mosquito magnets: do they work?

toomuchMay 16, 2005

I have one, but I bought it late in the season last summer, and it didn't make a dent in my supply of Asian tiger mosquitoes (the daytime biters), even though I was using a lure that was supposedly intended just for them. Has anyone had better luck? I'm getting ready to hook mine up for the new season, wonder if there's anything I should do differently?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


    Bookmark   May 18, 2005 at 9:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes and no. The ideal solution is to rid the vicinity of standing water. Mosquitoes breed in very small amounts of standing water. But I live next to a protected wetlands so I can't eliminate the breeding grounds.

You have to be careful that you don't draw more mosquitoes to your yard than you draw away from your person. This is what the link below has to say:

"What Attracts Mosquitoes?: Mosquitoes are attracted by perspiration, warmth, body odor, carbon dioxide, and light. Mosquito control agencies use some of these attractants to help determine the relative number of adult mosquitoes in an area. Several devices are sold that are supposed to attract, trap, and destroy mosquitoes and other flying insects. However, if these devices are attractive to mosquitoes, they probably attract more mosquitoes into the area and may, therefore, increase rather than decrease mosquito annoyance."

If you have to be outdoors and DEET isn't enough, you might set one of those devices on the other side of the yard and see what happens.

I would not spend hundreds on any of them. I got one from the Goodwill for $50 just to have for emergencies like having to be outside at dusk or dawn. I do not expect to use it on any kind of regular basis or for evening barbecues.

Here is a link that might be useful: rutgers entomology site

    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 1:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I actually went through a volunteer training program in my county about eliminating mosquitoes, so I've done all the things I'm supposed to re: standing water, and I'm about at the end of my rope (or I was last year, the season hasn't quite started yet this year). The problem, I'm sure, is the homes around my home--not all those folks are screening their downspout extensions, regularly cleaning their gutters, emptying flower pots, etc. Although I'm very much a tree hugger, I'm seriously considering an insecticide called Demand, which I've been told by the county that if applied correctly (in shady areas, ground cover, etc) will get rid of adult mosquitoes for a month at a time. It has to be applied by a pest control company. But basically, it's otherwise so bad that I can't use my yard in the summer. There are Asian tigers, the daytime biters; I have little problem w/the dusk to dawn variety. fyi, the devices don't work unless they've been left running for several days. they rely on the build-up of CO2 and attractant, and must be positioned right re: wind direction, etc., so I'm not sure putting one out for just an evening would do anything at all. But what I really want to know is, has anyone successfully used one of these machines to make their yard more livable, b/c I'm skeptical...

    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 10:33AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


Mosquito magnets will work, but how effectively is variable by species of mosquito, time of day, how long it's been left out and on, etc. One thing you can do if you have standing water that you can't drain is use mosquito dunks (available at HD) and place in the larval breeding sites. If you have Asian Tiger mosquitoes you've got standing water somewhere acting as a larval breeding site as they are artificial container breeding species. With the cost of propane going up I don't know how economical it would be to set it out (mosquito magnet) long enough to put a dent in the biting population.


    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 12:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Toomuch, how will spraying your yard help eliminate your neighbors' breeding sites?

Better to use DEET and a netted portable gazebo.

CDC has also recommended a new mosquito repellent as less toxic than DEET. Sorry, don't know the name but go to and search for the West Nile page.

I even use one of those gazebos over the kids pool to keep the wasps away which freak out the kids every time they try to play in the water. It turned out to be even better when we put some heavy mil clear Visqueen over the gazebo and it had a green house effect keeping the air and water warmer. It is very pleasant inside. The pool is 4 feet X 12 so we adults swim there also. The gazebo fits right over the pool with no space around it except in the corners but it is easy to get in and out.

For mosquitoes that tend to get in the gazebo over night especially if it is on the grass. I just lift it up, turn it over, shake out the critters and it is bug free for the day.

We also take it to the campground and set it up and lift it right over the picnic table.

