Easy to use
I like to spend my summer days sitting outside, listening to crickets and reading a good book. Unfortunately, this scenario usually also includes the whining of mosquitoes and the irritation of itchy bites, not to mention the risk of mosquito-borne diseases. Enter the DynaTrap Mosquito and Insect Trap. This little bug trap has hundreds of positive reviews on Amazon, so I decided to see how it fared in my annual bug battle.
My garden overlooks a county-owned infinity lake, which becomes shallow during the summer and becomes a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Come back there without any protection during the worst mosquito season, usually 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, cockchafers, wasps, yellow jackets, stink bugs, gnats and biting midges. However, it should not catch beneficial insects, such as bees.
How does the DynaTrap Mosquito and Insect Trap work?
The DynaTrap Mosquito and Insect Trap claims to work by emitting warm light and a small amount of C02 to mimic the breathing of a person, the suit of which should attract different types of insects. Once the insect approaches, a small fan sucks it into a wire mesh base, where it is trapped and dies of dehydration, usually within 24 hours.
While the trap was created to work with multiple types of bugs, most reviews on Amazon seemed to have the same goal as me: to get rid of mosquitoes.
Pitfalls using C02 emissions work primarily by attracting female mosquitoes, which are particularly focused on finding blood sources during the breeding season. However, given the species’ different feeding behaviors and breeding patterns, testing of this method of mosquito control has shown varying levels of success.
The DynaTrap reviews somewhat reflect this. While many people rave about the drastic changes they have seen in their garden, other reviewers have seen little to no reduction.
What we like
The insect trap is easy to use
Setting up the DynaTrap was simple. It all comes in one piece, so unboxing and getting it ready for use is a snap. To set it up, you just need to find a place to put it, plug it in, turn it on, and leave it alone so it can do its job.
I had a little trouble turning it on, which required twisting off the fan cover, as well as removing the cage to empty the dead bugs. It was mainly because I was pushing a thorny rose bush near the best place for me to hang it, but as long as you hang it somewhere more accessible you should be fine.
The design is attractive
The design of the product mimics stylish garden lights and looks like a standard outdoor decoration rather than a bug catcher. It is available in several different metallic finishes, so you should be able to find one that suits your garden decor.
It also glows blue at night to attract insects attracted to the light, which might bother some people. I found the light rather subdued and when I noticed it, somewhat appealing. The little light was just extra confidence that the trap was actually on and working, and I like anything blue or purple.
For the light to attract insects, however, the trap must be in a space away from other light sources, so if random bright blue lights bother you, you might be annoyed.
It makes little or no noise
The only time I heard any noise coming from the trap was when I was only a few feet away from it, and even then it was only a faint whirring. When I was sitting in my hammock, about 10 feet away, I couldn’t hear a thing.
What we don’t like
I still have mosquito bites
I really wanted this product to be the silver bullet that would allow me to hang out in my garden without a ton of bug spray, but it wasn’t. I left the trap on for 14 days and went out several days in a row to see how long I could stay out before I got bitten. It never took me longer than five minutes to start seeing multiple mosquitoes appear on my leg.
While the basket was full of many types of bugs when I emptied it and I saw fewer mosquitoes, I didn’t see as many dead bugs as expected. Some of the reviewers mentioned seeing hundreds of insects in a few days, and although my garden was quite infested, the level of dead insects was nowhere near that.
I should note, however, that while there are no time frames included in the product instructions, several online reviewers have mentioned that they continue to see reductions in mosquito counts as they left them out, with several referring to five weeks as the time frame to see optimal results. It’s possible that over time my results will improve, but given the lower than expected number of dead insects, I have to wonder if the trap is attracting all of the specific species of mosquitoes hanging around my garden.
Finding a place to hang the trap was difficult
DynaTrap recommends that you place the trap between 20ft and 40ft from where people are, which I had two issues with. First of all, my garden is not very 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 my outdoor outlet is on the house, I had to leave a bright orange outdoor extension cord draped over my patio.
Another thing to note is that since the trap is a bit heavy, weighing around three pounds, you will need a tree or some sturdy support. This version also doesn’t come with a hook, so I rigged a system with a bungee cord for testing, which also gave me a bit more flexibility in how I attached it to the tree.
There are freestanding versions available, so if you’re looking to use this in an area without trees or other structures, you might want to consider these. You can also place it on a flat surface, if you have one available in the right place.
Cleaning up dead insects was disgusting
It sounds minor, but throwing a bunch of bugs out of a basket isn’t appealing, and not doing so is a fire hazard. You should perform this basic level of cleaning once a week.
For major cleaning, you should disassemble the trap, remove the fan housing, and use a brush to clean dirt and insect debris from the housing. The brush is supposed to be included with the trap, but was not with mine.
All of this gave me strong flashbacks to my much-hated insect collection in high school. Also, since insects are killed by dehydration, which is not instantaneous, there were several that were still alive when I opened the cage.
Should you buy the DynaTrap Mosquito and Insect Trap?
No, it does not effectively reduce outdoor pests.
Given my experience and the price of the product, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone in a similar situation. Seeing a slight decrease in the number of mosquitoes landing on my legs and arms after a few minutes is just not enough.
As I still have to use a number of other means to protect myself, I prefer to focus on cheaper items that I’ve had success with, like bug clothes, mosquito wipes, or just me. sit in a mesh space.
However, if you have a large enough backyard with the right outlet configuration to hang the trap away from people, it may be worth it for you. Additionally, several reviewers mentioned pairing the trap with other mitigation strategies, such as 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 rare, the DynaTrap could give you that extra layer of protection that would mean you could get out without spraying.
If, like me, you can’t get rid of shallow standing water and don’t have a large garden for optimal placement, the trap can help, but you’ll still need that insect repellent to avoid bites.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.
Easy to use