The Mosquito Magnet is a mosquito trap designed to reduce mosquito populations in a large outdoor area. The device uses three powerful methods of capturing mosquitos: carbon dioxide attractant, octenol attractant, and counterflow.
As a living mosquito magnet myself (in a group of people I am always the first to get bitten), and pest control specialist, I was more than intrigued by the idea of an actual mosquito magnet device.
Does it really work, and if so, how? This article covers what the Mosquito Magnet is, how it works, how effective it is, and everything you need to know about how to use and maintain the device.
- The Mosquito Magnet uses counterflow technology to capture stinging pests
- It does require an electrical outlet to operate
- A single Mosquito Magnet unit can cover up to 1 acre of property
What is the Mosquito Magnet?
The Mosquito Magnet is both simple and ingenious. By mimicking human breath and scent, it lures mosquitos into its trap, where they meet their demise. This approach not only reduces mosquito populations but also provides a long-term solution that can significantly enhance your outdoor experience.
Mosquitos have evolved for millions of years to hone in on their prey, suck their blood, and reproduce. To find a human, mosquitos search the environment for signs that humans are close. They smell the air for signs of carbon dioxide (CO2), which humans actively exhale in large quantities. Once they get closer, they start to hunt for the smell of human skin.
The beauty of this machine is its ability to mimic the signals that mosquitos are looking for. The Mosquito Magnet creates CO2 using propane, and mimics human scents with octenol.
How the Mosquito Magnet Works
The Mosquito Magnet uses propane to create carbon dioxide through the process of controlled combustion. While there is no open flame, an electronic device combusts the propane, releasing a steady stream of carbon dioxide. As the carbon dioxide leaves the unit, it passes over the secondary attractant – octenol.
The Mosquito Magnet blows this mixture of carbon dioxide and octanol out of a central nozzle. At the same time, a powerful suction is created in a ring around the output nozzle. This system — known as counterflow technology — puts the suction as close as possible to the attractant. Compared to regular methods of light and carbon dioxide attractants, counterflow technology is much better at capturing mosquitos and other biting insects.
Once the insects get sucked into the Mosquito Magnet, they are trapped in a small net, where they die. After about 24 hours, simply discard the mosquitos into a trash can. Next, replace the net and the device will continue to catch more mosquitos, reducing the overall population.
One thing to note is that the Mosquito Magnet Patriot Plus model does require an electrical outlet to operate. For most homeowners this will mean running an extension cord through the lawn, though it does come with a 50-foot power cord as well. The Executive model has a rechargeable battery that replaces the power cord.
Does the Mosquito Magnet Work?
Yes, it really works. The Mosquito Magnet has successfully reduced the number of mosquito bites when used in actual “field” conditions. However, the Mosquito Magnet does not provide immediate protection. When study participants wore a skin-based mosquito repellent, the Mosquito Magnet collected more mosquitos.
So, you may want to keep some bug spray handy for a month or so as the Mosquito Magnet slowly reduces the population of mosquitos in your area. Wearing a mosquito repellent will help drive mosquitos to the trap and help reduce the population faster.
Some studies have suggested that the Mosquito Magnet is not as effective on midges. But, most experts agree that the Mosquito Magnet meets or exceeds the standard traps used by the CDC to capture biting insects, and that the trap works effectively for over 20 days.
Mosquito Magnet Operating Guidelines
The Mosquito Magnet is a form of population control — it intends to capture a large majority of mosquitos in a given area to stop them from reproducing. Over time, this leads to the extinction of the immediate mosquito population. The website claims that a single Mosquito Magnet unit can cover up to 1 acre of property. Studies have shown that the Mosquito Magnet is very effective at capturing mosquitos.
But, wait, there’s more… the Mosquito Magnet also attracts other flying insects that bite, such as black flies, biting midges, “no-see-ums”, and many other insect species.
Given that most mosquitos typically only travel around 50 meters, the Mosquito Magnet should be placed as close as possible to mosquito breeding grounds. Mosquitos lay their eggs in standing water, small ponds, and even temporary puddles. By placing the Mosquito Magnet between the breeding area and the area you want to protect, you can effectively limit the number of mosquitos that make it to your house or back yard.
Mosquito Magnet Limitations
In general, the Mosquito Magnet has few limitations. It is intended to run constantly during mosquito season, which depending on your location, could start anywhere from February in the Southern U.S. to early May in the Northern U.S.
It is best to start using the Mosquito Magnet in early spring, when water temperatures start to rise and mosquitos begin to expand their populations. In warmer, tropical areas, the Mosquito Magnet can be used year-round to continually reduce mosquito population sizes.
