why you should be aware of what do you want to achieve. If you want to exterminate the outside mosquito population you should go with an outdoor trap, in most other cases, the indoor traps are sufficient enough while being cheaper.

Do I have to buy any extras when getting a new trap?

It depends. If you are buying a light or heat based traps, you just need electricity. You only need to plug the trap in and you are good to go. If you are looking for a more powerful outdoor trap, you could need to buy additional propane to make the CO2. Another extra would be the replacement of the carbon dioxide cylinders and other attractants.

You don’t have to buy insecticide when purchasing a trap. However, it can be helpful when combined with a trap.

Do this traps really work?

The effectiveness of those traps depends on a few factors. It can be the size of the population, the location of the trap or the habits of the mosquito species you are dealing with. If you live close to major mosquito breeding grounds, even the most effective outdoor traps would not be sufficient for your problem.

Another thing to consider is that sometimes the long-range traps attract even more mosquitos which make the problem worse.

All in all, outdoor traps can be a very effective long-term solution when combined with other extermination methods. You should always keep in mind that you need to have a holistic approach when dealing with mosquitos. The combination of different methods will therefore always be the most efficient when dealing with those pesky insects.