Recommended Accessories - Mosquito Magnet



Mosquito repellers don't work.  I've personally wasted money on them, and Universities have performed studies with them.  If anyone thinks they have something that works, I'll take them to Lake Harney, or Mosquito Lagoon, during the peak of Summer and let them try it.  If they can last overnight with nothing more than their repeller, and they don't get bitten, I'll buy them a steak dinner.  I'll be wearing DEET and laughing.  

Bug zappers are also ineffective.  They'll kill moths and the occasional beetle, but mosquitoes aren't attracted to the light.

Now along comes a mosquito trap.  This is a different type of product.  The Mosquito Magnet product puts out CO2, heat, and a scent that mimics oxen breath.  The female mosquito (only the females are blood suckers, ironic, eh?) can't resist the feast, and flies over to the source.  She suddenly gets inhaled by the machine, shoved into a mesh basket, and is desiccated.  

I was skeptical.  But a coworker brought in a gallon size freezer bag FULL of dead mosquitoes.  Jeez, that's a lot of skeeters.  Three weeks later, he does it again. Okay, I bought one right after that.  In 6-8 weeks, the female mosquitoes in the area are all killed, which breaks the breeding cycle.  Suddenly, there are no mosquitoes.  Yea, once in a while a stray one may get you, but they are very few and far between.  I was finally able to go outside without bug spray.  I could cut the grass, work on the car, or in my shop, completely mosquito free.  Other than a slight hum of the fan, the machine is silent, odor free, and runs day & night.  Every 3 weeks, the propane bottle must be refilled ($8-$9), and a new scent cartridge is installed ($5).  The machine itself runs about $300 and is available from The Home Depot, Target, etc.  The specific model I have is the Defender, which is rated at 1/2 an acre.  They do offer a couple of larger models for more money.

The RV park I moved into was swarming with mosquitoes.  I setup my Mosquito Magnet, and their numbers dwindled everyday until  they were finally gone.  This is a great product for home use, or long term use at an RV park.  But what about at a campground?  Well, you could use it, but you have to be careful of the placement.  It'll draw mosquitoes from all the other nearby campsites too.  If you put it at your campsite, you want it at a far corner, as far away from you as possible.  The mosquitoes will be drawn towards it, then gobbled up.  While you won't wipe all of them out on a weekend trip, you may put a big dent in their numbers and as long as they are interested in the machine, they are away from you.  A sure way to get bitten is to hang out near the machine.  The mosquitoes get thick by it, for obvious reasons.



During a sailing trip at Mosquito Lagoon, I had over a 100 bites just between my knee and my foot.  Lord knows how many total bites I got on that trip.  The "captain" forgot to bring bug spray, and when the sun was setting, swarms of the little buggers ate us alive.




So what can you use if you can't afford a Mosquito Magnet?   Dr. Jonathan Day, of the University of Florida, is an entomologist who's studied mosquitoes for more than 20 years.  You'll find his name just about anytime someone mentions mosquito research.  A great article is online, which showed the various products used by the public, and how long each one lasted.  You can read the article yourself.   The bottom line is nothing beats DEET.  DEET products last for hours, anything else lasts for minutes, or is completely ineffective.  Just read the label, and apply sparingly.  Use 10% on kids, 20% on adults.  Try to apply to clothing rather than skin when possible.  Rather spraying it around my face, I spray it on my hands, the dab it on my forehead, neck, and ears.  

If you come to visit us in Florida, be prepared for mosquitoes.  They get thick here at times.  They can carry deadly diseases, so be careful.  With the proper precautions, camping even when they're thick, can leave you bite free.



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Last updated 05/09/05    All rights reserved.