We've been using a five legged free standing Greatland gazebo from Target. It was about a hundred bucks. The Sun breaks it down after about 2 summers but we just replaced it when it started to tear. For the pool we have a cheaper 4 legged one that is easier to use Visqueen with.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 1:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

toomuch, you have my sympathy because we're plagued with those &$#! day biting Asian Tiger Mosquitoes also. As soon as the weather turns really warm they make our property unusable.

Mosquito Magnets don't work well on the day biters because the standard lures are for different mosquito species (mainly the dawn/dusk biters) not for Aedes albopictus (the tiger mosquito). Lots of good info on them at the Rutgers site, .

perryrip is partly right about where the Asian tigers breed, they do favor artificial sites and actually were introduced in old tires etc. But the thing that makes them a real menace is that the female prefers to attach her eggs to a dry surface near a damp area rather than having to be laid directly in standing water. Rain or other water sources (such as hose watering of container plants) can wash the eggs into any water. They can breed in water sources as small as a water-filled twist-off bottle cap or soda can. When the eggs hatch, the larvae grow in the stagnant water source. (another good link about them is here )

The fact that they can breed in the tiniest amounts of water makes control a never ending battle. One website says "The Asian Tiger defies most mosquito stereotypes. It will breed in anything that holds water, even the tiniest amounts, such as flowerpots, tires, old soda cans and clogged rain gutters. It bites more often than standard-issue mosquitoes do. It has nothing against sunshine."

So if your neighbor has outdoor flowerpots with saucers underneath, there can be thousands of these nasties breeding in them even if your own yard is bone-dry.

I've had them land on my DEET-covered arm so I don't know if that is an answer either. Miserable creatures.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2005 at 11:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for all the good comments; the attractant I use in my machine is billed as one especially for the Asian tiger mosquitoes, which is why I was doubly disappointed by its performance last year.

The Demand pesticide is a residual. They spray it in places where the adult mosquitoes tend to rest, in shade & groundcover, for example. It lasts for a month. When they land there, they die. Unfortunately, so will just about anything else... So, the ones who come into my yard would be affected if they land there. I'd be skeptical about this, except that the rep from the Dept of Ag. in my state recommended it, having used it herself w/great success. If the magnet doesn't work, I may try it.

Darth--yes I've had the same experience w/these creatures not being stopped by DEET--it seems to take at least 10% concentration, and it doesn't last long enough.

skeptigirl, thanks for the idea of the gazebo! it might work for the patio. Won't work so well for playing baseball though...

    Bookmark   May 20, 2005 at 10:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

toomuch, do you know of a website that describes the Demand pesticide? I googled "demand pesticide" but came up with a billion hits of two separate words, not the product. Maybe it's sold in up here under a different name, or prohibited altogether. Curious to see what it is, if it's a synthetic permethrin or what.

I've read that the lawn sprays every garden center sells nowadays are almost worthless. They only kill a mosquito who happens to get saturated with it, and as soon as rain or sprinklers hit the area they get too diluted to work (regardless of what the bottle says). If the stuff were strong enough to have a real residual, it probably couldn't be sold over the counter.

Is Demand OTC or professionally-applied only?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2005 at 9:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sorry, I just reread your first message where you do say the Demand has to be applied by a pest control company. Time for another cup of coffee!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2005 at 9:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If DEET isn't working you can try picaridin, a newly EPA approved mosquito repellent. I have no comment on its safety profile other than the CDC has endorsed it as an effective alternative to DEET.

Here's an updated CDC web site on repellents:

Here is a link that might be useful: picaridin

    Bookmark   May 23, 2005 at 5:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

toomuch - We have had the Mosquito Magnet for two years - this is our third season. We saw an improvement in the number of mosquitos, enough to allow us to sit on our deck again. However, we seem to have the regular mosquitos.

Is is possible that you need to experiment with placement of the MM?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2005 at 8:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This is my 3rd season with the Liberty model. It has worked vary well but my yard is such that I was able to exactly meet all the placement requirements.

