Notes from the author
While the Mosquito Magnet is one of the best, we don’t think it’s THE best mosquito trap on the market. We’ve done a lot of comparison shopping here, and we just don’t like how many useless things you have to buy to upkeep this mosquito trap.
In addition, customer service, support, and repairs seems very poor here. There are no options to fix the device yourself. Couple that with a lack luster warranty, and we’re not too happy with this product.
We’d recommend the Mega Catch instead. Their mosquito traps have a better catch rate, are made better, and they stand behind the product if you have an issue. Click here to learn more about our top pick.– Outdoors and Ammunition Editorial Staff
Nobody likes mosquitoes. Those pesky little buggers are the bane of every outdoor enthusiast’s existence, and that’s likely why you’ve landed on this Mosquito Magnet review!
This trap claims to rid you of these biting insects, but is it the best mosquito trap on the market? Or, could you be doing yourself a disservice purchasing it? We’ve done our own analysis and we’ve scoured online reviews to find the answer, and you need to read our results before you buy, otherwise you could quickly come to regret your mosquito trap purchase.
What is the Mosquito Magnet?
The Mosquito Magnet is a mosquito trap which is made to mimic a human being in the eyes of a mosquito. Mosquitoes are attracted to things like heat and CO2, because this helps them to hone in on hosts.
While their vision is poor, they can more deftly use other methods to find what they need. The below video explains how it works.
Mosquito traps, like the Mosquito Magnet, use attractants that trick mosquitoes. The idea being that the trap is a decoy that pulls them away from you, and then it vacuums them up into the trap.
Bugs that wander too close, drawn in by heat and moisture, then they get stuck in a catch net where they will eventually starve to death, and all you need to do is empty out the net to see how successful these mosquito traps are.
Since these traps generally have an effective range of at least 1 acre, this is a pretty great method of controlling them. So if you’re sick and tired of being a bug buffet, a trap could be a great purchase to make your patio or camp site more enjoyable.
The mosquito traps work by turning the fuel from your propane tank into carbon dioxide, tricking female mosquitoes and other biting insects into thinking it is breath being exhaled. They make their way into the trap, and your local mosquito population magically begins to drop.
However, this clever trap also works on other annoying biting bugs like no see ums, black flies, etc.
Does it really work though?
It does work, but how well does it work? Well, that one’s a little trickier. Some people say that it works great but other people claim that it barely works at all. So what’s the truth?
Honestly, these discrepancies likely stem from the fact that people are using them differently. The attractant that you use, your location, where you place the trap, and many other factors come into play to make up your catch rate.
Many people are also unaware that not all mosquitoes are the same! There are actually different mosquito species, and your attractant needs to match that species to be effective. If you live in the south, then you’ll need to go with the Lurex3 attractant, and for northern regions, the Octenol.
But, yes, given the correct usage and conditions. The Mosquito Magnet does work.
However, you can’t just set this thing up on your patio and call it a day. For starters, that’d be a really bad place to put it. The trap attracts mosquitoes, and placing it near your BBQ guests will just be inviting them to an all you can eat buffet. Instead, choose a spot away from your living areas, particularly near a water source. You’ve got a 1 acre range to work with, which is pretty generous.
It’s also important to keep in mind that if your mosquito population is quite thick, it’ll take a while for the trap to thin it out. So, don’t expect to be bug free within a couple of hours. That’s just not realistic, but in a couple of weeks, you’ll likely see a large reduction in their numbers.
Tips for using the trap effectively
- Place the trap away from your living areas
Don’t put the trap right on your patio. This will only attract mosquitoes to your party guests! Instead, put it off somewhere else on the property where it can act as a decoy, leading biting insects away from you instead of straight to your living areas.
- Place it near a water source if possible
Mosquitoes breed in water. So, if your property has a pond, lake, or other area where mosquitoes are likely to gather, try to put the trap near there so that they stay there and off your patio.
- Make sure to choose the right attractant
Attractants are not all created equal. Make sure you’re using one that will target your specific species of mosquito! Don’t be afraid to experiment either to see if different types work better on your bugs.
- Elevate it slightly off the ground if you can
Mosquitoes fly, and if you can elevate the trap a bit it might up your catch rate. Not too high, but maybe a foot or so more off the ground would be good.
- Don’t be afraid to experiment with locations or lures
You might not be successful on your first go, so don’t be afraid to experiment. Try different locations, lures, etc. to try and get the best catch rate.
What’s the difference between the models?
The Mosquito Magnet has several different models, and for the most part, they’re pretty similar. Though some models do have features which you may want depending on your situation.
Mosquito Magnet Patriot Plus – This is the base model, and it will include A/C power cord, a small catch net, and not much else. If you don’t need any of the bells and whistles and you don’t want to spend much, then you can save some cash by purchasing this model.
Mosquito Magnet Independence – This machine’s key feature is that it runs on C batteries. Without the need for electricity, you can set up this model in more places. The catch net is also better, and it has a wheeled base so you don’t have to lug it around. This is the middle-ground model.