Both the octenol and propane tanks should be replaced every 21 days. The Mosquito Magnet will still operate without replacing the octanol, but you’ll find the catch rate significantly diminishes.
The main limitation of the Mosquito Magnet is that it does not provide immediate protection from large swarms of mosquitos. The trap takes time to attract and collect mosquitos, so unlike a repellent, it will not protect you immediately. They estimate 7 to 10 days to really knock down the population.
Another thing you have to remember is that the Mosquito Magnet is an attractant. If you have a small backyard and the Mosquito Magnet would have to be very close to the outdoor area you want to enjoy — you may be attracting more mosquitos than normal when starting. The Mosquito Magnet works best when deployed to a shady area, not directly next to the area you want to protect.
Mosquito Magnet can use two different forms of attractant: S-octenol and R-octenol. There is only a slight chemical difference between these substances. These molecules share the same chemical formula, but they are constructed like hands — one is the left hand, and one is the right hand. Octenol is a synthetic attractant designed to mimic the smells of human skin. Studies have shown that octenol significantly increases the number of mosquitos a Mosquito Magnet can catch.
The “standard” octenol packs contain both S- and R-octenol. In nature, only R-octenol exists. This makes the standard octenol slightly less effective because mosquitos are only really attracted to R-octenol.
Mosquito Magnet does offer a slightly more expensive attractant that contains only R-octenol. The R-octenol packets last 40% longer than the standard octenol and should be more effective at capturing mosquitos, making it a better bang for your buck.
The company suggests that in northern, temperate regions, the regular octenol should be enough. For those in the United States, R-octenol is more effective.
Patriot Plus Vs. Executive Models
The Mosquito Magnet currently comes in two different models — The Patriot Plus and the Executive. Both models cover up to 1-acre of property and have all the same attractants and capture devices. The Executive model costs roughly twice as much as the Patriot Plus and includes several features that might be desirable.
The Patriot Plus comes with a standard A/C plug, which can plugs into an outside outlet. By contrast, the Executive comes with a rechargeable battery — so it works anywhere on your property without electricity.
The Executive also has a much larger collection net, so you won’t have to empty the trap as regularly. Plus, it comes with a wheeled base to help you easily move it around. Other features include an LCD panel to quickly view and change your options, and fuel-saving technology to help you propane and attractant last even longer.
Some people may be concerned that releasing large amounts of carbon dioxide into the air can accelerate global warming. While it’s a valid concern, the Mosquito Magnet releases only a fraction of the carbon dioxide that other activities release — such as driving a car. In fact, if you calculate the amount of propane in a propane tank and convert that into carbon dioxide, it’s around 24 kilograms of carbon dioxide.
If you were to operate the Mosquito Magnet year-round and replace the propane tank 12 to 15 times, it would release a maximum of 367 kg of carbon dioxide per year. Driving a car, on average, releases nearly 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air – or 4,600 kg.
So, the Mosquito Magnet, if used year-round and constantly, releases about 8% of the carbon dioxide released by a car. Since most regions will only need the Mosquito Magnet for six months, you can expect about half that amount.
The Mosquito Magnet will collect some “off-target” species of non-biting flies and insects like gnats as well. While the environmental impact of this side-catch has not been specifically evaluated, it is unlikely that it could cause significant environmental damage. The device does not seem to attract or harm pollinators — such as bees and butterflies — so other wildlife in your backyard should be safe.
When operating a Mosquito Magnet, there are three standard items that need some amount of maintenance: propane, attractant, and the mosquito net.
Further, the ongoing cost of operating a Mosquito Magnet is going to be about $25 to $30 every 21 days depending on the cost of your propane and attractant. This cost may seem high, but in comparison to hiring a professional pest control company to service your property regularly, the price could be much higher.
Propane, the source of CO2 for the Mosquito Magnet, requires replacing every time the tank is empty. A single propane tank can last for up to 21 days of continuous operation. Propane costs are typically around $15 to 20 for a tank refill.
Mosquito Magnet offers two forms of attractant: octenol and R-octenol.
The R-octenol packs are supposed to last 40% longer than standard octenol and may be able to attract mosquitos better. R-octenol works better in areas with lots of mosquitos, whereas octenol will suffice in more temperate regions. Octenol packets should last about 21 days, while the R-octenol packs will last closer to 30 days.
