We may earn a commission for purchases using links on our site. Learn more.
DynaTrap has been making environmentally friendly insect control products for the home since 2006. In 2019 they became part of Woodstream, a global manufacturer of pest control and lawn and garden products – one of which is Mosquito Magnet, an insect trap for mosquito control.
Dynatrap makes several insect traps for both interior and exterior use. Both the indoor and outdoor traps use the same methods, light and carbon dioxide, to attract flying insects. But it’s not the only product they produce!
They also have a socket outlet trap, Dynatrap DOT (Discreet Outlet Trap), that works with just UV light and a glue card, a bug zapper called Dynazap, a racket zapper, and have just released DynaShield. This mosquito repellent uses essential oils to repel mosquitoes. The DynaTraps are safe and have a stylish design that fits any environment.
In this post, we will look at the traditional Dynatraps.
As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
In the table below, you can see some of the traps available.
|¼ Acre Outdoor Mosquito and Insect Trap||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|DT1050 1/2 Acre Insect and Mosquito Trap||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|DT2000XLP 1 Acre Insect Trap||$$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|DT1260 1/2 Acre Pole Mounted Insect Trap||$$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|DT150 Insect Trap for Indoor or Covered Outdoor Settings Protects up to 300 sq. ft.||$||Check Price on Amazon|
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 -a definite 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.
The estimated cost of running a 1/2 acre DynaTrap 24/7 will be about $2 per month, and a 1-acre trap approx $4 per month.
To increase your catch of mosquitoes, Dynatrap now also recommends using Atrakta, an attractant the imitates human skin scents. A sachet of the attractant is simply placed in the insect retaining cage, and they start working straight away. It’s recommended to change the lure sachet every 60 days. The sachets can be used in all Dynatrap insect traps.
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, like dust, pulled in by the fan. However, there is some doubt 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 which is needed to produce the carbon dioxide.
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. The traps in the field test that didn’t produce CO2 caught very few mosquitoes.
- 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.
- Wide range of accessories -light bulbs, motor/fan units, damper flaps… which mean you can probably repair a trap that no longer works
- One year warranty
- 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
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 from where people will be standing or sitting and about 3 to 6 feet above the ground. Ideally, in a shaded area, as mosquitoes don’t like direct sunlight and between mosquito breeding areas and areas where people congregate. It is also best if you set up your Dynatrap away from other sources of light, so it’s the UV light on the trap that attracts insects.
The traps can be placed on a flat surface, hung from a branch, post, wall, or some come with a pole that can be placed where needed.
If your yard covers a large area, you might want several traps placed at intervals to create a ring around the spaces you use. However, best to see if the traps kill the insects you want to eliminate before buying multiple traps.
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.
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 four months or 3000 hours when operating 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
If you use an attractant sachet, this will have to be changed every 60 days.
Apart from that, you just have to generally keep it clean.
Unplug the trap, thoroughly clean the retaining cage, and clean the fan with a brush or damp cloth to store for winter. Then keep it in a dry place such as a garage or shed. Cover the trap to protect from dust and to stop insects from hibernating.
If the traps stop working after several years, the company has a wide range of accessories, so you will probably be able to find the defective part and replace it.
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, and many will be harmless or even beneficial. If you want to stop some 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 of a successful test here.
When Should You Run Your Trap?
Dynatrap recommends starting your trap at the beginning of the mosquito season. When the temperatures approach 50°f, that’s when dormant eggs can begin hatching.
Set up your trap between breeding grounds and areas you will be using. Remember, don’t put your trap too near to places of human activity. About 25 feet away is a good distance.
Turn on your trap and leave it! Dynatrap recommends leaving it 24 hours a day, every day. The idea is to break the breeding cycle of mosquitoes by capturing the adults before they have the chance to mate, bite and lay more eggs. It will be several weeks before you see any signs that the mosquito population is decreasing.
Will a DynaTrap Catch Mosquitoes?
The majority of people report having caught significant numbers of mosquitoes with their DynaTraps, and others are disappointed by their mosquito catch or lack of it.
These conflicting results 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 using an attractant that imitates human scent (similar to Atrakta that is sold by DynaTrap) 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 add 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.
What Other Insects Will the Dynatrap Catch?
Besides mosquitoes, the main insects that the trap will catch are moths, blackflies, horse/deer flies, sand flies, flies, June beetles, yellow jackets, Asian lady beetles, stink bugs, wasps, hornets, and no-see-ums.
The trap should not attract bees or butterflies as they are not attracted to CO2, although I have seen a review that said the trap did trap some bees. You can cover the openings with a finer mesh to remedy this, and your catch should be small flies and mosquitoes.
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. Additionally, these insect traps can avoid using pesticides, which is something to be taken into consideration.
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, which should increase the number of skeeters you catch.
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 largely positive; one complaint is that you have to change the UV bulbs often. DynaTrap recommends changing them every four months or 3000 hours when operating 24/7. Depending on the trap, the bulbs are not cheap, anything from $30 – $13.
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.