Healthier Living | Child Safety | Eco Friendly Tips

Barbara Staib, President of Safe Home Products, is an expert on child safety, emergency preparedness, pet training and even pest control. She has personally helped thousands of customers since SHP started in 1999. Here you can find Q&A with Barbara to foster safer, healthier and simpler living.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Which Outdoor Mosquito Trap is Best for Me?

Question about Koolatron mosquito traps, the Bite Shield Mosquito Trap MK14, the Guardian Mosquito Trap MK12 and the Koolatron Champion Mosquito Trap MK05G.

Q: "Summers are miserable in my backyard because of mosquitoes. My land drains well so there are no standing water issues. But the mosquitoes just swarm. My yard is about 1/4 acre. Which mosquito trap would be most effective? What are the pros and cons of each unit?" Thanks. Fred.
Answer: All three mosquito traps would reduce the mosquito population in your yard if run continuously throughout the season. Performance is better if you replace the optional octenol attractant, every 3 weeks. Also you need to get the unit running at the start of the season. If you live in town, I recommend that you encourage your neighbors to drain standing water and install traps, too.

I recommend that choose a mosquito trap based upon these factors: Availability of electricity in an area downwind from your home. Physical ability to carry and attach a 20 lb. tank of propane. Willingness to keep tabs on the propane tank's level and change out the tank with a filled one every few weeks. Optimizing performance by replacing the octenol attractant every three weeks.

Both the MK12 and the MK14 use propane and are effective for up to 1 acre. The MK05G uses only electricity and is effective for up to 1/2 acre.

The most expensive and newest premium mosquito trap is the MK14 that uses only propane. Needing no electricity, this mosquito trap with wheels is easily moved for best placement depending upon prevailing winds The best placement for all traps is 30 to 40 feet down wind from the area to be protected and near busy and leafy plants without strong odor. The propane needs replaced about once per month.

The MK12 uses both electricity and propane. Remember that propane is a major attractant. A female mosquito senses the CO 2 and moisture from the gas burner from up to 40 ft. away. The mosquito flies toward this "breathing" creature. At about 15 ft, the female mosquito senses temperature like a living creature (thermal imaging), tried to "bite" and gets sucked into the unit by the fan. I've been using this unit in my Iowa backyard for over 4 years. My placement of the unit is not the best yet the mosquitos are a non-issue most of the time. I have an outside outlet on my patio so I don't use an extension cord. (I have about 1/3 acre fenced plus the hillside behind the house which is another 1/2 acre.)

The MK05G Mosquito Guardian is the smallest and least expensive unit and uses only electricity. Set it to operate only after sundown or throughout 24 hours. It uses 71 watts, is UL Listed and is about 12 inches in diameter and about 11 inches high. Again, this unit works better with octenol. My son in Minneapolis has used his for several years with no operational issues and with very good but not excellent results for mosquitoes and biting flies since no one around him has a unit.

I hope this has helped you make your choice.

Sincerely, Barbara

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