Mosquitoes are commonly found pests. We’ve all had to deal with their pesky bites, and somehow they seem to multiply every year. How are we supposed to protect ourselves and our families?
There are plenty of products on the market that claim to capture and kill mosquitoes, but most of them seem to overpromise and underdeliver. While natural mosquito repellents can be extremely effective at keeping mosquitoes away, two solutions are always better than one.
We’re doing a deep dive on the mosquito traps that actually work, so you can enjoy outdoor family time without worrying about that tell-tale itch.
What Are Mosquito Traps?
Mosquito traps either capture or kill mosquitoes. There are active and passive traps available, although the latter is mainly used to capture mosquitoes for study.
Although you’ll probably never need to use a passive trap, it’s worth it to learn a little more about how they work. Many passive traps use fans to suck in these pests, as mosquitoes’ wings are too tiny to fly away from them. Passive mosquito traps differ from active traps because they don’t try to draw the mosquitos in, instead of capturing mosquitos that happen to fly near them.
As for active traps, some use carbon dioxide to attract mosquitos, while others mimic smells that mosquitoes’ prey gives off. The majority of active traps lure mosquitoes using smells, colors, lights, or temperature.
There are two types of active traps: oviposition and host-seeking. Oviposition traps or Ovitraps focus on capturing the eggs laid by female mosquitoes. You’ll need to use a lot of these traps because mosquitoes lay eggs in many different places.
Whichever trap you choose, remember that these active traps typically kill the mosquitos rather than humanely capture them.
Are They Safe?
Traps have to be deemed safe before they can be released to the public for sale. Still, you should determine for yourself what you are comfortable putting near your family (and family pets). In short, mosquito traps are safe—at least for humans!—but only you can decide what’s best for your loved ones.
Are Traps Even Necessary?
Mosquitos aren’t just annoying; they can be straight-up dangerous. Mosquitoes can carry some awful diseases, so it’s important to address a mosquito problem on multiple fronts.
Although a lot of the mosquitoes that carry these diseases have been eradicated, the danger isn’t completely gone. Plus, even if your unfriendly neighborhood mosquito isn’t carrying the Zika virus, an itchy mosquito bite can be enough to ruin anyone’s day.
What Traps Should I Use?
There are quite a few different types of active mosquito traps tailored to outdoor or indoor use, all with varying degrees of success.
Active outdoor traps use three different types of cues to lure the mosquitoes:
- Olfactory traps use smell to attract mosquitoes. These traps usually contain lactic acid (a chemical present in our sweat), octenal (a chemical present in our sweat and breath), or pheromones.
- Visual traps use light, movement, and color to attract mosquitoes.
- Thermal traps use moisture and temperature to attract mosquitoes.
If you have little ones, it is best to use something without harsh chemicals or anything they could wander into unwittingly. Standard CO2 traps are good, especially because the CO2 is sealed up tight in a container.
When it comes to indoor traps, there are really only two kinds: electric traps and Sticky traps. Sticky traps use tape to capture the mosquitoes, while electric traps use light to draw in mosquitoes and kill them.
Do not use bug zappers for mosquitoes. Bug zappers are extremely ineffective in catching mosquitoes, although they work for basically every other bug. Actually, those other bugs are part of why bug zappers are so counterproductive. Zappers kill the good bugs in hordes along with a few of the bad bugs and could make your issue even worse. Plus, you don’t want your little ones sticking their hands near its pretty lights.
As the market is flooded with different types of mosquito traps, it’s important to find a trap that you are comfortable using around your kids.
Can I Just Use Traps?
While traps can get the job done, it is best to have a second line of defense. Don’t be afraid to put on mosquito repellent, and wear loose long sleeves and pants on your outdoor adventures. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
There are some things we can’t change, like heavy breathing, our blood type, our sweat when we exercise, and the carbon dioxide we exhale as we breathe. No amount of traps can keep every mosquito away from our families—humans are basically mosquito bait!
While traps can help, there are plenty of other ways to protect ourselves and our kids. Layer up your loose-fitting clothing, wear muted colors, avoid floral perfumes, and try not to bring alcoholic drinks outside.
Mosquito traps are a fairly new concept, but natural mosquito repellents have been around for centuries. Use mosquito traps alongside mosquito repellent for double the protection.
As with mosquito traps, you should be careful about which mosquito repellents you use on your kids. There are plenty of chemical mosquito repellents that claim to keep these bugs away—but at what cost?
It is always best to do your research before using a new product. You never know when something you use to remedy a problem will just cause a new one to arise in its place.
Many chemical repellents on the market use an active ingredient called DEET, which was developed by the military in the 1940s. DEET is a harsh chemical that can even melt plastic—it’s not exactly something we want near our kids.
DEET’s substitute, Picaridin, is slightly less toxic, but it’s still known to cause skin irritation and other problems.
Thankfully, there are entirely natural alternatives on the market that you can feel good about giving to your family.
The Natural Patch Co. came up with a simple sticker infused with safe essential oils, so you never have to worry about DEET or Picaridin ever again. Our mosquito repellent patch BuzzPatch is easy to use and designed for kids and parents alike.
Never worry about fighting to spray your child with icky-smelling sprays again. These adorable emoji stickers pack a mosquito-repelling punch without any risk of being rubbed into your baby’s eyes or accidentally touching their skin.
What Do I Do If I Have Already Been Bitten?
Sometimes, a brave mosquito will get past even the best-laid traps.
The Natural Patch Co. has you covered once again with our MagicPatch Itch Relief Patches. Much like BuzzPatch, MagicPatch is 100% safe to use on your kids.
It doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals like many of the anti-itch products available in stores. In fact, MagicPatch doesn’t need an active ingredient at all to provide powerful itch relief.
MagicPatch’s grid pattern uses its shape to relieve itches by draining your bites of their mosquito saliva—AKA the saliva that causes itching and spreads disease.
MagicPatches last up to seven days. They are completely waterproof and are safe to put on all your bites, whether they’re on your face or your ankle.
Not only are MagicPatches super easy to use, but they come in cute colors your kids will love.
The Best Laid Traps
All mosquito traps fall under one of two categories: active or passive. While they can definitely help your mosquito problem, it’s important to still use a mosquito repellent, especially when you’re on the go.
When looking for mosquito repellents and itch relief, look towards DEET-free, chemical-free products like The Natural Patch Co.’s BuzzPatch and MagicPatch. You spend so much time trying to protect your family from mosquito bites—make sure you protect them from harmful chemical repellents, too!
Do Bug Zappers Work? | Wirecutter
Effectiveness of Mosquito Traps | NEA
Mosquito Traps | Department of Public Health
Mosquito-Borne and Other Insect-Borne Diseases | Florida Health