The Best Mosquito Traps: A Guide to Safe and Effective Mozzie Control

Mosquitoes are a public health nuisance, with 300 of the 3,500 species of mosquitoes in the world breeding in the wetlands, coastal regions, and cities of Australia. More than the annoying itch, mosquitoes carry diseases, from the dengue fever outbreak in Queensland to the Ross River virus affecting hundreds in Victoria and beyond.

Jump To:
Types Of Mosquito Control (And Why You Should Use Mosquito Traps)
Pros Of Using Mosquito Traps ( And The ONLY Con)
How Do Mosquito Traps Work?
Types Of Mosquito Traps
Tips On Buying Mosquito Traps
Recommended Mosquito Traps

With neither vaccination nor cure at hand, the best way to protect against mosquitoes is still prevention. This guide takes an in-depth look at one of the safest mosquito control solution in the market: mosquito traps.

Types Of Mosquito Control (And Why You Should Use Mosquito Traps)

There are many ways to protect yourself from mosquitoes, each with their own pros and cons.

  • Reducing mosquito breeding ground is a long-term solution but may not always be effective given how mosquitoes take advantage of the environment, breeding in wetlands and spreading wide due to occasional flooding that happens during the rainy season.
  • Eco-friendly biocontrol solutions such as using mosquito predators may not always be cost-effective nor convenient. But there are effective non-toxic and eco-friendly repellents such as citronella oil and eucalyptus oil. The downside is that they only repel mosquitoes, not kill them — and they are only effective for 2-3 hours, after which you will need to reapply them again.
  • Insecticides target mosquito eggs and larvae as well as adult mosquitoes. They contain chemicals that are approved safe for pest control, but they do require safe handling especially in the case of foggers. Commercial sprays are not horribly toxic to humans and pets but allergic reactions can and do occur depending on the degree of exposure.

Compared to these solutions, mosquito traps have several benefits.

Pros Of Using Mosquito Traps (And The ONLY Con)

  • Attacks in Two Fronts – There are mosquito traps that target adult mosquitoes and ones that target their larvae. This dual purpose is important in order to control mosquito populations.
  • Non-toxic and safe to use indoors – Mosquito traps do their job without the possible chemical hazard posed by aerial sprays and pesticides. Some traps use scents such as octenol (an organic chemical found in plants as well as human breath and sweat), lactic acid, sugary scents, and carbon dioxide to attract mosquitoes; others use a combination of warm temperature, dark colour, and UV light — signs that mosquitoes use to hunt for prey.
  • Actually kills mosquitoes – They are a permanent solution in that they trap and kill mosquitoes versus simply repelling them. Mosquitoes live 2-5 weeks or longer depending on factors such as species, temperature, and environment. So while repellents can give you peace of mind, that only lasts for a couple of hours.

Mosquito traps, on the other hand, ensure that mosquitoes don’t come back to harass you. They also make sure that mosquitoes don’t live long enough to breed. Just because you repelled them doesn’t mean they’re not out there biting another host (a pet, for instance) that can supply them with the bloodmeal they need to breed and lay eggs.

Female mosquitoes have a longer lifespan than male mosquitoes, and the ones that successfully obtain sufficient bloodmeal and successfully breed with male mosquitoes can lay eggs every 3-5 days. They can lay anywhere from 100 to 300 eggs in one clutch. That means you’re looking at dozens if not hundreds of new mosquitoes hatching every 2-3 weeks.

That’s why killing mosquitoes is more important than simply repelling them.

  • Wide coverage – There are indoor and outdoor mosquito traps, and either kind can be placed conveniently where you need them due to their portability.
  • Quiet and unobtrusive – No zapping sound, no loud fans, no strong scents, and best of all: no smell of burnt mosquitoes in the air.
  • CON: Depending on the type that you purchase, mosquito traps can set you back by a lot compared to oil repellents. But that’s a small price to pay for the safest, non-toxic and effective mosquito control.

How Do Mosquito Traps Work?

Mosquito traps work by applying what we know about how mosquitoes hunt for their bloodmeal and then using that scientific knowledge against them.

Mosquitoes hunt for blood using temperature, light, colour, scent, and movement. They use any combination of these to guide them to their prey.

Mosquito traps attract mosquitoes using one type of stimulus or a combination of them. These can be naturally-occurring chemicals that produce a particular scent, such as octenol and lactic acid; warmth and light source (near-ultraviolet rays being the most effective); and small carbon dioxide emissions that mimic animal and human breath.

The result? Once they’re attracted to the trap, they get sucked by a fan or net into a catchment where the fan or net prevents escape. The insects then die of dehydration within days. Other types of traps have water at the bottom where non-toxic chemical prevents surface tension, leading the mosquitoes to drown. That means no more adult mosquitoes to pester you and fewer mosquitoes to breed.

Several weeks of this and you’ll be able to interrupt the mosquitoes’ usual breeding cycle. Some species of mosquitoes cannot travel far from where they hatched, so having a mosquito trap covering your property means you can considerably reduce and even eliminate the mosquito population in and around your house during mozzie season.

Types Of Mosquito Traps

Knowing the different types of mosquito traps should help you in deciding which kind to buy according to your needs.

