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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Equipment/Sanitation > Mosquitos in the Brewery - Bug Zapper Advice, Please!
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:15 AM   #1
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Default Mosquitos in the Brewery - Bug Zapper Advice, Please!

Well, it's mosquito time of year again. I don't get Minnesota-size ones here in the California, but I'm in the Central Valley where we have lots of nearby rice paddies, so I have plenty of them. As my brewery has been increasingly moving from the kitchen to the back porch, I've begun to need to control the mosquitoes so they're not ending up contaminating my wort.

Information about sizing bug zappers is surprisingly hard to find. Top Google results are mostly spammy "How To" and Alibaba import-type results. The top thread here that shows up is a guy asking people to name his. Most YouTube results are people having racket-style zapper fights or licking them. I'd love to hear your opinions and experiences of the various bug zappers available, especially as they relate to brewing.

My house sits on a 1/8th acre suburban lot like most. I have an average sized back yard and a larger-than-most back patio. I also have more mosquitos than average. Do I need the 15 watt ("1/2 acre"), 40 watt ("1 acre") or 80 watt ("1-1/2 acre") model? Gut feeling says not to trust the acreage ratings and tells me, "go big or go home," but I also don't want to attract all of the neighbors' mosquitos to my yard either.

Is one big one better than multiple small ones?

Walmart isn't stocking them in the seasonal section yet, so Amazon is the only game in town. Price isn't really an option here, as size and features seem to scale really linearly. Long-term availability of bulbs and mosquite attractant will definitely be deciding factors, and I don't want to buy a new one every year because they tweaked the bulb length .1" and the new ones are too long to fit.

It's already too late for shipping to today (Thurs), so it looks like I'll be ordering by tonight for delivery Monday. Will report back on what I learn and end up buying when the time comes.

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Old 03-01-2013, 01:48 AM   #2
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It's my understanding the traditional zapper type thing does jack-all against mosquitoes. I've heard mixed reviews about the effectiveness of the propane powered ones.

Have you considered setting up a bat box? I hear they're really effective at clearing out the mosquito population.

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Old 03-01-2013, 01:56 AM   #3
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+ on the bat box.

Also, is it at all possible to screen in your porch? You could do a pretty basic job by buying a roll of screen at HD and using a staple gun. Might be a bit ghetto if it is your front porch, but if looks don't matter as much that would be easy.

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Old 03-01-2013, 02:08 AM   #4
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A CO2 or light trap is far more effective against mosquitoes than a zapper. The zapper will end up attracting more insects into the general area.

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Old 03-01-2013, 03:00 AM   #5
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Hmmm. Bat box. CO2 trap. Light traps. None of these are familiar concepts to me, sorry.

I remember at one point a moderator saying they had some input on CO2 traps, but had been unable to provide it because nobody had asked. For the life of me, I can't remember which mod it was. Anybody care to step forward? Now's your chance.

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Old 03-01-2013, 03:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoHox View Post
A CO2 or light trap is far more effective against mosquitoes than a zapper. The zapper will end up attracting more insects into the general area.
Right. The traditional bug UV/electric zappers are useless against mosquitos. You need a CO2 trap.

Most truly effective systems burn gas (propane?) to create the CO2.

Citronella also does work. You can buy the oil and burn it in tiki lamps, but the oil is very smokey/sooty, so don't burn indoors.

Of course, get rid of any standing water. Just a bucket of standing water can spawn many thousands of mosquitos. The larvae develop quickly.
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Old 03-24-2013, 02:34 PM   #7
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Update.

Couldn't afford a CO2 trap last payday. Was just going to suck it up and live with it.

Borrowed a friend's Flowtron zapper. 80W, two UV bulbs. As big as they come. He stuck a "Mosquito attractant" packet on the bottom, which appears to get warmed by the heat of the bulbs. At less than $5 per 40 days of coverage, he says they work well.

Average day was about 10 bites in the 4-o-clock hour. The first day, I got bit once. I haven't been bitten since. After day 5, I bought my own and returned his. Also bought a 5-pack of that attractant. Eventually it will end up costing me more to keep buying the attractant that if I'd just bought the CO2 trap, but it seems to be keeping the house flies down near my garbage cans too.

Getting rid of standing water wasn't an option. I don't have any water on my property. There are rice paddies nearby, and I don't own them.

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