Mosquitos are known for transmitting many types of diseases to humans, particularly in tropical and subtropical regions. Sadly, these diseases cause the death of 1 million people every year.

A mosquito magnet is a trap made to attract and control mosquito populations. This can include controlling potentially deadly mosquitos, which can then lower the chance of infecting humans with disease. Read on to find out more about their effectiveness and how they work. 

How do mosquito magnets work? 

Mosquito magnets work by using liquified petroleum gas (LPG) or propane gas and changing it into carbon dioxide. A synthetic odor is then combined with this which creates a smell that is similar to human scents. 

Research shows that mosquito magnets are effective in managing mosquito populations in many different regions, including Brazil and Thailand. However, the extent that mosquito magnets can work depends on the climate. Mosquitoes adapt to weather changes, including how they feed. Mosquito magnets can also be expensive.

In one study, mosquito magnets were stationed 100m away from a house at two separate testing locations from 6 pm to 6 am over a period of one month. While the amounts and types of mosquitoes caught were varied and depended on the location of each test, the results were highly successful and showed that mosquito magnets worked in trapping up to 60+ a night, including mosquitoes that carried malaria.

The results of this research vouched for the efficiency of mosquito magnets in both coastal areas and also rural areas.

How to use mosquito magnets

Another study determined that mosquito magnets work best in areas where there is one predominant species of mosquito. This is because different trap types, delivery systems, and perhaps the most important combinations of attractants were found to be necessary to attract the unique species and to keep them trapped.

This same study also found that it is helpful to know the area boundaries where your target mosquito species are so that you can place the trap in the most effective location. Other factors to keep in mind are what the best height is to place the mosquito traps and how far apart to place them. 

Four points suggested to have the most success in attracting and trapping mosquitoes are:

  1. Attract mosquitoes away from the areas where they are likely to hide and protect themselves.
  2. Surround this protection area with mosquito traps
  3. Place single traps in the protection area
  4. Put traps close to resting or breeding sites

If your goal is to control the mosquito population then it is important to know the area, or parameters, of your specific mosquito population. This will also help to understand how many mosquitoes you need to trap in order to make a difference.  

Types of mosquito traps

In a 2013 study, several different commercial mosquito traps were tested to see how efficient each one was. Alongside the Mosquito Magnet Patriot Mosquito trap (MM trap), other mosquito traps used are the Heavy Duty Encephalitis Vector Survey trap (EVS trap), the Centers for Disease Control miniature light trap (CDC trap), and the Biogents Sentinel trap (BG trap). 

These tests took place in ten different locations in Germany, in the forest, floodplain, and urban areas. While most of the traps specialized in catching a particular species, including the MM trap, it was the BG trap that showed to be better or similar to the other three traps. This includes the number of mosquitoes trapped, along with the diversity of local mosquito breeds and the number of mosquitoes each trapping session.

 

So, while the mosquito magnet trap is proven to work to satisfaction in many different regions, it is worth looking into all the options in case there is one that might suit your needs better.

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Medically Reviewed on 11/17/2021
References
SOURCES:

Journal of Advanced Veterinary and Animal Research: "Effectiveness of mosquito magnets for reducing mosquito (Diptera) populations in coastal areas of Samut Songkhram province, Thailand"

Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association: "Traps and Trapping Techniques for Adult Mosquito Control"

Parasites and Vectors: "Field evaluation of four widely used mosquito traps in Central Europe"