Do Mosquito Traps Work?

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The short answer: YES. 

Mosquito traps have been shown to reduce a significant number of mosquitoes in yards and gardens.

However, these devices’ efficacy will depend on various factors, such as the size of the mosquito population, weather, and proximity.

Factors such as the direction of the wind and trap quality, mosquito traps may bring in more mosquitoes that it can eliminate.

Also, mosquito traps alone have not been proven to work against mosquitoes as effectively as insecticides and pesticides. 

As such, you should never rely solely on a mosquito trap for mosquito control. 

It’s vital that you use these traps along with insecticides, repellents, and the elimination of standing water for optimal results.

What are Mosquito Traps?

Mosquito traps are designed to lure, trap, and kill host-seeking female mosquitoes.

Their primary purpose is to help control and reduce mosquito populations. 

Different variations of these traps use some form of attractant.

Some common attractants are scents, heat, and carbon dioxide. 

These attractants work because it signals to female mosquitoes that their host is nearby.

For instance, most of these traps lure mosquitoes by mimicking the CO2 we produce when exhaling. 

But as they enter through the tight wire or mesh grid, they are either zapped or trapped.

Some mosquito traps use an electric grid to zap mosquitoes upon contact. 

Others use an impeller fan to suction mosquitoes into a net. Others still capture mosquitos by adhering them on a sticky surface.

The most popular mosquito trap is wireless and runs on propane

What Are the Advantages of Mosquito Traps?

  • One significant advantage of using CO2 as an attractant is that they only work to attract insects looking for human hosts.  As such, non-target insects such as butterflies, bees, and beetles will generally not be affected. If you have a garden and need beneficial insects for pollination, mosquito traps will not hurt its biodiversity and ecosystem.
 
  • Mosquito traps eliminate the need to use toxic chemicals that come with some insecticides or pesticides. 
 
  • Unlike repellants, Mosquito traps offer a long term solution to mosquitoes. Most repellants only offer residuals that only last anywhere between a few days to a few weeks.
 
  • They are proven to reduce a considerable amount of mosquito population.
 
  • Unlike insecticides and pesticides, mosquito traps are not susceptible to immunity.
 
  • Mosquitoes can become resistant to certain chemicals over time. This adaptation is one of the most significant downsides of using insecticides for mosquito control.
 
  • But, mosquitoes are hard-wired to be attracted to mosquito traps. And unless their DNA evolves, they will not stop being drawn to CO2, heat, and human scent.
 
  • Mosquito traps are long term investments. They are built to last.
 
  • They are low maintenance. For mosquito traps to continue to work, all you need to do is replace the propane tank every few weeks.
 
  • They produce immediate results. Mosquito traps start attracting and killing mosquitoes the minute you turn them on. And with only a few weeks, you should see a significant difference in the mosquito population in your home.
 
  • They are safe for pets or children. Unlike some insecticides and pesticides, mosquito traps do not pose any danger to your pet or children.
 
  • There’s no downtime. Unlike some insecticides and pesticides, mosquito traps generally require you to vacate the treated area for some time. 

What Are the disdvantages of Mosquito Traps?

  • One problem with Mosquito traps is that you have to run them to produce significant results continuously. Since mosquito traps are often run with propane gas or battery, you can expect to pay $20 to $25 per month for operation.
 
  • Mosquito traps attract mosquitoes in an area. That means you’re limited in where you can place it. In general, you wouldn’t want to position it near areas where you and your family hangout outdoors. 

 

  • Finally, mosquito traps aren’t worth it if you’re looking for a repellant. These traps attract mosquitoes and not repel them. As such, having one in your home doesn’t mean you can skip on wearing skin protection against the mosquito.

 
  • Mosquito traps may take time to eliminate large mosquito populations, especially if you do not run it consistently.
 
  • They are a new technology. As such, further research is needed to measure precisely how effective these traps are.

Are mosquito traps worth it?

Mosquito traps seem like a simple, effective method of mosquito control, but they are not maintenance-free.

Mosquito traps are worth it if you’re looking for a natural way to control mosquitoes in your home.

They are not worth it if you’re looking for a magic bullet or a single solution for eliminating mosquitoes.

Mosquito traps work best when used in conjunction with repellents and other treatments.

