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 might just 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.
Our List Of The Best Purchasable Mosquito Traps
Buying a mosquito 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 trap 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 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 mosquito trap brands
- 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
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.
- Mega-Catch™is a popular line of traps, produced by EnviroSafe Technologies International Ltd. The line is comprised of four trap models; the Alpha, Premier, Premier XC, and The traps 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.
- Mosquito Magnet® is a brand that includes products such as Commander, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Dealing with mosquitos takes more than just traps
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.
The consistency aspect
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 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 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 mosquito traps on the market right now.
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