DynaTrap Mosquito and Insect Trap Review
Does this highly-rated mosquito trap keep the blood-sucking pests at bay?
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I love to spend my summer days sitting outside, listening to crickets, and reading a good book. Unfortunately, that scenario usually also includes the whine of mosquitos and the irritation of itchy bites, not to mention the risk of mosquito-borne diseases. Enter the DynaTrap Insect Trap. This small insect trap has hundreds of positive reviews on Amazon, so I decided to see how it fared in my yearly battle against the bugs.
My backyard looks onto a water overflow lake owned by the county, which gets shallow during the summer and becomes a breeding ground for mosquitos and other flying insects. Walk back there without any protection during the worst of mosquito season, usually in early July, and your legs will be covered not just in bites, but in actual mosquitoes.
My battle is against mosquitoes, but according to DynaTrap, it also works for biting flies, house flies, moths, no-see-ums, June beetles, wasps, yellow jackets, stink bugs, gnats, and biting midges. It should not, however, catch beneficial bugs, like honeybees.
How does the DynaTrap Mosquito and Insect Trap work?
The DynaTrap Mosquito Trap claims to work by emitting a warm UV light and a small amount of C02 to mimic a person’s breath, the combination of which should attract different types of bugs. Once the bug draws near, a small fan sucks it into a screened base, where it is trapped and dies of dehydration, usually within 24 hours.
It needs to be placed about 20 to 40 feet away from people but claims to cover a half-acre radius.
While the trap was created to work for multiple types of bugs, most of the reviewers on Amazon seemed to have the same goal: trap and kill mosquitos.
Traps using C02 emissions primarily work by attracting female mosquitos, which are particularly focused on seeking sources of blood during the breeding season. However, given the different feeding behaviors and breeding patterns of the species, the tests of this method of mosquito control have shown varying levels of success.
The reviews for the DynaTrap somewhat reflect this. While many people rave about the drastic changes they’ve seen in their backyard, other reviewers saw little to no reduction.
What we like
The bug trap is easy to use
Setting the DynaTrap mosquito trap up was simple. It comes all in one piece, so unboxing and getting it ready to use is a breeze. To set it up, you simply find a place to put it, plug it in, turn it on, and leave it alone so it can do its thing.
I did struggle a little to turn it on, which required twisting the fan cover, as well as in getting the cage off to empty out the dead bugs. This was mostly because I was fending off a thorny rosebush near the best place I had to hang it, but as long as you hang it in a more accessible place, you should be fine.
The design is attractive
The product’s design mimics elegant garden lamps, and looks like a standard outdoor decoration, rather than a bug catcher. It comes in a few different metal finishes, so you should be able to find one that works for your backyard décor.
It also glows blue at night to attract bugs drawn to light, which might bother some people. I found the UV light mostly unobtrusive and when I did notice it, somewhat appealing. The small light was just added confidence that the trap was in fact on and working, and I love anything blue or purple.
For the light to draw in bugs, though, the trap needs to be in a space away from other sources of light, so if random blue glowing lights bother you, you may get annoyed by it.
It makes little to no noise
The only time I heard any noise from the trap was when I was only couple of feet away from it, and even then, it was just a whisper quiet whir. When I was sitting in my hammock, about 10 feet away, I couldn’t hear a thing.
What we don't like
I still got mosquito bites
I really wanted this product to be the magic bullet that would allow me to hang out in my backyard without a ton of bug spray, but that was not the case. I left the mosquito trap on for 14 days and went out several days in a row to see how long I could stay out before getting bitten. It never took more than five minutes for me to start seeing multiple mosquitos show up on my leg.
While the basket was full of many different kinds of insects when I emptied it and I was seeing fewer mosquitos, I didn’t see as many dead bugs as expected. Some of the reviewers mentioned seeing hundreds of bugs in a couple of days, and while my backyard is pretty infested, my catch rate was nowhere near that.
I should note, though, that while there were no time frames included in the product instructions, several online reviewers mentioned that they continued to see reductions in the number of mosquitos the longer they left it out, with several referencing five weeks as the timeframe to see optimal results. It is possible that over time my results would improve, but given the lower-than-expected dead bug count, I have to question whether the trap is attracting all of the specific species of mosquitos that hang out in my backyard.
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Finding a place to hang the trap was difficult
DynaTrap recommends you place the trap between 20-feet to 40-feet from where people are, which posed two problems for me. First, my backyard isn’t all that big, and the best I could do was about 10 feet. The second is that since the bug trap needs to be plugged in and since my outdoor outlet is on the house, I had to leave a bright orange outdoor extension cord draped across my patio.
One other thing to note is that since the trap is somewhat heavy, weighing about three pounds, you’ll need a tree or a sturdy holder of some sort. This version also doesn’t come with a hook, so I jury-rigged a system with a bungee cord for testing, which also gave me a little more flexibility in how I secured it to the tree.
There are stand-alone versions available, so if you’re looking to use this in an area without trees or other structures, you may want to consider those. You can also place it on a flat surface, if you have one available in the right spot.
Cleaning out the dead bugs was gross
This seems minor, but dumping a bunch of bugs out of a basket isn’t appealing, and not doing it is a fire hazard. You need to do this basic level of cleaning once a week.
For major cleaning, you need to take the trap apart, removing the fan housing, and use a brush to clean any dirt and bug debris from the housing. The brush is supposed to be included with the trap, but wasn’t with mine.
The whole thing gave me strong flashbacks to my much-hated bug collection in high school. Also, since the bugs are killed by dehydration, which isn’t instantaneous, there were several that were still alive when I opened the cage.
Should you buy the DynaTrap Mosquito and Insect Trap?
No, this does not effectively reduce outdoor pests.
Given my experience and the price point of the product, I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone in a similar situation. Seeing a slight decrease in the number of mosquitos landing on my legs and arms after a couple of minutes is just not enough of a change.
Since I still have to use a number of other means to protect myself, I’d rather focus on cheaper items I’ve seen success with, like bug repellant clothing, mosquito wipes, or simply sitting inside a netted space.
However, if you have a large-enough backyard with the right outlet configuration to hang the trap well away from people, it may be worth it to you. Additionally, several reviews mentioned pairing the trap with other mitigation strategies, like getting rid of any standing water where mosquitoes and other insects like to breed.
If you can combine strategies, or if you live in a space where those standing pools are few and far between, the DynaTrap could give you that the additional layer of protection that would mean you could go outside without spraying up.
If you, like me, can’t get rid shallow standing water and don’t have a large backyard for the optimal placement, the trap may help, but you’re still going to need that bug repellant to avoid bites.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.