2014 being a wet year combined with our warm weather could cause gigantic swarms of mosquitoes this upcoming season. Typically, mosquito season ranges from March to October. Usually the toughest months are June & July. This year could be one of the toughest simply because of all the rain and unusual warm weather, both of those are signs the mosquitoes will truly be out in droves this year. So what can you do?
Magnets for Control
There are many possible solutions to the problems with mosquitoes but this post is dedicated to informing you on the benefits of mosquito magnets. Mosquito magnets basically offer relief from mosquitoes and their dangerous bites and possibly diseases that can be transferred between bites. Mosquitoes have killed millions of people through-out recorded history. Besides just being annoying, mosquitoes are also dangerous. So protecting from mosquito bites and diseases should be a priority.
The Mosquito magnet is arguably the best solution out there in today’s market. It works by producing carbon dioxide which actually attracts the mosquitoes. It attracts the mosquitoes using this technique and odor, which is essentially irresistible to the mosquitoes and then once they fall for the bait, it traps and kills them.
Types of Attractants
There are two possible attractants for the Mosquito Magnet, which are Octenol and Lurex3. Which attractant you use in your Mosquito Magnet is based off of where you are located in the United States.
Certain species of mosquitoes will be attracted to different chemicals. Using the correct spray can increase the effectiveness of your magnet by up to 10 times. Both attractants mimic human qualities, the same that cause them to attack you and bite, but this time, they get bitten back. Depending on which coast you live on, you will choose a different attractant for your Mosquito Magnet.
The Octenol mimics human breath, and will attract mosquitoes from most species which include salt and marsh mosquitoes. Lurex3 mimics human skin scent and is used primarily for mosquitoes that attack and bite during the day, also known as the Asian Tiger mosquito.
Mosquitoes are attracted the breath of humans which contains carbon dioxide, otherwise known as C02, moisture and the heat that is a result from exhaling. They follow the trail of your breath which lets the female mosquitoes know there is blood nearby they can feast on. The Mosquito Magnet releases these same chemicals and copies the same habits of a human and the mosquitoes fall for it every time.
Because the Mosquito Magnet mimics the human breath in such a way, by releasing warm and moist carbon dioxide, it attracts mosquitoes and other insects that seek blood. As they approach the source they get vacuumed into the net where they eventually dehydrate and will die. Octenol is combined with the C02 which will enhance the catch rate by a great distance for certain species of mosquitoes.
The Mosquito Magnet will attract other insects besides mosquitoes such as biting gnats, no-see-ums, black and sand flies, and in some areas the yellow biting fly. It won’t capture things like Bees, Moths, Butterflies, Ladybugs, etc. Only blood seeking insects will be attracted, which is exactly what you want because these are the ones that will bite and transmit diseases.
If you maintain your Mosquito Magnet well, it should run without issue for many, many years. If you run the Mosquito Magnet constantly, meaning 24/7, then the propane tank and the attractant of your choice will last approximately 3 weeks / 21 days. If you replace it in a timely manner, you will optimize the catch rate and can break the cycle of breeding of the mosquitoes that are in your yard. Think of it as preemptive mosquito control.
Once the temperature gets to be about 50 degrees Fahrenheit the mosquito eggs that were dormant, will start to hatch, and the female mosquitoes that had spent the summer being protected in areas like basements or trees will suddenly be ready to come out of hiding and start laying their eggs.
How to Start
Starting the Mosquito Magnet for the first time, or after it hasn’t been used in a while needs to be done correctly. Here are some steps to make sure you start it correctly and avoid any issues from creeping up. First you will need to remove the trap cover, or the bag you are using to protect it and let it completely dry out before even attempting to start it. If there is tons of dampness then try placing your Mosquito Magnet in the sun for a few days to ensure it’s completely dry. Better safe than sorry. Then re-attach the regular hose to the main tank, re-attach the power adaptor if you have one, depending on the model and if it’s equipped with a quick-clear valve then this is highly recommended. Turn the propane tank on and then go through the basic startup steps. It’s best to start each new mosquito season with a new net and attractant cartridge. You can purchase these locally or online.
When the overall temperature increases, mosquitoes will begin hatching earlier and earlier and the “mosquito season” is going to be longer than previous ones. Certain developments by mosquito species are actually becoming shorter by not needing as much time to develop and reproduce so they keep making more and more mosquitoes, definitely not a good thing. This happens simply because the average regional temperatures are getting warmer due to climate change. So now, not only are mosquitoes coming out earlier than before because of warmer weather, they are staying around loner as well. The first frost usually kills them, but that won’t happen as soon as it is coming later and later.
Effects of Drought
Whenever a drought occurs during that time, the first frost is delayed even longer and drains and water sources can become stagnant without a fresh flow, which of course mosquitoes love dearly. Egg laying for mosquitoes in these types of atmospheres is a dream come true.
When the drought is over, and the rainfall begins, the new rain allows the mosquito eggs to hatch and the larvae will begin to emerge. Larvae that are usually occurring in small ponds do not have predators to limit their numbers and chances of survival. Fish that would normally be eating the eggs would have died during the drought or simply don’t live in small ponds.
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