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Mosquito Magnet® Trap Troubleshooting: Low catch or no catch

The following are tips to help you get a better catch


Check Your Mosquito Trap’s Placement

Place Trap Upwind of Breeding Site

Having proper placement is essential to having a good mosquito catch. The Mosquito Magnet® CO2 mosquito trap must be placed upwind of a suspected mosquito breeding site and between that breeding site and the zone you’re trying to protect.

The recommended distance is at least 30 to 40 feet away from areas where people congregate.

For more details on placement, visit this article on best locations for a Mosquito Magnet® trap and use our Interactive Placement Assistant.

Why Trap Placement Matters

Let’s consider this example: If the prevailing winds are moving from east to west, you need to place the Mosquito Magnet® in the eastern part of the yard. This positioning allows the prevailing winds to take the CO2 and the attractant upwind towards the area you want to protect. The mosquitoes will detect the attractant and travel toward it, rather than linger in the area meant for people.

When the mosquitoes get close to the trap, they fly toward the trumpet-shaped nozzle under the unit and a vacuum-action draws them into the net where, once trapped, the mosquitoes will dehydrate and die within 24 to 48 hours.

With proper trap placement, you should begin noticing results within 7-10 days. After 4-6 weeks of continuous use, many of the female mosquitoes that live in and around your property will be eliminated, thereby reducing the mosquito population.

Please note that successful trap placement will trigger a decline in trapped mosquitoes!

Place Your Trap away from your gathering space [TOP]

Is there a sufficient vacuum on my Mosquito Magnet® trap?

Mosquito Magnet Animation

If your trap isn’t generating a sufficient vacuum, it will not be able to draw the mosquitoes into the net. Here is a list of some of the possible causes of low-vacuum conditions in your trap.

  • Low temperature – If the temperature is not in the operating zone (over 50 degrees F) then the fan will not spin as fast, causing a low vacuum.
  • Something clogging the air passages – If something is clogging the air passages then there will be a reduced vacuum. Check the opening of the trumpet, the large fan and heat sink. Make sure these areas are free of insects, cobwebs, leaves and other debris.
  • Large Fan running slow or not spinning – As mentioned before, if there is low temperature the large fan may not spin as fast. Also, if the large fan or the Thermoelectric Generator are damaged, there will be insufficient power to run the fan.
  • Vacuum leak – If there is a vacuum leak it will cause a reduction in vacuum pressure. A service technician may need to install replacement gaskets to achieve the proper seal.
  • Clogged net – Examine the net for rips and clogs. Nets are re-usable, but only to a point. If you have large catches and you are emptying the net 2 to 3 times a month, then you may need to change the net more frequently.
Mosquito Magnet Net

Commercial Pro models – The Commercial Pro is a Mosquito Magnet® model no longer in production, though many machines are still in operation. If you’re having trouble with your Commercial Pro, check to see if the door closes properly and that the gasket around the door is not damaged. Also check the upper housing for cracks and the housing gasket that is under the power pack. Make sure there are no cracks, rips or tears that may cause a reduction in vacuum.


Is there any/enough CO2 being emitted from the trap?

Inside of power pack there is a small fan. If that fan is not spinning or spinning very slowly, your mosquito trap probably isn’t emitting enough CO2.

These fans may need to be serviced by a certified technician. Contact our Consumer Care Team for guidance on this issue.


Is the CO2 being emitted from the trap the correct temperature?

The CO2 in the Mosquito Magnet® trap is meant to approximate the temperature of human breath, a proven mosquito attractant. To check if it is running close to the correct temperature, hold your hand under the plume/nozzle tube. If it feels moist and warm (about the same as if you were to breathe heavily into your hand) then it is emitting CO2 properly.

If you don’t feel this, your mosquito trap may need to be looked at by a technician. Contact our Consumer Care Team for guidance on this issue.


I was getting a good catch and now I am not. Why?

The first thing you should ask yourself when troubleshooting a catch rate problem is, "Am I getting bitten by mosquitoes?" If you have been getting a good catch and the amount of mosquitoes being caught has reduced, then perhaps the mosquito breeding cycle has been interrupted by the Mosquito Magnet® trap. In other words, it worked really well!

Only female mosquitoes are attracted to the Mosquito Magnet®. Over the course of time, the population declines and the breeding cycle breaks down.

Wind & Environment Changes

Many areas get consistent winds from one direction early in the mosquito season and then those winds die down or change direction. Your lack of trapping could be the result of this change in the wind patterns.

Another issue could be that the wind is now blocked by a full-foliage plant, hedge or tree. When you set the trap in place, that plant may not have had all its leaves and now it blocks the wind from reaching your Mosquito Magnet® trap.

Similarly, did you install a new building or other object that affects the operation of your trap?

If any of these conditions changed, consider relocating your trap to a new area and your trap may see a better catch.


Should I be using Octenol?

To determine which attractant you should be using, explore our Attractants 101 section, for complete details.

Basically, you need to have the attractant that works best for the dominant mosquito species in your area

. Attractant Effectiveness Map

Mosquito Magnet® offers three attractant options – Octenol, R-Octenol and Lurex3™. If you feel the attractant for your area isn’t working for you, you may have success with one of the other options.


Other important information about Mosquito Magnet® CO2 mosquito traps.

For best results, use the following guidelines for proper placement:

  • Give it time: If you’ve just installed your mosquito trap or moved it from another location, make sure you give it sufficient time to begin attracting pests. It may take up to 48 hours before the attractant does its magic, and even then the catch may be low for several days after that.
  • Determine where the mosquitoes are breeding – A Mosquito Magnet® CO2 mosquito trap must be located between the breeding areas (standing water, bushes) and the 'people areas' (patio, deck, swimming area) in order to lure the mosquitoes from their source and BEFORE they get to the people.
  • Place the trap away from people areas – Place the trap as close to the breeding areas and as far away from the activity as possible. Place the trap away from people areas so the biting insects will be attracted to the trap and not to you.
  • Place the trap upwind from the mosquito breeding area – Mosquitoes fly upwind looking for a blood meal (which they gets from you). After a female mosquito bites a human, its weight is doubled; the mosquito will flutter back downwind to rest and lay eggs
  • Place the trap in an open area, not in high grass or plants – CO2 is heavier than air, therefore it stays close to the ground. The mosquitoes will follow the CO2 plume to the trap. If its placed in high grass the flow of the plume will be impeded and the mosquitoes won't find it... they'll find you!
  • Place trap in the shade – Mosquitoes don't like to be exposed to direct sunlight. As the sun sets (or just prior to sunrise), mosquitoes come out of their resting places.
  • Your yard is unique – Although we realize that all yards are not the same, and it may be impossible for some people to meet all of the above guidelines, we recommend that you try and meet as many as possible. If you have questions about trap placement, try our Interactive Placement Assistant or contact Consumer Care Team.
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