Does anyone have any experience with CO2 Mosquito Traps?
March 4, 2015 12:04 AM   Subscribe

Basically, we need to find whatever the nuclear option is for mosquitos. I live in a wet, rainforest-like area of Australia of around a half acre, and being outside after 4pm is pretty much impossible because of these feral mozzies which even seem to penetrate clothing, hence defeating the purpose of living in nice, rainforest-like area. I've studied up on the green on similar posts, and while CO2 traps were mentioned, I'm curious to know if anyone has any direct experience with them and whether they are actually effective.

At this stage, I'm willing to simply throw money at the problem and perhaps see if I can import something from the states. There are units like this which seem to cost a lot, so I just assume they will work. Do they though? Can anyone recommend a specific model if so? Or perhaps there is another solution we should be looking at? Assume money is no object, and assume that the land in question will always be moist no matter what sort of maintenance we do, and we don't want to use personal sprays all the time and smell horrible and be all greasy and weird.
posted by LongDrive to Home & Garden (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
These aren't about traps but repellent tech..but the sound part sounds about dodgey. I found Choice in Honkers, not ours.

I'm also curious about the CO2 part as I thought it was a myth that mozzies liked co2 and they just liked warm people and some react to their bites and some don't.
posted by taff at 12:24 AM on March 4, 2015

Crud. Hit post too early then lost my train of thought. Sorry. Funnily enough Whirlpool, it can always be relied upon to have a thread , recommends the Neo most convincingly The mighty Whirlpool again.
posted by taff at 12:31 AM on March 4, 2015

Best answer: My parents bought that type of machine (but for midges not mosquitoes). It took a summer to work ie to effectively clear out the area of the blighters but it very definitely works.
posted by stevedawg at 3:09 AM on March 4, 2015

Best answer: We tried one in our very mosquito-y yard (next to wetlands) one summer when they first came out. Good news: they definitely attract and kill mosquitos. The bag was full of them. Bad news: it didn't seem to make much difference in our ability to use the yard after dusk. There were still tons of mosquitos humming around anyway. We didn't keep using it after that first year, but it's possible that making more of a sustained effort would have made a difference.
posted by Bresciabouvier at 3:47 AM on March 4, 2015

Response by poster: (thanks for the feedback so far! just wanted to add that if anyone remembers the brand and/or model of the device you had experience with - that would be super helpful in your replies if possible!)
posted by LongDrive at 3:50 AM on March 4, 2015

The common wisdom around this swampy area is to purchase traps and zappers, and then give them to the neighbors as gifts (the goal being to draw the buggers into THIER yard!). They both attract Mosquitos, the problem is that they don't kill them all...
posted by HuronBob at 5:29 AM on March 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

Have you considered a bat house? Might be more effective for a long term solution.
posted by myselfasme at 5:51 AM on March 4, 2015 [4 favorites]

I am very curious what the answers about effectiveness of these machines is also. Where we live it is only unbearable for a few weeks. We have LOTS of amphibians so I refuse any sort of chemical option and have found a really great solution to deer and horse flies "The Manitoba Trap" and Blue cups with tanglefoot but obv that doesn't work with Mosquitoes.

ONE thing I know is really good you can try, BUT it only works close up... at least lets you sit in peace is: A couple of standard floor oscillating fans on high and sit in between them. Mozzies can't fly against the wind (one problem is the dead air under chairs where they munch your calves) but I can tell you it works great from experience and is cheap. Couple with a solar panel and you at least use less electricity.

And seconding Bat house!
posted by mrgroweler at 6:12 AM on March 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

according to this and this, birds and bats are ineffective at controlling mosquitos
posted by H21 at 6:21 AM on March 4, 2015

Best answer: Northern Wisconsin mosquitoes have landing lights. We've tried everything. Fans—box fans, standing fans, hand fans—really work. Better than insect repellent, better than CO2, better than zappers.
posted by Jesse the K at 7:46 AM on March 4, 2015 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I am an entomologist.

No matter how many mosquitoes those things trap and kill (they are very good at trapping and killing piles of mosquitoes), they are not going to make a dent in the overall mosquito population. Think of it -- if you live in an area with millions or billions of mosquitoes, even catching thousands of them every day will not have an effect on the local population as they will outbreed your trapping efficiency. Some quick math -- if you have 50,000,000 mosquitoes in a swampy area and catch 4,000 a day (easily achievable for one of these machines in a heavily infested area) it would take over 34 years to catch them all. The local wildlife already eat more mosquitoes every day than you will be able to trap with those machines. You hear anecdotal stories from people who claim they work but need a couple months or a season to do the job. What they are actually observing are the natural changes in the mosquito population over time. Bug zapper are equally useless.

Apply repellent, wear bug-proof clothes, or have a screened in area.
posted by fimbulvetr at 8:18 AM on March 4, 2015 [6 favorites]

My understanding of CO2 based mosquito repellent machines is that they don't really work by trapping mosquitos or otherwise lowering the population but by generating more CO2 than everyone else and making it a more attractive target so that little buggers go after it instead of you. Having a couple of cows or other large mammals nearby would have the same effect.

It really sounds like you don't so much need a "nuclear" option so much as you need an "all of the above" approach. I don't think there is any one thing that will work for you but a combination of the suggestions in this thread might make things bearable.

The only other thing I can think of is to minimize the amount of stagnant water around your house since that is where they lay their eggs. If there is anything close to the house that is a permanent source of standing water, move it if you can. After it rains, make a sweep outside and dump out anything that has collected a pool of water. It won't make a dent in the population but it will keep some of them a little bit farther away from your house.

If they have to travel a long way to get to you, against a fan-generated breeze, to get to your repellent and clothing covered body, will cross a more tempting target to get to you, might get eaten by a bat on the way, and any suggestion in this thread and you might have a chance.
posted by VTX at 8:39 AM on March 4, 2015 [1 favorite]

We have a Mosquito Magnet. It appears to work well. It's a flakey piece of machinery, though, and hasn't been on this season due to some unidentified technical issue. So, there's that.
posted by mrfuga0 at 10:46 AM on March 4, 2015

Best answer: You can't assume that because something is a larger source of CO2 that the mosquitoes will preferentially go there rather than to you. Host-seeking behaviour is more complex than that. You are still going to get bitten even if you hang around cows if you are in a mosquito-ridden area -- mosquitoes will bite everything they can within their host-seeking range.

The only thing these machines really do is give the owner the satisfaction of seeing lots of dead mosquitoes in the trap, and the manufacturers the satisfaction of parting the owners from a nice wad of cash. VTX has some good advice on getting rid of stagnant water. You can also keep grass, plants, and shrubbery trimmed to reduce daytime hiding spots. There are also products that you can use to treat standing water that can't be removed (eg., Bacillus thuringiensis). Unfortunately, avoiding the outdoors during peak mosquito activity or using repellents are the most reliable options. Area repellents (e.g., allethrin, metofluthrin) can also help reduce the number of mosquitoes in the area, but they have a small effective area (usually only a couple metres from the coil or lantern), and don't work if there is a breeze. Citronella candles and the like aren't that effective as area repellents.
posted by fimbulvetr at 11:52 AM on March 4, 2015

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