Propane Mosquito Traps

Written by Linda Alexander
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Propane mosquito traps are the latest in a series of non-toxic mosquito control techniques used by private citizens and municipalities. In combination with insect lotions and area repellents such as lanterns or candles, they appear to be an excellent source of protection from summer mosquito populations in your home and garden. But do they really work?

There is no question that the traps will kill hundreds, if not thousands, of mosquitoes. But it's tough for scientists to measure which one of these devices works best against entire populations of mosquitoes. Breezes can disperse the CO2 plume and if a mosquito spots you first, it will most likely fly toward you instead of into the trap. Whether the propane traps will prevent mosquitoes from biting you also depends on how many mosquitoes are reproducing in your neighborhood. Mosquito populations vary from day to day and even from home to home, further reducing the reliability of scientific testing.

Costs of Propane Mosquito Traps

Costs are another downside of traps. They will set you back anywhere from $170 to $1,300, depending on their CO2-generating capacity. The price of the trap doesn't include the requisite propane tank (usually 20 lbs., the same kind used with barbecue grills). Most brands need electricity and so must remain connected to a power source.

Propane mosquito traps also need regular maintenance to ensure the best bug-catching performance. As often as needed, you must empty the net, cup, or tray, or replace the adhesive pads. Every 21 days or 500 hours, change the octenol refills or scent strips. Also, once a month or every 700 hours, you must refill the propane tank in order to continue generating carbon dioxide.

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