Our Guide to the Mosquito Trap
Mosquitoes Cannot Be Loved:
Mosquito trap methods are used not just because these insects are a blood sucking annoyance, but eradicating them lessens the chances of mosquito carrying diseases.
Mosquitoes carry and transmit dangerous and deadly bacteria that affect the world population.
They are a real health threat and are responsible for causing yellow fever, malaria, hemorrhagic fever, encephalitis, and dog heartworm.
Repel Mosquitoes with Light and Our Breathe:
According to reliable mosquito trap reviews, the more popular mosquito trap is the night active, ultraviolet light traps.
Nighttime mosquitoes, like other insects, are attracted to light and this bait lures them in for destruction.
This outdoor trap involves an electric coil which zaps mosquitoes.
Other mosquito trap reviews have reported that traps for mosquitoes that mimic a body’s exhale of carbon-dioxide, does also attract mosquitoes.
A carbon-dioxide mosquito trap is designed for the female biting mosquitoes and its effects have been touted as more effective than other traps.
Many carbon-dioxide traps effectively mimic our body temperatures that mosquitoes are attracted to.
Propane Mosquito Traps:
The smart technology that a propane mosquito trap uses, converts propane into carbon dioxide, heat, and moisture to fake the issuance of a human breath.
The propane mosquito trap contains an attractant net that captures and holds the insects until a light indicator shows that the net should be changed.
This model is the most expensive, but the most effective cordless trap which costs between $250 to $400 and it can be used outdoor and also serves as an indoor mosquito trap.
Using Odor to Attract Mosquitoes:
Another mosquito trap involves odor.
Yes, mosquitoes, especially the biting female is very attracted to the human body’s sweat and the scent of lactic acid caused by red blood cells.
This latest technology is categorized as a “bio-sensory” bait trap.
Mosquitoes can smell humans at least 100 yards away, but they can only see humans from 30 feet away.
A bio-sensory mosquito trap is a thermal lure and is the second most attractive lure for mosquitoes.
These traps can be used both, as an outdoor or indoor mosquito trap.
The cost of these advanced technology traps are used at residential and commercial locations at a price of around $300-$400.
The Evolution of Mosquitoes and Citronella:
Mosquitoes have evolved into 3,000 different species, which is why they are found around the world, even in cold climates like Alaska.
Their instincts are the same whether they bite a human, a bird, fish, or animals, they need blood.
Everyone is familiar with the citronella candles as mosquito repellents.
The reason mosquitoes don’t bite if the body is near a citronella products is that it simply does not smell good to them.
Citronella still works well, but advanced methods have produced candles that block a mosquito’s ability to smell our body excretions that they are attracted to – in other words it serves as a scent inhibitor.
This product is available on shelves in a candle form or in a jar, with a price between $20 to sets that cost $50.
The best domestic mosquito trap technology is using as many attractant methods as possible.
Whether we wear a repellent, sit them nearby, or hang them around us, they are becoming very effective to keep everyone safe and healthy.
Background on Mosquito Traps:
Mosquito traps are designed to attract, then either contain or kill, mosquitoes. The general idea is to reduce the number of mosquitoes that would otherwise be afflicting the home, campsite, etc. The goal when using a mosquito trap or traps is to significantly reduce or even collapse local mosquito populations by decreasing the number of egg-laying females through their kill or capture.
The power source for each type of trap varies. Some traps are totally self-contained and utilize propane to provide both the power for the unit and a source of carbon dioxide as an attractant. The advantage of these self-contained units is their portability; this allows the trap to be placed at a considerable distance away from the home, campsites and their respective electrical outlets. This portability may be an important consideration for those that have properties with over an acre in area, allowing mosquitoes to be intercepted long before they come into the vicinity of human activity. The convenience of this portability comes at a price, though, because the necessary thermoelectric generator is quite expensive. This thermoelectric generator uses excess heat from the combustion process to generate electricity – this electricity is used to run the intake fans. As an alternative to the propane powered self-contained units, most other units rely upon power cords utilizing AC outlets. The limitation of these is of course the boundary at which you are able to supply electricity, meaning you may face the prospect of running lengthy extension cords if you wish to place the trap at considerable distance from the power source. Importantly though, the price of the electric-powered units is significantly less than their self-contained counterparts.
