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One reason why Skeeter Vac reviews have been so positive is because, unlike mant other mosquito control products, these devices specifically target the blood-sucking insects. Female mosquitoes are attracted, but those aphid-eating ladybugs, butterflies, or bees can go about pollinating your garden with nothing to fear.
Skeeter vacs and mosquito exterminator units use an ordinary 20 lb canister of propane to fuel their functions. A release system for octenol (to enhance and fine-tune the mosquito Skeeter Vac's performance) is programmed to last for the same length of time as the unit will function on a single canister of propane (about 21 days of normal use).
Skeeter Vacs use octenol as an added attractant to enhance the unit's effectiveness. Octenol is an EPA approved pesticide and is used in the SkeeterVac's Fine Tune Baiting System. Octenol is a known sensory stimulate to mosquitoes to "lure" them to a host that will potentially provide a "meal". Octenol is an EPA registered product that should be handled in accordance to predefined guidelines (as with any pesticide product).
In addition to carbon dioxide and warm air (things that are highly attractive to female mosquitoes), a mosquito Skeeter Vac sometimes adds octenol into the gases it “exhales”. This chemical has also been found useful in increasing the number of female mosquitoes attracted and captured.
The Skeeter Vac is designed to provide optimal performance when operated consistently 24 hours a day. By having the octenol attractant dispersed at all times, it creates an environment to attract and collapse the mosquito population. Many users claim that they see an immediate reduction in the local mosquito population in as little as two or three days.
Because Skeeter Vacs attract precisely the kinds of biting and blood-sucking insect you're trying to avoid, you'll need to place it away from your living and play areas. Generally, a distance of about 20 to 40 feet away should be about right but be sure to check the documentation that comes with your model.
The Skeeter Vac operates on the fact (discovered rather recently) that female mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide and warm temperatures. It uses a catalytic engine to convert ordinary propane into carbon dioxide of the correct temperature. When female mosquitoes (fooled into thinking they've found a blood meal) approach and the Skeeter Vac vacuums them into a chamber where they quickly die of dehydration.
Some Skeeter Vac users report that the “take” of mosquitoes is very low--at least at first. If you use a mosquito Skeeter Vac, remember that local conditions such as temperature, humidity and wind conditions can affect its effectiveness. Also, make sure you place the unit near low shrubs where mosquitoes often rest. It is also beneficial to leave your Skeeter Vac on 24 hours a day so it can create a constant environment that consistently draws mosquitoes.
Here are some tips for positioning your Skeeter Vac mosquito exterminator:
• Situate your Skeeter Vac 20-30' from your outdoor living area and at least 5' from combustible materials
• Position SkeeterVac upwind from where mosquitoes live (standing water sources, gardens, shrubs, trees, etc.)
• Don't be impatient; it may take up to two weeks of continuous operation to reduce the number of biting mosquitoes
*If the capture yield is less than expected, it may be necessary to reposition your Skeeter Vac
In order to achieve optimal performance, the Skeeter Vac should be placed near the mosquitoes resting and breeding spots (such as bodies of stagnant water). This way, mosquitoes can be stopped at the source.
*It is not unusual for the biting insect population to collapse within 6 to 8 weeks.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.