Be aware that there appears to be a design flaw and these things sometimes don't start due to carbon buildup on the orifice of the catalytic converter. I had to have the entire the power head replaced, luckily while still under warranty. This year I thought for sure it wouldn't start because when I ran CO2 through the Quick Clean valve, it only flowed for 10 seconds instead of the usual 1-2 minutes. I attached the propane tank anyway and was surpised that it started. I am on my 2nd tank of the season but I fear it is on borrowed time. If you do a Google search on "Mosquito Magnet won't start" you will find a lot of complaints about this.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2005 at 12:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You must feed your mosquitos a steady diet of iron filings. Then the magnets work like a charm! ( ;

    Bookmark   June 11, 2005 at 3:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you for all the comments and suggestions (esp. the iron filings...). I also had to replace the power head on the magnet b/c it didn't start up this season (I've had it less than a year). I wanted them to give me an extended warranty for the new powerhead, but they refused, so I'm fully expecting this one won't start up next year... Anyway, I've checked and rechecked the placement, think I have better placement this year, but I've just refilled the tank, and after a full tank, I believe I've caught under 100 mosquitoes (and I got 2 bites just restarting the machine). Again, this is using Lurex, which is made especially for the Asian tigers. The essential problem is that I'm much more of a mosquito magnet, apparently, than this *$&!%@ machine.

The day of my son's b-day party, when I knew lots of kids would be outside, I went out in the morning to see how long it took before the mosquitoes came at me. It was less than a minute. I decided to spray yardguard so people wouldn't get eaten alive at the party--it worked, but I don't like using pesticides when I don't know the impact on everything else (it's mainly permethrin). Anyway, I'm going to decide this weekend whether to get the pest control co to do the Demand stuff. Meanwhile, I'm going to try some of that picaridin!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2005 at 10:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 7:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, I tried the Cutter w/picaridin, and the mosquitoes hovered around us looking for a place to land (shoot! I missed a spot on my ankle)... One of them actually flew into my 4-yr-old's eye (I know I smell some CO2, I know it!). So, I guess it works, but from my very limited observation, not quite as well as DEET.

Today we finally had the spraying done--the Demand CS; it's a chemical derived from chrysanthemums, but it smells like bad cologne to me. Anyway, I'll let you know the result. At the same time, I complained to the mosquito magnet co. that their product wasn't working, and they're sending me a new attractant to try (but I told them I'm not sure I'm allowed to keep a live cow in my yard...). I'll keep you posted!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 10:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi toomuch
I have found a solution to the mosquitoes!
We live in Deal,Maryland.... swamp country. There is a new company called Mosquito Sciences which is owned by a former scientist at U-MD who has studied mosquitoes his whole career. Let me tell you this guy is amazing. He has not used any pesticides on our property and we only experience occasional bites, as compared to last year when we were prisoners in our own home! This guy has developed a trap for asian tigers which is incredible. Since the company is new and they are still testing the trap we were able to negotiate a great rate for the whole season!

Here is my e-mail
send me an e-mail and I'll send you the contact info.

good luck

    Bookmark   June 27, 2005 at 3:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We just do two things.....keep an eye out for standing water and use Bounce dryer sheets. Works like a charm. Take one of them and wipe it all over you, then leave it hang out of a pocket. They won't bite you. Works for us.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2005 at 7:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

mrhab--does that work for the ASian tiger mosquito? ...And does anyone ask you if you just did your laundry? :)

    Bookmark   July 1, 2005 at 12:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I am a newcomer to this Home website. I usually spend a lot of time over at Gardenweb. I see I am coming to this discussion a little late. I have a Mosquito Magnet however and found this thread interesting. We have had our machine for going on 3 years. The first year I was very happy with it. We had to frequently empty the filter of dead mosquitos and the yard was a lot different than previous years. Then last year, we had trouble with the machine. It would come on for a short period and then shut off. We didn't have attractant in it for awhile and then we got some but the machine still kept shutting itself off. So last year, we didn't have as much success.

