Propane-powered Mosquito Traps: What's the deal? Do they work?

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I remember seeing these propane-powered mosquito traps at local big-box hardware stores a few years ago, but I don't think I've seen any of them lately. They retailed for around $300 and up to $450 if I remember correctly. Some brand names include Skeeter Vac and Mosquito Magnet.
The premis is that they gave off a carbon-monoxide (or co2?) scent (by burning propane) which would attract mosquitoes into a one-way bag where they'd die. Some of the claims were that one unit was good for about an acre of coverage.
The reviews on Amazon are mixed. Some claim it catches everything but mosquitoes, some claim it works great on them. Many don't like the ongoing cost of replacing sticky paper.
Some employ some combination (or all?) of these methods: heat, co2, octenol, lactic acid, suction, blinking lights, sticky paper.
What's the verdict on these things? Are they effective?
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Yard Guy wrote: ...

I've seen no independent testing results that indicated they're more effective than alternatives tested--which is pretty much why they're not particularly widespread; it appears that most of the glowing testimonials are either sponsored "research" (read advertising hype) or self-justification of the $$ spent to avoid admitting have been suckered.
It's been a while since I looked but google found several studies a while back from various land-grant universities, etc., that concluded they're of minimal help if any...
--
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dpb wrote:

That can only be because some werent that well designed.
Its been known for a long time now what attracts mosquitos.
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Rod Speed wrote:

May be so; as noted the testing results I remember seeing didn't demonstrate significantly higher preferential capture rates for the devices. Particularly, they weren't effective for anything even remotely approaching the acreage coverage claims iirc...
There are likely newer studies available; others are welcome to pursue it. Seems like it was LSU extension maybe(???) that had some of the most extensive that I saw previously but I'm not certain of that any longer....
--
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dpb wrote

No maybe about it.

Higher than what ? If they capture anything, they must be working better than no device at all.

Different matter entirely.

Sounds like you are comprehensively garbling what they actually said.
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Rod Speed wrote:

...
You're taking that away from the rest of the sentence it was modifying to infer a totally different meaning from what I said...
Certainly it's know what attracts skeeters to live critters; what's not so clear is that the artificially-generated attempts are effective.
...

Than the other devices in the test, obviously... :(

But still a portion of the test and how effective they are for practical use. So what if even if they were 100% effective in a small radius--you going to limit your position into that area? The devices are typically advertised as covering sizable fractions of an acre.

No; the conclusions were they were no more effective than other traps tested w/o the CO2 attractants...
As they say, "you can look it up"... :)
--
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dpb wrote:

You're lying.

Corse its perfectly possible to provide the CO2, heat and odours etc that are the same as what live humans produce.

That means that those other devices are perfectly viable mosquito traps, stupid.

Wrong on that last.

You havent established that they only work over a small area.

Irrelevant if you dont need as much as that.

Yep.
Easy to claim. Have fun actually substantiating that claim.

As they say,
YOU made that claim about what they purportedly said.
YOU get to demonstrate that any actually said what you claim they said.
THATS how it works.
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Rod Speed wrote: ...

FOAD, dickhead...

Not w/o the same generating mechanism, no...there's more than just CO2 and the odors aren't all that simple to generate.
...

But it also means the CO2-baited traps ain't worth the extra expense which I presumed anybody w/ the least amount of intelligence would realize is all that was said....

...
IOW, just a fan to suck the critters in and trap 'em was more effective than the expensive, fancy traps.
--
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That's how the ignorant think it works. More knowledgeable persons simply refute, then may or may not chastise.
Any device may kill tons of mosquitoes. Whether those kills provide adequate relief is another story entirely.
Gas/smoke/heat emitting devices are obviously dependent on the speed and direction of the wind, a severe limitation of effectiveness.
As a former PCO who lives in the woods with a SO who is outdoors morning to usually late night I recommend materials that both kill and repel. I use Tempo Ultra WP (available on eBay at nearly PCO $) applied at a 0.10 concentration with a Birchmeier 2-1/2 gallon sprayer (the Cadillac of sprayers). http://www.birchmeier.com/English/Aboutus/Portrait/tabid/88/Default.aspx http://www.itbcompany.com /
The big downside is that pyrethrin insecticides, while safe for mammals, aren't selective; they kill pretty much everything.
They are also quickly degraded by UV light (@48 hrs direct sunlight) and while they will stick pretty good during a heavy rain, two rains and they're in the dirt (it's been a tough year here in this regard, it's rained twice every 3-4 days).
Another consideration is swimming pools. Get much in one by spray or tracking) and you'll have algae growing like you've never seen before.
I spray everything in the vicinity; trees, grass, bushes, walls, deck railing, being careful of overspray drift in the pool.
SWMBO sits out in her bikini unmolested by anything but me.
No "electronic" pest repellent/killer has been demonstrated to have much effectiveness outdoors.
(I once met a client at a pet store and we put his new $50 electronic rodent device in an aquarium full of mice. They immediately crawled all over it.) -----
- gpsman
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gpsman wrote:

