Can a mosquito trap solve your problems?
Mosquito traps use a variety of methods to attract mosquitoes (and
most use more than one, since different species respond to different attractants),
luring them into a collection bag or vacuum. While a mosquito trap can help cut
down the population in a heavily infested area, they aren't a complete
solution; while they might make your back yard habitable, they won't eliminate
those biting insects entirely.
Your costs aren't limited to the price of the unit itself; you
need to refill a propane tank (with some models), replace or refill chemical
attractants, buy new collection bags, and keep the unit running 24/7 for the
Other types of devices that claim to control mosquitoes do not
work as well, experts say. Electronic devices that repel mosquitoes by emitting
high-frequency sounds are considered ineffective by reviewers, as are citrosa
plants (sometimes called citrosa geraniums or citronella plants). Studies have
also shown that electric bug zappers kill mostly beneficial insects, such as
beetles and moths, rather than mosquitoes. Similarly, bug foggers are less
discriminating than traps, may contain dangerous chemicals and do not kill mosquito
eggs. So if you need a larger solution for combating lots of mosquitoes, a trap
is the most effective of these options.
If you're considering a mosquito trap purchase, keep the following
points in mind:
work best for small areas. One trap, experts say, may not do the trick
for a large area that is heavily infested. For areas larger than an acre,
you'll likely need multiple traps.
of mosquito traps is key. The prevailing breeze should carry the CO2 gas
plume and attractant odors across the yard to lure mosquitoes. Because wind
speed and direction change, however, some owners recommend using multiple traps
and placing them in different corners of the area they want to cover.
won't solve your whole problem. You'll still need to apply
repellent, wear protective clothing and eliminate standing water where
mosquitoes may breed.
- For a less invasive
approach, try larvicides. Larvicides, such as Mosquito Dunks from Summit Chemical
Company (*Est. $20), can be dissolved into any body of water in your yard, such
as an ornamental fish pond or bird bath. They contain bacteria that kill
mosquito eggs before they hatch, but are not harmful to humans, fish or other
- Introduce predators
that feed on mosquitoes, such as bats or dragonflies. Dragonfly nymphs can
be purchased from companies that specialize in selling insects and animals to
schools. According to Bat Conservation International, a single bat can
capture 500 to 1,000 mosquitoes in a single hour. However, experts note that
bats eat many kinds of insects, not just mosquitoes.
- Don't use
mosquito traps indoors. Mosquito traps use electricity, propane
and/or chemicals, so they should be used outdoors and out of reach of children.
An exception is the Stinger MA06 Indoor Mosquito Trap (*Est. $30), which is for
indoor use only. However, it earns only mediocre scores from users at