This year, we went through the whole spring not using the machine, thinking it didn't work last year. We were miserable. We have neighbors that contribute a lot to the mosquito problem and don't seem to be very responsive to hints about it. They have a pool that has a cover that collects standing water, and they installed a small pond with a circulating pump that stopped working and they left the water stagnant all winter/spring and halfway through the summer after having spoken to them about it, it is still the same. Have another neighbor with an above the ground pool that they aren't using this year, that is still covered and collecting rain.

I think we now have daytime mosquitos that actually "look" different to me than the old mosquitos. They get you not only in the shade and around the shrubs, but even in the sunny parts of the yard on sunny days.

So we broke out the Mosquito Magnet and set it up a few weeks ago. I talked my spouse into placing it in a different location this year...we have a small yard and it is not easy to meet the placement requirements. We also took out a lot of old overgrown shrubs this year, which didn't reduce the population of mosquitos, but it has altered the way the breeze comes through the yard. I don't know if that made any difference.

But our machine seems to be working. The filter remained empty the first week, but suddenly, I see it completely full yesterday and am noticing a reduction in bites in the yard. We are using an attractant, not sure what kind.

I am attaching a link to a thread on Garden Web on the topic of organic methods of repelling mosquitos, that you might find interesting. I realize that you already used the non organic pesticide for the yard, but since you did have a concern about using it in the first place, you might want to read it anyway.

We also have a gazebo with the mosquito material, but have not had time to erect it yet. I also am experimenting with some of the ideas I read on the attached thread. I haven't gotten any orange oil yet, but plan on trying it. I have taken leaves of mint and lemon balm and rubbed them all over me when I go out early to the garden and I find that has helped. Another thing I tried is rubbing Noxzema on my skin before going out, only because it is the smelliest thing I could think I think that helped some too for short periods of time.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that our machine keeps filling up with dead mosquitos. I also plan to speak with my neighbor again. I have lots of pots in the yard, but no saucers under them..what is this about the gutters and downspouts that I should know? We do clean out the gutters regularly, is there anything more than that I should be doing?


Here is a link that might be useful: Organic methods of repelling mosquitos?

    Bookmark   July 4, 2005 at 1:15AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Adam, thanks for your input on the Magnet, and for the organic gardening link--I'll check it out! I'm curious--can you tell whether the mosquitoes it's catching are the ones that you say look different? I'm guessing the ones you're seeing are the Asian Tigers; they're actually striped, black and white, humans are their preferred target, and they're v. persistent. If you are catching these, can you tell me are you using Lurex attractant in the machine? I've had mine running for 6 weeks now, and I have yet to fill the net even once. It's caught some, maybe a couple hundred. I called the man neenee referred to above, and he said the attractant only works from very close-up, so it's the CO2 that's supposed to get them close in the first place. I've checked wind direction and so on, and I know I've got that right.

If your machine is filling up--how much are you still getting bitten? I'm wondering if the machine is actually attracting the dusk-to-dawn mosquitoes and not the Asian tigers, in other words.

Regarding the downspout extensions, those black plastic pleated tubes that people attach to their downspouts to move water away, the water sits in the pleats forever, even when it's been very dry out, so mosquitoes breed in there. It's a good idea to put screening on the end (which you might have to clear now and then), like screen door screen. That will keep the mosquitoes out. I just learned also that the Asian tigers are most attracted to the color black, and the smell of the water will attract them even if they can't get to it. So maybe it's better to bury those things, if you can.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 10:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I definitely see these "striped" mosquitos in the yard. I noticed they looked different this year. I haven't noticed yet whether they are actually in the mosquito magnet, but when I empty it I will look and see if I can tell. I am not sure which attractant we are using but I will ask my spouse and get back to you.

I have still gotten bitten in the yard since the machine has started filling up, but as I said, we just started using the machine in the past two weeks. I assume it is just making a dent in the mosquito population so far. It hasn't been as bad, I know that.

These Asian tigers are nasty. We usually could count on having very few mosquito problems away from the shrub borders and on sunny days, and before sunset but with these, they are just as active on sunny days, all day/night/all over the yard. This is the first year I have actually seen a difference in the LOOK of the mosquitos and noticing the all the time biting pattern at the same time.