Mosquito Magnet Executive – This is the pricey one, and it includes things like fuel saving mode, the wheeled base, a large catch net, and a rechargeable battery so you don’t have to keep swapping them. It’s a little smarter than the other models, so it might be worth it to you.
Our review of the unit itself
This unit does require some assembly, but it’s not too difficult. You basically just have to put the head on to the base and then hook up the propane tank, but negative points here anyway, since the Mega Catch does not require any assembly at all, or propane for that matter, giving it better ease of use.
It should also be noted that while the Mosquito Magnet is more cost-effective than some competing mosquito traps, it does come with the burden of requiring attractants. These things aren’t cheap, and at $60 a pop, it’s something to definitely consider. You’ll need to replace it every 21 days.
The mega catch trap can function without propane and attractants, but your catch rate will be better using the lures. Though with that trap you can actually make your own, which is cool, and frees you from needing to constantly buy them from the manufacturer.
Replacing the lure cartridge is easy. All you need to do is twist off the end cap, place the cartridge into the compartment, and turn it clockwise until it snaps into place. Using the Octenal cartridge is slightly more annoying, and for some reason it isn’t the same shape? So, you’ll have to monkey with it to get it into a compartment which does not look like it was made for it.
Once your trap is up and running, you won’t need to do much else other than empty the net. It’s important that you do this though, otherwise it could restrict air flow into the trap. If this happens, then it can impede the airflow, making it difficult for your trap to continue to kill mosquitoes.
When you change the propane tank, you’ll also need to clear the lines of the propane tank, which is a bit of a chore, and yet again, something you need to constantly buy from Mosquito Magnet.
The “quick clear catridge” which they insist that you need to clear dirt and debris from the nozzle are a one-time-use item, and you’ll need a new one every time you change the propane tank. This seems pretty unnecessary, and a money grab by Mosquito Magnet to be honest.
They expect you to purchase and replace the lures, quick clear cartridges, and even the catch nets on a regular basis! Add in a propane tank, and you could be looking at $35/month just to run the thing in mosquito season.
So, does it work? Yeah, but we feel like it could work just as well without the nickel and dime approach. We also have a few concerns when it comes to product quality and customer service though, which we’ll cover in the next section.
Problems with the Mosquito Magnet
A number of consumers have reported having some serious issues with these machines. In particular that they don’t last long and that Mosquito Magnet then demands a hefty fee to fix them. A machine that costs $300+ should last more than a couple of seasons, and this device seems to fall short.
A few others have also noticed some quality control issues which have not been rectified, which is troubling. Especially considering the fact that you can’t actually buy any parts for the thing yourself. You instead have to take it to an “authorized” repair center, and there may not be one near you for hundreds of miles.
Mosquito Magnet really needs to step up their game in this department, because not only does their competitor offer parts for sale on their website, but you can also get a unit with a diagnostics function, allowing you to fix it yourself!
Mosquito Magnet seems to be basing their business model off of repairs after the 1 year warranty expiration and a constant need to buy lures and useless one-time-use junk, and we aren’t a fan of that strategy at all.
The Verdict: Not the best trap out there
When it works, the Mosquito Magnet does a fine job at catching mosquitoes. However, when it stops working, which could be any time within a couple of weeks or two years if the reviews are to be believed, then look out.
You’ll likely be in for a lot of headaches and repair bills to get it up and running again. In our opinion, this makes the Mosquito Magnet a loser, and we have to give it a big thumbs down, but if you’d like a mosquito trap that does a much better job, keep reading.
The Mosquito Magnet vs Mega Catch
We’ve actually done a full write up of the skeetervac vs mosquito magnet vs Mega Catch if you’d like to read it, but spoiler alert, it’s not even close. In some instances, the Mosquito Magnet might have a slight advantage, but only because it has a model that works without an electrical outlet.
The Skeeter Vac, while much cheaper, is nothing to write home about. It hits rock bottom performance-wise when compared to the other two options on the market.
So, if you need mosquito control at a remote camp site or cabin, or an area where you’re not able to use an AC power cord, then the Mosquito Magnet may still be a good choice.
However, for pretty much every other application, the Mega Catch is top dog in our opinion. Not only does it have way more features and options, but it has an astoundingly better catch rate!
Not only is it better at catching mosquitoes, but their customer service is also far superior. While many Mosquito Magnet customers seem left in the lurch, with a hefty repair bill to boot, Mega Catch is much more understanding.
One reviewer received a new transformer for free from the company after his blew thanks to a rainstorm. He was able to install it himself without a hefty repair bill or the need to find an authorized service center, which might not even exist, like Mosquito Magnet would likely insist upon.
In short, there’s really no contest here, and if Mosquito magnet wants to compete with Mega Catch, then they are really going to have to up their game. Do yourself a favor and spend a bit more to get a trap from a company that makes products that last and won’t leave you out in the cold if you run into an issue. You can learn more about the Mega Catch here.