The mosquito net should not need replacing during the life of the Mosquito Magnet, but you will need to clean it out regularly. The mosquito net traps the mosquitos, where they slowly dehydrate. Once the net is full, no more mosquitos can fit into the trap and the catch rate will drop or the machine will become clogged with dead mosquitos.
How often you have to empty and clean the net depends on the number of mosquitos in your area. If you’re dealing with a massive swarm, you may have to clean out the net every day. On the other hand, in an area with very few mosquitos, you might only have to clean out the net once a month.
Mosquito Magnet Vs. Professional Mosquito Control
Mosquitos are not only annoying but can also transmit diseases. When dealing with mosquito problems, two primary options come to mind: using a Mosquito Magnet device or hiring a professional mosquito control service.
Let’s compare the two approaches to help you make an informed decision.
A Recap of the Mosquito Magnet
A Mosquito Magnet is a propane-powered device that emits carbon dioxide and octenol, mimicking human breath and scent to attract and trap mosquitos.
The main pros and convs of the Mosquito Magnet are:
- Pros: Mosquito Magnets can cover a significant area, reducing mosquito populations over time. They can be used in residential yards, outdoor events, and other outdoor spaces.
- Cons: Mosquito Magnets require maintenance, such as changing propane tanks and cleaning traps. They might not provide immediate relief and could take some time to reduce mosquito numbers.
About Professional Mosquito Control
Professional mosquito control services involve hiring experts to assess, treat, and manage mosquito infestations on your property.
The most significant pros and cons of hiring a pest control company for mosquito issues:
- Pros: Professionals have a deep understanding of mosquito behavior and local environments, allowing them to provide tailored solutions. They can offer immediate relief from mosquito problems.
- Cons: Professional mosquito control services typically come at a cost. Depending on the extent of the infestation, ongoing treatments might be required for lasting results.
Which is Right for You?
In the world of mosquito control, the choice between a Mosquito Magnet and professional mosquito control services is not always straightforward. Each approach has its unique advantages, and understanding your specific needs is key to making the right decision.
Before you can choose which is best for you and your property, event, or purposes in general, consider the following factors:
- Budget: Mosquito Magnets have an upfront cost, whereas professional services involve ongoing fees. Consider your budget and the long-term costs.
- Effectiveness: Professional mosquito control services often provide more immediate and targeted results, making them a great option for urgent situations.
- Convenience: Mosquito Magnets require setup, maintenance, and monitoring. Professional services handle everything for you.
- Property Size: If you have a larger property, a combination of both methods might be beneficial. A Mosquito Magnet could cover a broad area, while professional services can focus on specific hotspots.
A Final Word About the Mosquito Magnet
The Mosquito Magnet is innovative technology designed to reclaim your outdoor spaces from these pesky invaders. With its clever design and proven effectiveness, the Mosquito Magnet offers a promising solution for those seeking a mosquito-free environment.
Whether you’re hosting a backyard gathering, tending to your garden, or simply relaxing on your porch, this device can make your outdoor moments more enjoyable. Its quiet operation and eco-friendly design add to its appeal, making it a convenient and environmentally conscious choice.
However, the Mosquito Magnet requires patience. Unlike instant mosquito control methods, it works gradually, targeting mosquito breeding cycles and reducing populations over time. For those seeking immediate relief, alternative options might be more suitable.
FAQs About the Mosquito Magnet
How long does it take to see results with the Mosquito Magnet?
The Mosquito Magnet works gradually to reduce mosquito populations by targeting breeding cycles. While some users notice a decrease in mosquito activity within a few weeks, a significant reduction may take a full breeding season to achieve optimal results.
Will the Mosquito Magnet eliminate all mosquitos in my yard?
While the Mosquito Magnet can significantly reduce mosquito populations, it may not remove all mosquitos entirely. Its effectiveness depends on factors such as your property size, mosquito species, and surrounding breeding sources.
Is the Mosquito Magnet energy-efficient?
Yes, the Mosquito Magnet operates using a tank of propane gas and a minimal amount of electricity for its fan and other components. It’s considered energy-efficient and can operate 24/7 with minimal energy consumption.
Are there any additional accessories I need to purchase for the Mosquito Magnet?
While the basic Mosquito Magnet kit includes essential components, you may consider purchasing extra propane tanks, attractants, and replacement parts for regular maintenance. These accessories can enhance the device’s performance and longevity.
Is the Mosquito Magnet safe for humans and pets?
Yes, the Mosquito Magnet trap is safe for humans, pets, and the environment. It uses a combination of natural elements to attract mosquitos, and the trap’s design prevents other beneficial insects from being captured.