I don't have those dounspout extensions, we just have the solid plastic ones that just sit under the downspout and angle the water away.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 5:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Glad to hear others are in the same mosquito infested boat as we are! We are inundated with Asian Tiger mosquitos. They swarm within 5 min. of going outside. We use our skeeter vac, spary mosquito barrier, use bite blocker repellent all to no avail. We have eliminated standing water and covered the drainage boxes and downspouts with screen. I don't know what else to try. They even ignore the off coils.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2005 at 1:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We sometimes use an oscillating fan on our deck when we sit outside. The mosquitoes are weak fliers and cannot hold against the breeze.

Drawback: the extra breeze is not comfortable if the ambient temperature is cool.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2005 at 1:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

They actually do work great ... the only draw back, is that its not very user serviceable. For an elderly man like myself I can't be trouble shooting these things all day long, and American Biophysics wants me to buy a new one for $500! What I found is the easiest and definately the cheapest solution was for me to send it to Mosquito Magnet Repair.
They fixed it within a week and it has worked great ever since.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mosquito Magnet Repair

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 6:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am glad to read all this info because I have been contemplating buying a m-magnet but worried about if it worked. I have about 9 acres and part of it is swamp and I have a large deep pond. The mosquitos are TERRIBLE in the summer. I live in the south near the coast and have tried the bounce fabric softner sheets and also skin-so-soft. Neither worked. Here you need the strongest DEET you can get and it sweats off very fast. Plus, since it is hot and you are applying it your skin it makes me sick. I can't work outside with long sleeves and pants in the heat.:)
I have heard not to eat banana's because it will make your blood more attractive to mosquitos as well.
I don't expect to keep my entire yard free of the little suckers but I would love to have it mosquito free to sit on the porch or deck, especially in the evenings. What is the general expense for the DEMAND treatment and will it hurt animals such as deer or birds?(Or fish for that matter) Thanks for the info!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2007 at 11:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

As long as the electronics are working, a Mosquito Magnet is a VERY SIMPLE device and can be serviced with off the shelf parts.

Also, there is no need to use $$ CO2 cartridges to blow out the unit. There are no parts in the MM that could be harmed by using air instead of CO2. (Think about it - the thing is full of air all time anyway). Compressed air works just as well as CO2 and is much cheaper. If you don't have a compressor take your head unit to a gas station and blow it out with the pressure set to maximum.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mosquito Magnet Help & Repair forum

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 4:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

you couldn't be more wrong. the co2's have about 600 psi blasting through them to clean out your machine. Try and get a gas station compressor to do that. Use what they were designed to use. If engines were made to use syrup instead of oil I'd bet they would come with syrup in them. Anyway I get mine from They sell them at wholesale. You'll be better off in the long run trust me.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 6:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I know this is a really old thread, but thought I'd do a quick post anyway. For those of you using the CO2 cartidges for cleaning. I checked out the link above to the website and they are pretty expensive. I get mine for around $1 for the 12 gram size on sale. I think maybe $2 regular price. Go to your local bikeshop. They are sold there for inflating bike tires.

Just an idea and thanks for all the great advice on here.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 4:59PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Pouring a new driveway
Hello everyone, first time poster. I'm ready to sign...
Need advice for gap under door frame
Hi, We had a contractor install pre-hung interior doors,...
Roof leak - strange behavior
I hope someone can help here... History: our roof...
How to fix 1" gaps in drywall seams?
We recently bought our home (build in 1938). One of...
Moss removal help!
Can anyone tell me how to effectively remove what looks...
Sponsored Products
Knoll | knoll kids Maya Lin Stones - Quick Ship
Distressed Farmhouse Buckets with Lids - Set of 3
$59.99 | Dot & Bo
Free Wheeling Wheels Of Style Brilliant Silver Pendant
Signal 2-Arm Wall Sconce - SI331 - Jielde
$390.00 | HORNE
Basequadra Vase by Produzione Privata
$650.00 | Lumens
Austin Carbon Black Paint Shaker Kitchen Cabinet Sample
CliqStudios Cabinets
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™