All of these traps utilize an attractant that is used to lure the host-seeking female mosquitoes to a capture or killing device. Some fans utilize an impellor fan that sucks the mosquitos into a net, where they wither and die, while other trapping systems use a sticky surface to which the mosquitoes adhere when they land. A third option utilizes an electric grid to electrocute mosquitoes that fly into contact. The types of attractants used are generally variations on a common theme that imitate the mammalian scents and body heat that provide host cues to female mosquitoes on the lookout for a meal. The vast majority of traps use carbon dioxide as the primary attractant, produced either through the combustion of propane or with a CO2 cylinder. From the research I could find online, the CO2 is released at between 350m (for propane) and 500 ml/min (cylinder with regulator). The plume of CO2 that is produced mimics the volume of human exhalation and thus makes these traps quite effective at capturing blood-feeding insects looking for human hosts. Since the attractants are of this type, non-target insects such as moths and beetles will be largely unaffected. The CO2 is often enhanced with 1-Octen-3-ol (a derivative of gasses produced in the rumen of cows) to increase attractiveness by several orders of magnitude. In areas where the Asian Tiger mosquito is the local nuisance, specific lures must be used for effective capture. The BG-Sentinel Trap has proved to be an excellent option for capturing large numbers of this species compared to other traps. None of these traps is a set-and-forget device; each requires some level of maintenance, i.e. propane tanks need replacement, capture nets need emptying, adhesive boards require replacement and grids require cleaning to ensure their continued effectiveness. All maintenance activity is of course heightened in areas of high mosquito density and high catch.
The procedure for a mosquito searching for a blood meal involves a complex, interconnected cascade of behaviors, with each probably having its own cues, these being visual, thermal, or olfactory. The complexity of these questing behaviors may account for the extreme and bewildering variations in trapping efficiency noted for certain species of mosquitoes at different times, seasons and places. Since there are 176 species of mosquitoes recognized in the United States, this is no small issue and will likely require many years before research can provide some clarification. There is anecdotal evidence that baited traps capture more females of some species than others, depending at least partially on the concentration of carbon dioxide emitted, the type of lure used and the local mosquito species that are present. There may also be seasonal, and possibly even circadian, variables that impact mosquito responses to certain types of attractants. For example, a few years ago the Salt Lake City Mosquito Abatement District ran a comparison test of the Mosquito Magnet with an American Biophysics ABC trap. Each trap was operated for one night and then switched to the other’s location over a two-week period. The Mosquito Magnet captured enormous numbers of Ochlerotatus sierrensis, the western tree hole mosquito, but few Culex pipiens, Culex tarsalis, or Ochlerotatus dorsalis. The ABC trap performed just the opposite, capturing great numbers of Culex pipiens. The reasons for this are not entirely clear, but serve to underscore the need for more research and to point out that each trap may have its own operational use. (research info source: mosquito.org)
Nonetheless, these devices can trap and kill measurable numbers of mosquitoes. Whether this will produce a noticeable reduction in the local mosquito population in each case will depend upon a number of factors such as absolute mosquito population size, proximity, and the size and type of the breeding habitat that could produce re-infestation. Wind velocity and direction, along with diversity in the species of mosquito present, could also make a difference. Depending upon their placement, the prevailing wind direction, and inherent trapping efficiency, traps could actually draw more mosquitoes into an area (via their strong attractants) than they can possibly catch. We would thus always recommend that the homeowner or property owner still use repellents and practice source reduction methods as aides to realize any measure of sustained mosquito relief.
We would always caution you against putting too much faith in traps as your sole means of control. Mosquito traps represent an evolving technology that is a most welcome addition to our mosquito control arsenal. It’s highly unlikely, perhaps even impossible, that these devices will ever fully supplant organized community-wide mosquito control programs. Ultimately there is no single silver bullet that will prove to be the perfect answer to mosquito problems. Effective mosquito management requires integrating a variety of available control strategies including surveillance, source reduction, biological control methods, traps, environmentally friendly larvicides, and, when necessary, application of public health adulticides. Such a comprehensive program is able to exploit the many known mosquito vulnerabilities. Such programs are the result of almost one hundred years of experience in making mosquito control in the United States the safest and most technologically proficient in the world today.
Photo Credit: Australian Department of Defence