(snip)
Now if somebody could just come up with an electronic repellent for Rod Speed... (talk about futile battles...)
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aemeijers wrote:

If it weren't for people QUOTING HIM, people like me would have forgotten about him a long time ago.
Jon
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Still working on those "people skills", I see.
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Good luck in your search. Like you, I've seen comments from those that swear by them and swear at them. I do think that the science behind this is sound. I did find that the comments seemed better for those that used a combination of heat, co2, and attractant.

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I'd be one that swears by them! We have the Liberty Plus model and it works awesome! On year 3 now without a single problem. Our backyard is essentially moquito free while our neighbors 2 houses away have them all over the place. Every tank tank (3 weeks) I empty the net and there must be about 1000 dead females in there. If it were to break down and be non-repairable I would without question replace it with the same model without hesitation. -Brian
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I, on the other hand, have a Mosquito Magnet Defender which is a smaller model rated for 1/2 acre, I believe. Although we have lots and lots of mosquitoes, the unit collects maybe 10 to 15 mosquitoes a night, but does not do much to control the little bastards. I tried placing the unit in several locations in my yard and finally found the place that it works best in, but 15 mosquitos does not really do much to reduce the population. I set the unit out in the early spring when the bastards first start, but they just keep coming. The Summers here on Long Island, NY are hot and humid, and they just thrive here. After having the unit for about 5 years, and the original mfr replacing the 1st Defender unit on warranty in year one, I have to say that at least in my case, the unit was a waste of 300 dollars to buy it, a waste of 20 pounds of propane every three weeks, plus the Octanol attractant also needed. I have mine running right now, but I keep hoping for better results in vain. I am glad your unit works well for you Brian. I have a friend who swears by his too, but if I am doing something wrong, I don't know what it is. It works, but so does swatting them. Ouch! A thousand mosquitos a month seems like a small number to me considering how many I actually can see flying around in the evening all over my yard.
By the way, there is a web site that gives instructions on repairing these units (the Defender, anyway) http://gra.midco.net/jmanley/#Defender
RP
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Yard Guy wrote:

Get a good electric bug zapper. Mine is caked with mosquitoes, black flies and minges every morning. Any small flying insect attracted by ultra violet even small moths and beetles. Some take a while to cook and smoke a little. It's fun to watch. The tiny flies get zapped when they are 3 abreast in the zapper. Sometimes I blow it out at midnight and again in the morning. I use an electric leaf blower. Bugs are pretty stupid.
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I used one for a couple of years and like yours, it would be loaded with bugs. The problem, however, is that it attracted more bugs than when I had nothing and it was still a net gain on my screen door in spite of those killed away from the house where the zapper was hung. I'd never have one again. . It may work better in more urban areas, especially if a few neighbors have them too.
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That is pretty much my story too. I took one camping and it attracted more than it killed. Having the extra propane bottle did come in handy . They are good for emptying out the bugs in a controlled space like a screened porch.
Jimmie
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-snip-

An entomologist was being interviewed about the various ways of dealing with mosquitoes and said the propane zappers were a good gift for a neighbor. He wouldn't use one on his property though.
It was a while ago, but I think his conclusion was deet and fans for the best reduction in bites.
Jim
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wrote:

I find that this works pretty well.
Its got some drawbacks though. Since it outputs a gas to repel mosquitos, any breeze reduces its effectiveness, and it takes several minutes for the concentration of repellant to build up to effective levels.
http://www.mosquitorepellent.com/olive-appliance.asp
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