Also, they may not be worth it for you if you’re looking for a maintenance-free solution.

Mosquito trap runs on battery or propane tanks that need to be replaced.

The only exception to this is if you use a trap with a cord. But this option is impractical.

Finally, mosquito traps aren’t worth it if you’re looking for a repellant.

These traps attract mosquitoes and not repel them.

As such, having one in your home doesn’t mean you can skip on wearing skin protection against the mosquito.

Can traps replace mosquito control programs?

No.

Mosquito traps cannot replace other treatments because it does not control mosquito eggs and larvae.

Mosquito lay their eggs and grown their larvae in water. They do not develop wings until they become an adult.

As such, mosquito traps only address adult mosquitoes.

To eliminate mosquitoes from your home, you’ll need to use mosquito traps and other control methods.

If nothing else, make sure you eliminate non-moving water from your home.

Doing so will prevent mosquitoes from laying their eggs and breeding around your property.

What Are the Best Mosquito Traps?

1. Mega-Catch Pro 900 Ultra - Best Professional Mosquito Trap

Pros

✅ Uses heat, CO2, LED, water, and chemical lure to attract mosquitoes.

✅ Two catch containers. 

✅ Customized settings. 

Cons

🚫 Expensive. 

🚫 Complicated to Use. 

🚫 Not easy to clean. 

🚫 Covers a small range. 

What I Like:

What I like most about this mosquito trap is that it simultaneously uses several different attractants. 

It uses heat, CO2, LED lights, chemical lures, and water. 

This makes it very effective at catching mosquitoes. 

I also really like that you can customize your settings depending on the type of mosquito you are trying to catch. 

 

What I Dislike:

My biggest complaint about this mosquito trap is that its very expensive. 

Given the price it is only made of plastic which is a bit disappointing. 

I also dislike how it has a much smaller coverage compared to other traps of similar size.

Another downside that I found is that the position of the suction fan is not as strong as other models.  

2. Mosquito Magnet MM4200B Patriot Plus - Runner Up

Pros

✅ Uses heat, CO2, water, and chemical  to attract mosquitoes.

✅ Easy to clean and see when mosquito net is full.  

✅ Cordless – runs on batteries. 

✅ Powerful vacuum to suck up mosquitoes. 

Cons

🚫 Expensive. 

🚫 Wastes propane fast. 

🚫 Mosquito net is sometimes stiff and doesn’t allow fan to work properly. 

What I Like:

The best thing about this mosquito trap is how it uses multiple attractants. 

The position of the chemical and vacuum are also nicely designed to capture as many mosquitoes as possible. 

I also like how easy is to track the number of mosquitoes inside the net. 

You know exactly when you will need to change the net. 

I also like that its cordless and that It doesn’t need a power sources which allows me to place it anywhere I need it. 

 

What I Dislike:

My biggest complaint about this mosquito trap is that its very expensive. 

It does go through propane quite fast. In my experience its using about 1 propane tanks every 1-2 months. 

I also dislike that the vacuum can suck up other dust and air particles which can over time reduce how strong the vacuum is. 

2. Dynatrap DT1050 - Best Budget Trap

Pros

✅ Uses CO2 and LED lights as attractants.  

✅ Powerful vacuum to suck up mosquitoes.

✅ Inexpensive compared to competition. 

Cons

🚫 Short power cord. 

🚫 Vacuum is loud. 

🚫 Not waterproof. 

What I Like:

What I like about this mosquito trap is that its easy to use and comes out of the box ready to use. 

In addition it uses two main attractants – CO2 and UV light. 

It also has a dioxide covered surface which acts as another attractant. 

I also like how strong and effective the vacuum is. 

 

What I Dislike:

The major disadvantage of this mosquito trap is that it uses a power cord. 

The power cord limits the places you can place your mosquito trap. 

It is also not waterproof which means you will need to place it somewhere with coverage. 

Depending on where you place it outdoors it can be very loud and disruptive. 

What are alternatives to Mosquito Traps?

Eliminate Standing Water

Mosquitoes thrive in shallow pools of stagnant water.

So, the first step to eliminating mosquitoes is to remove these.

If you decide to purchase a mosquito trap, I highly recommend eliminating standing water in conjunction with it.

Mosquito larvae live and develop in non-moving water. And they only need approximately 1 tsp of it to thrive.

