You may have heard the term “mosquito zapper” and considered purchasing one if you’ve noticed mosquitoes flying around your home. What are mosquito zappers? They’re light traps with electric grids that use smells and/or visual stimuli to lure mosquitoes into a death trap — the electric grids electrocute the mosquitoes, making a zapping sound in the process.
Other types of machines or devices, usually called “mosquito killers” or “mosquito traps,” emit carbon dioxide, a gas people and animals produce when they breathe, which mosquitoes sense when seeking a potential blood host. Once the mosquitoes reach the traps, they are captured and killed by either vacuums or adhesives.
Some studies have revealed, however, that while using machines (or devices) to kill mosquitoes should work in theory, they may not work as well as homeowners expect them to. Read the pros and cons of using a mosquito zapper or other device below.
How Mosquito Traps Fail to Protect You
Entomologists at the University of Florida studied mosquito traps to find out how effective they were in killing different species of mosquitoes. They found that there were several factors that indicated whether a mosquito zapper would help reduce a population in a concentrated area, including:
- The mosquito’s flight range.
- Its habitat preference.
- The mosquito's feeding behavior.
In order to help determine whether a mosquito zapper will work, it is important to know which mosquito species is invading your home. Traps tend to work better against species that don’t fly very far. Setting the trap near mosquito resting areas will also give you the best results. However, studies showed that the carbon dioxide released from mosquito traps didn’t fool too many mosquitoes as they still went in search of a live host. Unfortunately, zappers may also have the opposite effect and actually attract more mosquitoes to the yard. Based on this research, the most effective way to get rid of mosquitoes is to use a pest control specialist for a better treatment plan against mosquitoes.
Mosquito Swatters and Other Devices
Some homeowners have also turned to taking matters into their own hands with the use of mosquito swatters. A mosquito swatter, or racket, can be used to swing at pestering mosquitoes. Those mosquitoes caught in the action will be electrocuted and killed on contact. It’s important to note that they can disintegrate or break up the mosquito bodies, spreading mosquito body parts around.
Mosquito zapping rackets should be kept away from small children. Additionally, make sure to store them away from flammable devices to avoid sparking a fire. Your best bet? Avoid the safety risks and hire a trained pest control specialist instead.
A mosquito trap or swatter will not reduce mosquito populations in your yard and should not be solely depended on as a defense mechanism against mosquito bites. Mosquitoes congregate around shady areas with standing water. You can help eliminate potential breeding sites by:
- Clearing out the gutters to remove any moisture or decaying leaves that could attract mosquitoes.
- Keeping your pool chlorinated or covered when not in use for a long period of time.
- Removing any items with standing water from your yard such as old tires, pet bowls or decorative fountains.
- Mowing the lawn regularly and trimming any overgrown weeds.
If you’re looking for an effective way to get rid of mosquitoes, ditch the zappers and contact a pest control specialist to treat your yard. Terminix® has a mosquito solution that starts working immediately and helps reduce the population of mosquitoes in your yard for weeks. Contact Terminix today to start enjoying your backyard again.