Mosquito Trap discussion - are they effective or not?

Hello,
I am the webmaster of www.mosquitotalk.com . I created this public forum for people to discuss mosquito control issues, and hopefully bridge some of the gaps between the vast technical knowledge of the scientific community and the plain English that the public can easily understand.
For me personally, I bought 3 different mosquito traps before I read enough and understood how they are supposed to work (or not). So I hope you all can visit the website and discuss mosquito and other pest control issues there. It's the only free public discussion message board on the web that is dedicated exclusively to mosquito and vector control issues.
With highest regards,
Leon Y. Webmaster of mosquitotalk.com
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Are you trying to plug a website? or actually tell us what products you've tried.
Anyone who is able to use stand upright with out dragging their knuckles and can use Google.com can find out what works well in controlling mosquitoes. Heck just calling the local vector control or water district will work as well.
For the lazy, here's a summary 1: reduce standing water 2: introduce mosquito fish to ponds 3: use mosquito dunks or mosquito bits in ponds and ditches 4: use mosquito magnets, which use an attractant and carbon dioxide to lure mosquito into the traps.
-S
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snipped-for-privacy@avoidant.org says...
:) :) > Hello, :) > :) > I am the webmaster of [snip]. I created this public :) > forum for people to discuss mosquito control issues, and hopefully :) > bridge some of the gaps between the vast technical knowledge of the :) > scientific community and the plain English that the public can easily :) > understand. :) > :) > Leon Y. :) > Webmaster of [snip].com :) :) Are you trying to plug a website? or actually tell us what products you've :) tried. :) :) Anyone who is able to use stand upright with out dragging their knuckles and :) can use Google.com can find out what works well in controlling mosquitoes. :) Heck just calling the local vector control or water district will work as :) well. :) :) For the lazy, here's a summary :) 1: reduce standing water Reduce the standing water for breeding purposes, though the majority of yards I treat for mosquito issues have no water problems at all, just a shady area for the insects to hide from the heat.
:) 2: introduce mosquito fish to ponds Do so knowing they will feed on most aquatic life in the ponds such as dragonfly/damselfly nymphs frog eggs-small tadpoles and fry of desirable fish. They also breed quickly and unless there is a population of a predator fish their numbers can get out of control.
:) 3: use mosquito dunks or mosquito bits in ponds and ditches they will effect other aquatic insects such as dragonfly/damselfly nymphs
:) 4: use mosquito magnets, which use an attractant and carbon dioxide to lure :) mosquito into the traps. :) still seems to be too much money for the lack of results. I would bet 95% of my "mosquito" customers have had the various models and took them back or have them sitting unused from dissatisfaction.
--
Lar

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This is frequently the ONLY control required to keep mosquitos out of a small area, depending on regional species & their flight range. Unfortunately adult mosquitos may come from some little distance & stick around inhabiting even dry meadowy areas by day & coming out of the grass to bite at dusk. The only way to get rid of them would be to get rid of the plant life, which gardeners are unwilling to do.

This is useless advice for most garden water features & birdbaths which are too small to sustain fish. It will keep a pond large enough for fish free of mosquito larvae but also free of many valuable insects including several that control mosquitos or a broader range of garden pests. Making it a dragonfly pond instead of a fish pond is worth considering.

Bacillus thuringiensis dunks do work & are apparently harmless to beneficial insects & other animal life. So presumedly one could establish a dragonfly pond & not harm it by including dunks, & they work especially well in small water features.

The carbondioxide mosquito traps are great if you are studying mosquitos for any number of scientific reasons. In this context they are "very effective." In terms of impacting the mosquito population around a residence, they are as close to worthless as anything that could be tried, with the effectiveness-to-cost ratio making traps even more absurd since "cheap" ones can cost $300 merely to sample a very small area.
Mosquito traps don't really dent the population, which relies on such factors as flight range, habitat, & feeding behaviors of the numerous mosquito species, none of which factors are seriously impacted by trapping.
I've seen carbondioxide vaccuum traps sold for the high-hundreds of dollars to over a thousand dollars plus attachments. They come with the wildest claims of efficiency. But independent studies such as those conducted at the University of Florida show that thet raps work spectacularly well only for sampling. Some species can't even be sampled by CO2 as attractant; when for research purposes specific species need to be sampled, attractants for that specific species are used. The garden gizmos are, like most garden gizmos, complete frauds when represented as effective mosquito controls, but it's another case of vendor propoganda being easily encountered, with scientific data generally in specialized peer-review publications & university experimental station newsletters not seen by the common masses. Also the scientific data can be befuddling & easily misrepresented, whereas the fraudulant claims will be declarative & easily understood no matter the degree of falsehood.
In the face of independent research showing these devices merely sample but do not control mosquito populations, the growing industry to sell the devices for purposes they are not useful for is fighting back. Rather large websites promote these costly devices in the glowingest terms. They claim they are honing the excellence of their technology every day & studies that showed the devices possess limited value as conducted in 2002 failed to test what they are selling in 2005, & other excuses. They can also quote the studies out of context very effectively since some of the most expensive baited vaccuum devices sample HUGE numbers of mosquitos -- these cost $300 to $1000+ each plus high maintainance cost to maintain CO2 tanks & propane tanks for operation (the two tanks sometimes needing to be purchased & maintained separately from the trap). If you put three or four of these on each side of your house investing perhaps $10,000 to get rid of mosquitos, the impact on the overall population might actually be measurable in that small area. So all the vendors need to quote from independent studies is that a few of the baited vaccuum devices are "very effective" & merely leave out the specifics that reveal them to be either useless or impractical for what a home owner expects to achieve.
The industry has also fought back by establishing & funding a non-profit organization to promote the traps (American Mosquito Control Association) in an attempt to make it look like industry propoganda comes from someone other than vendors. But the AMCA is the OPPOSITE of a reliable source of information on home mosquito control & the only technology being "refined" is the technology of sales.
Because the traps DO "sample" the mosquito population very handily, the vendors will always be able to truthfully say the traps catch mosquitos. They only need to avoid the greater fact that the impact on the biting population is zippo.
-paghat the ratgirl
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I suppose my reply was biased by the fact I spent a lot of time this summer with my friend in his family's rice fields, in Sacramento area. Get caught in the fields near sunset and you're an instant buffet.
This year because of concerns with west nile, the vector control district would add mosquito fish to the flooded fields, spray something, which I assumed was Bacillus thuringiensis along with having some fogger trucks spray insecticide every few nights. The fogger trucks reminded me of the DDT spraying trucks from the 50s.
His back yard is basically a rice field, they have two mosquito magnets, one on either side of the patio, and it keeps the mosquito levels to a tolerable level, otherwise you couldn't grill or eat outside. I suppose that just tossing a block of dry ice on either end of the patio would also work, by flooding the area with CO2 and preventing the mosquitoes from locating a food source. His mosquito magnet, uses a combination of propane generated CO2 and Octenol as an attractant.
In my own experience, I keep mosquito fish and koi in a 1200 gal pond, along with b.t and sweep out the standing water from the drainage ditch. That helps keep the mosquito level down. Dragonfly and damsel flies seem to survive just fine with the presence of b.t. and predatory fish. I often find dragonfly larva in the main pond area hiding among the plants, and in the fishless filters.
-S
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