DynaTrap Mosquito Trap Review

DynaTrap has been making environmentally friendly insect control products for the home since 2006.

They make several insect traps for both interior or exterior use. Both the indoor and outdoor traps use the same methods, light and carbon dioxide, to attract insects. Although they also now have plug-in light traps. The DynaTraps are safe and have a stylish design that fits into any environment.

How the DynaTrap Works

The traps attract flying bugs with warmth, UV light, and carbon dioxide. The trap has a UV fluorescent bulb that provides a little heat and light that attracts flying insects. The attractant they use to attract bugs is carbon dioxide. Many insects, including mosquitoes, are attracted by carbon dioxide, which humans and animals exhale.

When the light or CO2 attracts the insects, they enter the trap via the openings below the light, and then a fan pulls the insects into the retaining cage where they die from dehydration.

The DynaTrap differs from many other mosquito traps in that it does not need a propane tank or CO2 cylinder. This is an advantage as it saves on running costs.

The different outdoor traps are either for 1/4 acre, 1/2 acre, 3/4 acre, or 1 acre. But these are approximative areas and may be overstated. The traps for larger areas have a more powerful fan and stronger lights.

It is estimated the cost of running a 1/2 acre DynaTrap 24/7 will be about $2 per month and a 1-acre trap about $4 per month.

How Does a DynaTrap Produce Carbon Dioxide?

A DynaTrap produces CO2 and water vapor due to a photocatalytic reaction when UV rays hit the titanium dioxide-coated surface and the organic matter pulled in by the fan. However, there is some doubt as to whether the DynaTrap produces sufficient carbon dioxide to attract mosquitoes.

The University of Wisconsin states that they attempted to measure the CO2 emitted by these traps, and they detected no CO2 at all. If the tests were carried out in a laboratory, perhaps there was little or no organic matter.

The results from some field tests comparing several commercially available traps, including the DynaTraps DT2000XL and the DT1000, suggest that the Dynatrap does produce CO2 in sufficient quantities. They generally caught more mosquitoes than other traps. There were traps that didn’t produce CO2 in the test, and they caught very few mosquitoes.

Pros

  • Quiet working, no noisy zapping
  • No propane tank needed; this means less hassle of changing the cylinder every 3/4 weeks and less expense.
  • The initial cost is less than a propane mosquito trap.
  • Outdoor DynaTraps can be used indoors as well.
  • No insecticide, making trying the trap safe for pets, children, and the environment.
  • One year warranty

Cons

  • Catches insects indiscriminately moths, beetles, flies, but not necessarily mosquitoes.
  • Bugs may escape when emptying.
  • Not certain if it emits enough CO2 to attract mosquitoes.
  • Extension cord needed to place the trap away from the house. The length of the cable on outside traps is 10 feet.
  • The trap should be placed 3 to 6 feet from ground level. This means you will have a find a suitable location. This could be placed on a table or hung from a branch. The DT1260 trap comes with its own stand, or DynaTrap also sells adjustable shepherds hooks.

Setting Up Your Trap

Half Acre Decora Series DynaTrap

You don’t want to place your insect trap near areas where people gather. Otherwise, biting insects may be attracted towards the trap only to find a more appetizing target (you, your family, or friends) once they are near.

So it’s recommended to set up the trap at least 20 – 40 feet away from where people will be standing or sitting and about 3 to 6 feet above the ground. Ideally, in a shaded area, mosquitoes don’t like direct sunlight and between mosquito breeding areas and areas where people congregate.

If you’re using an indoor trap, the trap should be set up at a distance from where you are sitting, and keep it away from doors and windows.

Maintenance

The main maintenance is emptying the cage every one to three weeks, depending on the season. Keeping the retaining cage clean will result in a more efficient trap operation.

As the insects die by dehydration, which may take a day, some insects will still be alive and can escape when you turn off the fan and empty the retaining cage.

You also have to change the bulb. DynaTrap recommends changing them every 4 months or 3000 hours when operating 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

Apart from that you just have to generally keep it clean.

Do the Traps Work?

The most important question is whether the traps work. The answer seems to be that they do capture bugs, but some customers complain they don’t catch many mosquitoes.

These traps catch a lot of insects, mostly harmless or even beneficial. If you want to stop some of these insects, such as moths, you could put a grill or screen over the openings that only allow smaller insects to pass.

You can see the results from a successful test here.

Will a DynaTrap Catch Mosquitoes?

Some people report having caught significant numbers of mosquitoes, and others are disappointed by their mosquito catch or lack of it.

This could be due to the mosquito trap’s placement, the species of mosquitoes, and the amount of CO2 produced.

The different species of mosquitoes probably have their own signals when looking for a blood meal. Whether they are visual, odorant, or thermal. This might explain the different success rates.

There have been tests with different mosquito traps in the past. For example, the Salt Lake City Mosquito Abatement District ran tests with two different traps. A Mosquito Magnet and an American Biophysics ABC trap. Each trap was run for one night then switched to the other’s location during a two week period. It was found the Mosquito Magnet “captured enormous numbers of Ochlerotatus sierrensis, the western tree-hole mosquito but few Culex pipiens, Culex tarsalis, or Ochlerotatus dorsalis. The ABC trap performed just the opposite.” This shows different traps may be adapted to catching certain species of mosquitoes.

In other research, the University of California found that light preference “is dependent on the mosquito’s sex and species, the time of day and the color of the light.” So having a UV light plus some CO2 may only catch some species of skeeters some of the time.

However, in a test involving different traps, the DynaTrap fared quite well, catching both Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. The test found that by using an attractant, they increased the capture rate significantly.

The latest DynaTrap models DT600 and DT700, include an octenol attractant, Atrakta, and use a UV-LED bulb; perhaps this will improve the number of mosquitoes caught.

If you already have a trap and don’t catch many mosquitoes, you could try adding an octenol lure and change the placement to see if there is a difference. DynaTrap sells lures and recommends putting them in the insect cage. Some users have done this and report better results.

Verdict

An insect pest trap that works with UV light and CO2 but doesn’t have the inconvenience and expense of changing cylinders, makes this trap recommendable.

However, there are conflicting reports on the number of mosquitoes it catches. Some say it catches many, and others say none at all. This could be due to the species of mosquitoes in distinct regions or the placement of the trap.

DynaTrap sells an attractant for mosquitoes that can be used with its indoor or outdoor traps.

Most users say they attract many moths and other insects. This is a problem with a trap that uses UV light as an attractant.

The reviews on Amazon are mainly positive; one complaint is that you have to change the UV bulbs often. DynaTrap recommends changing them every 4 months or 3000 hours when operating 24/7. The bulbs are not cheap, anything from $30 – $13 depending on the trap.

An insect trap is only one weapon you should use against mosquitoes. You should continue to remove or cover any standing water, use a larvicide in water that can’t be drained, and use sprays to kill adults when absolutely necessary.

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