THIS ARTICLE is an update of the original product review that I wrote four years ago. In the previously published review I gave the mosquito magnet a pretty positive rating. I’ve now changed my mind. Here’s why:
I bought my first Mosquito Magnet after one of my neighbors told me that he owned one and that it works for mosquitoes and black flies, but NOT for dog flies or horse flies.
My neighbor was right, it worked pretty well when it was running. The only problem is that it didn’t stay running very long.
Let me start off by telling you about the bugs in my backyard, which is surrounded by vernal pools and a very small pond. With all the water around, it makes for the ideal reproductive environment for mosquitoes and biting flies.
During black fly season, which runs from the last week of April to beginning of June, the black flies are overwhelming. Their bite causes the same kind of welt as one from a mosquito bite. To protect myself from them, I garden with mosquito head netting and wear clothing that leaves no bare skin exposed. I use DEET on my clothes to prevent the flies (and also the ticks) from trying to get inside my clothes. Yet the black flies still find a way to get at my skin, sometimes biting through the netting. I don’t put DEET on my skin because I’m afraid that it is toxic and even try to spay it on my shirt and pants before I put them on so the DEET doesn’t penetrate to my skin.
When the black flies die off in early June, the mosquito season starts in earnest. They’re around until the first frost. I’m fortunate that mosquitoes usually don’t come out during the day unless it is cloudy. If you go out at night, you’ll be lucky if you make it back indoors with any blood.
Mosquito Magnet performance
When it comes to black flies, the Mosquito Magnet is never able to eliminate them. There are far too many. I suspect that in some years, it will end the black fly season a few days early. On the other hand, it does capture millions of these flies. But the population is so large that this is inconsequential. The saving grace is that black fly season only lasts for about a month. (By now you’re probably asking yourself why do I live where I do.)
With Mosquitoes, if it has been very dry for a couple of weeks and there’s no standing water, the Mosquito Magnet will completely eliminate them in a space of about one quarter acre. Most of the time, unless you go into a shady area or it’s cloudy, there are no mosquitoes in the daytime anyway. The Mosquito Magnet will sometimes eliminate enough mosquitoes so that you don’t get bothered even when it’s cloudy.
The main problem
So why did I give the Mosquito Magnet such a bad rating? The main problem is that it doesn’t work for long. After four seasons the first one that I bought had a circuit board failure. I ended up buying a second one because it was almost as expensive to fix the broken one as it was to buy a new one.
But it was when the second Mosquito Magnet wouldn’t start after four years of ownership that I decided to update this review. If you decide to buy one, you should take into account that they have about a four-year life, which is just long enough to outlast the warranty. I’ve opted to not buy a third one. Call me crazy, but twice is enough.
The Mosquito Magnet requires a new octenol attractant cartridge* each month, which costs about $8 and a new tank of propane every 21 days, which costs about $14 for a 20 pound tank. So even after you make the investment in purchasing a unit, you’re not done paying.
After two years, my first unit’s rechargeable battery failed, which cost me a little less than $45 (with shipping) to replace. The second unit used regular batteries, so you should figure batteries into the cost of the consumables.
Every once in a while you need to use the Quick-Clear* valve to clear out contaminants so you can start the Mosquito Magnet. This costs about $3 each time you use it.
To sum it up, here are the pros and cons of the Mosquito Magnet:
— Significantly reduces the amount of mosquitoes and biting flies
— Doesn’t kill anything that doesn’t bite humans
— Doesn’t use pesticides
— Doesn’t kill all the mosquitoes and biting flies
— Expensive to buy and run
— Consumes a tank of propane every 21 days — not exactly “green”
— Temperamental and sometimes difficult to start
— Lasts about 4-years, then you must buy a second one
The bottom line is that if you have a smaller yard, fewer mosquitoes and no biting flies, you’d probably be happy with a Mosquito Magnet — for as long as it is working.
If you have had experience with the Mosquito Magnet, let us know by commenting below.
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