  • By Location – There are indoor mosquito traps that come with special features such as LED lighting and aesthetic design, allowing them to blend into your house like a lamp. Outdoor mosquito traps are sturdier in order to survive the elements, but you can find ones that are also portable that you can easily take indoors or reposition when you’re out camping or having a backyard party.
  • By Power Source – Mosquito traps have mechanical parts that require a power source. These power sources can be:
    • Electric – requires the trap to be plugged into a power socket. Depending on size, some indoor versions can be powered by USB as they are very lightweight and uses very minimal power.
    • Solar – it can be a hassle powering large outdoor mosquito traps so some of the best-designed ones come with solar panels as their power source.
    • Rechargeable Battery – the truly portable ones only need a rechargeable battery pack. Just charge one and take it with you for overnight protection against the bities.
  • By Effect – there are two types of mosquito traps based on their target:
    • Larvicide – targets mosquito larva by attracting adult female mosquitoes to lay eggs in the trap and then killing the larva using organic chemicals inside the trap. Some versions also use other chemicals to kill the adult mosquito.
    • Adulticide – targets adult female mosquitoes. Since only the female of the species requires bloodmeals (they need it for egg-laying) while the male solely lives off of plant nectar, adulticide can effectively disrupt the breeding cycle of mosquitoes during mosquito season.

The types enumerated above are by no means exclusive of each other, meaning you can find pest control companies selling mosquito traps that have several of the features mentioned above.

Tips On Buying Mosquito Traps

Here are a couple of things you should look out for when buying mosquito traps:

  1. Check for the mosquito trap’s area of application. Some outdoor mosquito traps can cover only 100m2 while others can cover 1000m2 to up to an acre.
  2. The typical cord length for outdoor mosquito traps is 2 meters. Use this information to find the best spot to stick your mosquito trap, and plan for how to keep it powered outdoors.
  3. Attractants are already sold bundled with the trap, but there are manufacturers who also sell stronger, more concentrated attractants separately. They may be overkill for indoor mosquito traps but prove very useful for outdoor mosquito traps during mozzie season, especially if you’re covering a large space with lots of breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects nearby.
  4. Some mosquito traps also attract other insects such as moths, beetles, bees and wasps. This depends on the type or combination of attractants that the trap uses. Manufacturers usually indicate the types of insects that a product attracts. That info should come in handy when you have beneficial insects that you do not wish harmed, such as bees that pollinate crops. Alternately, you can use the trap’s area of application as a guide on where you should place it, such as away from a garden.
  5. While there are products that are versatile enough to be placed indoors and outdoors, aim to have one outdoor mosquito trap and another one that’s dedicated indoors.
  6. Remember larvicides and adulticides? Look for mosquito traps that incorporate both. And don’t worry about larvicides in mosquito traps: they are organic and safe for other animals that might drink from the water trays.
  7. The mosquito trap needs regular cleaning so it’s crucial that you look for a trap that’s easy to clean. A trap with a clear catchment tray should also help so you can easily see when it’s time to clean it.
  8. For outdoor mosquito traps, look for ones with a sturdy, weatherproof build. That’s because you need to operate the trap for a couple of weeks in order to break the breeding cycle of mosquitoes. Remember that under ideal conditions, female mosquitoes can keep laying eggs every 3-5 days, and those eggs hatch within 2-3 weeks. To be truly effective, a trap must be working for several weeks outdoors, regardless of weather conditions.
  9. Like all electronic devices and appliances, always check for manufacturer guarantees and warranties before buying. A one-year warranty is great. A 30-day money-back guarantee is even better!

Recommended Mosquito Traps

  1. Sleep Easy Indoor Mosquito Trap – This is the safest mosquito trap you can use indoors- safe for bedrooms, nurseries, kid’s rooms. Unlike other mosquito traps on this list, the Sleep Easy Indoor Mosquito Trap only uses UV LED to attract mosquitoes so no carbon dioxide and other attractants are present in the air. A supercharged octenol attractant can still be purchased and used with this trap if you want to double its effect. It also looks pretty, and it’s bright enough to function as a desk lamp or ambient light. Just make sure to leave it running for at least an hour before bedtime to ensure that any mosquitoes in the room are already caught in the trap before you sleep.
  2. Terminator Mosquito Killer And Trap – Chemical-free and weatherproof, this latest mosquito trap from Pestrol uses Carbon Dioxide Photocatalyst as well as a scent attractant, UV light, heat, and dark colour to ensure maximum effect on mosquitoes. Users reported an immediate and noticeable decrease in mosquitoes within days, with one reviewer saying “We can now sit outside in the evening without being bitten.” How’s that for a recommendation?
  3. Mega-Catch Pro 900 Alpha Mosquito Trap – This mosquito trap from Mega-Catch uses heat and UV LEDs to attract mosquitoes for up to 27 meters. Optional fragrance strips enhance the trap using octenol as its main attractant.
  4. Pestrol Outdoor Exterminator: Mosquito Trap – With a coverage area of 1000m2, this outdoor mosquito trap uses UV light, heat, and carbon dioxide to attract pesky mosquitoes into a net inside the catchment. You can also get their octenol supercharged attractant which is sold separately.
  5. GreenStrike Mosquito Preventer – GreenStrike’s Mosquito Preventer has a Zero-Hatch Technology that is one of the most potent larvicides in the market. It’s an artificial pond that attracts mosquitoes to lay eggs in the water or on top of “landing strips” that mimic foliage in a pond. There’s a liquid component that’s best used during summer and a pouch component recommended after the first thaw to ensure that you’re eliminating mosquitoes all throughout the year, no matter the season.

Mosquito traps are non-toxic, eco-friendly, and effective against mosquitoes. They also have the least chance of harming the environment and are in no danger of developing pesticide-resistant mosquitoes. They may cost more than bug zappers and insect repellents, but that’s a small price to pay for your health and peace of mind.

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