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The process of a mosquito questing for her blood meal involves a complex, interconnected cascade of behaviors, each probably having its own cues (be they visual, thermal, or olfactory). The complexity of these questing behaviors may account for the bewildering variations in mosquito trap efficiency noted for certain species of mosquitoes at different times, seasons and places. In other words, variations are so great that no one trap will work universally. The best way to find a mosquito trap that will work for you is to assess your specific needs and test various options available on the market until you find one that works for you.
In an effort to prevent any unnecessary alarm, you may want to let neighbors and officials know if you are setting out any mosquito control devices that are peculiar in appearance.
Sometimes mosquito traps unsettle more than local mosquitoes. Fairfax County Health Department recently had to inform the public, the police, and bomb squads that the devices appearing on tree limbs and grassy areas around the county were mosquito traps--not bombs.
The new CO2 mosquito traps are not set-and-forget devices - each requires some level of maintenance such as:
• emptying capture nets
• replacing adhesive boards
• cleaning grids
In order to ensure continued effectiveness of this product (particularly in highly populated areas) you will need to upkeep your CO2 mosquito trap.
Is it possible to locate the very "best" mosquito trap on the market?
Studies are currently underway to provide insight into the comparative efficiency of many of the mosquito traps on the market in an effort to find the best product. However, with the continual introduction of improved trapping models in the consumer market it's unlikely that this research will provide a definitive winner over the long term.
CO2 Mosquito Traps will trap and kill measurable numbers of mosquitoes. Whether this will produce a noticeable reduction in the mosquito population in each case will depend upon a number of factors including:
• individual tolerance level
• absolute mosquito population size
• type of breeding habitat producing re-infestation
• wind velocity and direction
• species of mosquito present
Thus, the homeowner must still use repellents and practice source reduction methods as adjuncts to achieve truly effective control.
Do you want to get rid of mosquitoes without using harsh chemicals or noisy zappers? Some mosquito traps are designed to mimic a mammal (horse, cattle, man, domestic pets, etc.) by emitting a plume of carbon dioxide, heat and moisture which is often combined with an additional attractant (i.e. octenol) to lure pests (mosquitoes, no-see-ums, biting midges, black flies, etc.).
After drawing the insects to the CO2 mosquito trap, a vacuum device sucks the insects into a net or cylinder where they dehydrate and die. No electric killing grid or pesticides are used.
All of these newer mosquito traps utilize some form of attractant that lures the host-seeking female mosquitoes into a capture or killing device. In some cases, mosquitoes are captured by an impellor fan that draws them into a net where they are dried out.
Other trapping systems use sticky surfaces to which the mosquitoes adhere when they land. Still others utilize an electric grid to electrocute mosquitoes drawn into contact. As you can see there are many effective luring traps available to choose from for mosquito control.
If you are serious about mosquito control, you should contact your local state or county health office. They can help you set up a comprehensive plan that includes destroying or denying access to mosquito breeding areas as well as other proven techniques. That way, your new mosquito trap will be that much more effective.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|