So, the best and easiest way to kill mosquito larvae is to remove standing water around your home.

To keep mosquitoes away, make sure you remove or treat standing water in:

  • Ponds
  • AC Drip Lines
  • Drainage ditches
  • Neglected hot tub and pool
  • Water bottles and lids
  • Bird baths
  • Plants
  • Tree holes
  • Rain and flood water pools
  • Containers such as tires, tarps, pots, and buckets.

Also, ensure that your yard is designed to let the water flow away from your home when it rains.

If that isn’t the case, contact a yard drainer professional to get your yard graded adequately.

Fix any plumbing issues that cause water to pool, including leaky faucets and other watering equipment.

Make sure to clean any clogged gutter to prevent water from pooling.

If you have any tree holes around your house that pools water, seal it with expandable water-resistant foam used for home insulation projects.

Remove any containers around your house that can cause water to pool.

Ensure you do not have plumbing issues and that your air conditioner drip line does not create water puddles.

If you have a birdbath in your home, drain it regularly to prevent mosquito development. You can also add a water agitator into your birdbath to make it unideal for mosquitoes to inhabit.


Insecticides

Space spray

To kill mosquitoes, professional pest control companies use either ground and aerial space spray.

Space sprays are liquid insecticides that are dispersed into the air instead of a surface. 

While these sprays can be highly effective, their efficacy is dependent on a few factors.

 

Space sprays are most effective in low wind and high-temperature environments. 

They are also useful while the droplets are in the air. As such, the mosquitoes need to be active or flying for the spray to be effective.


Mosquito Residual Adulticide

Residual adulticide is a treatment applied on surfaces where mosquitoes rest.

 

Unlike space sprays, you can apply residual adulticide at any time of day.

Another advantage of this method is that it provides long term control on resting mosquitoes.

That said, a significant disadvantage of this method is that it requires specialized training to be able to use this method effectively and safely.


Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs)

IGR’s are like “birth control” for mosquitoes.

It stops infestations by making adult mosquitoes unable to reproduce. IGRs also block the ability of mosquito pupae to turn into an adult.

It prevents pupae development by increasing the levels of juvenile hormone (JH) in their bodies.

Mosquitoes have high JH when developing from one larval stage to the next. But the JH hormones are absent when the pupae develop into an adult.

By mimicking the JH hormone, IGRs effectively prevents mosquitoes from transforming into reproductive adults.

While IGRs do not kill earlier mosquitoes, they are still an effective treatment for mosquito control.

That’s because mosquitoes aren’t typically a problem in their early stage. They only become a real problem when they turn into adults.

IGRs are also effective at eliminating mosquito populations. That’s because if the immature mosquitoes cannot grow into reproductive adults, the mosquito population will eventually die.

The two types of IGR used for mosquitoes are: S-methoprene and Pyriproxyfen 

S-methoprene

Methoprene works well in a wide variety of mosquito habitats, including both freshwater and saltwater.

This formulation is especially effective against Aedes mosquito larvae.

Many S-methoprene formulations available in the market are formulated to provide prolonged residual activity, sometimes lasting up to one six months.

Pyriproxyfen 

Pyriproxyfen prevents mosquito pupae from becoming adults. It’s typically applied to containers, lawns and other vegetation using a backpack mist blower.

 

BTI / Mosquito Dunks

While BTI do not target adult mosquitoes, they are a great way to control mosquito larvae.

BTI is a naturally occurring bacterium found in soils. It’s the most commonly used agricultural microbial pesticide in the world.

This pathogenproduce toxins that specifically target larvae mosquitoes.

It kills mosquito larvae within 4-24 hours after ingestion.

Note that BTI do not work on mosquito pupae. That’s because BTI needs to be ingested for it to work.

Since mosquito pupae do not feed, they are not affected.

BTI is excellent for places where water cannot be emptied, such as fountains, ornamental ponds, and irrigation ditches.

It comes in many forms, including pellets, granules, tablets, and liquid.

BTI presents no toxicity to people, crops, bees, and animals.

When used as directed, BTI can be applied safely without harming crops or water supplies.

Many BTI products are designed specifically for homeowners and are safe and easy to use.

While some commercial use BTI products may require you to wear a mask when applying, most require no extra precautions.

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