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Frequently Asked Questions

What attracts biting insects to people? 
Carbon dioxide, water vapour, and heat that result from breathing. The Mosquito Magnet® also uses the attractant, Octenol, which when combined with carbon dioxide, enhances the catch rate for certain species of midges and mosquitoes.  

Why do mosquitoes and migdes bite humans and other mammals?
Female mosquitoes and midges look for you and your family (including your pets) to bite so that they can get blood to lay their eggs. Male mosquitoes and midges feed on nectar and don't bite us.

How do the Mosquito Magnet® Defender and Liberty Plus work? 
Mimicking human breath, a warm, moist carbon dioxide vapour is produced from Propane gas to attract the blood seeking insects. As the biting insects approach the source, they are vacuumed into a net where they dehydrate and die. 

Which biting insects will the Mosquito Magnet® capture?
Female blood sucking flying insects such as midges, mosquitoes, clegs, biting gnats, black flies (not house flies), birch flies and sand flies. There are around 40 different species of biting midges in Scotland. Only the females bite, however one species, the Highland biting midge, Culicoides impunctatus, is responsible for more than 90% of biting attacks on man. These machines definitely do trap midges!

Will the Mosquito Magnet® capture bees, moths, butterflies, ladybirds or other beneficial insects? 
No. Blood seeking insects have receptors in their maxillary palps (mouth parts) that sense carbon dioxide. Non-blood seeking insects, without these receptors, are not attracted.

Is the Mosquito Magnet® environmentally safe?
Yes, it is safe as no pesticides are used to trap the biting-insects.

Is it possible to dramatically reduce the biting insect population in an area? 
Yes. 90% of the midges and mosquitoes biting you live within 100 metres of where you are. The other 10% are brought in by the wind. (Most midges and mosquitoes do not migrate.) They cannot detect your carbon dioxide beyond 100 yards. As the females are trapped, the generations are eliminated, thereby interrupting the breeding cycle in that area. This usually occurs after 4 to 8 weeks of continuous use.

Is there a way of attracting more midges and mosquitoes towards a machine?
Yes, if you place a solar garden light as close to the machine as you can, at night the light will attract many more midges and mosquitoes and they will be vacuumed up into the machine!

How soon will I see a difference in my garden? 
The Mosquito Magnet® will begin trapping female midges and mosquitoes immediately if placed properly in your garden. You should begin to see a difference within a few weeks. Within 4-8 weeks the midge and mosquito breeding cycle will be interrupted, drastically reducing the population in your garden. The Mosquito Magnet® Defender coverage is up to half an acre (midge catch up to 250,000 per day)and the Mosquito Magnet® Liberty Plus, coverage is up to one acre (midge catch up to 1 million per day).

How many midges and mosquitoes can I expect to capture? 
The quantity of midges and mosquitoes caught varies greatly, depending on your region's infestation level, where and how it is placed on your property. In tests in one high infestation area 1,500 mosquitoes were captured in one night and in Scotland over one million midges have been caught in one night and 2,500,000 midges (2 1/2 lbs in weight) were collected in one net in a large machine!  In more urban areas, catch results may be much less. If you can beat these records, let us know!

If you have infestation as bad as the last picture you need the Liberty Plus!

What maintenance is necessary to keep the Mosquito Magnet® running effectively? 
A standard 12 kg (J Gas) or 13 kg (Calor) red Propane tank and Octenol cartridge should be replaced approximately every 28 days. The net should be emptied when it is half full. The nets can be washed out and re-used but will eventually have to be replaced. Small CO2 cartridges can be purchased separately on our website to flush out any build up of contaminants in the Propane gas line during and at the end of the season - see 'CO2 Cartridges 3-unit pack' in 'Products'.

What is a Quick Clear Valve?
The Quick Clear Valve is a threaded knob with a cap on it as shown in the Instruction Manual for each machine. This is where the CO2 Adapter and CO2 Cartridge are attached. A full explanation of its use follows.

CO2 Adapter

When should you use the Quick Clear Valve?
It is recommended that you use the Quick-Clear Valve before and after any prolonged storage period, at least every two Propane tank changes, and if you have problems starting your Mosquito Magnet® or keeping the Mosquito Magnet® running. It is recommended that you use the Quick-Clear Valve after the first Propane tank change and then every two tank changes after that in order to keep any contaminants from building up in the fuel system of the Mosquito Magnet®. These contaminants may build up over time and clog the fuel system and cause trap failure. For additional maintenance, you can use the Quick-Clear Valve after every tank change, this will help prevent problems from happening. It is also recommended to use the Quick-Clear Valve before and after any prolonged storage period so that contaminants do not build up during that time. Make sure you disconnect the machine from the Propane gas cylinder before you run the CO2.

What size CO2 cartridge to use with the Quick-Clear Valve.
It is recommended that you use the Quick-Clear CO2 cartridges that are available at any retail location where the Mosquito Magnet® and it's accessories are sold or on our web site.

You can use a standard treaded CO2 cartridge. The CO2 cartridge may come in a variety of sizes. You should only use a 12 or 16 gram threaded CO2 cartridge. If you use a larger size the pressure may damage the Mosquito Magnet®. You must use a CO2 cartridge that is threaded at the end. Non-threaded CO2 cartridge will not be able to connect to the Quick-Clear Adapter.

Instructions on how to use a CO2 Cartridge

In order to clean the gas system and lines in a Mosquito Magnet® machine with the CO2 cartridges, it is now suggested by the manufacturer that you carry out the following to purge the machine: ~

1 Turn Propane gas off and disconnect.

2 Turn system off and leave for about 2 hours to cool, if it has been running.

3 First remove the small black CO2 valve cover. Insert CO2 adapter and then attach the CO2
cartridge but do NOT screw in the CO2 gas yet.

4 Switch system on and wait for 3.5 minutes for the Liberty 2003 or Defender or wait 1.5-2 minutes for the Liberty Plus, Pro 2003, New Pro or New Pro Plus.

5 At this time the solenoid will open - this means that when the CO2 is let through the system, it cleans right through. We suggest that you have a dummy run to listen when the solenoid clicks 'open' so that you know when to let the CO2 through the system.

6 Then, as soon as the solenoid opens, screw in the CO2 cartridge, slightly releasing a part 1/4 turn until the CO2 starts to flow. It is recommended you wear eye shields during this process.

7 Unscrew the empty CO2 cartridge once it has warmed up or use gloves, as it will be icy cold following the release of the CO2 and remove the adapter replacing the black valve cover - leave the system for ONE hour to warm up again - the CO2 cools the system due to gas expansion - then switch off the electricity supply (Liberty 2003 & Defender only) and turn the system off (all models) to reset the electronics in the machine.

8 Reconnect the Propane gas, turn on the electricity supply at the wall (Liberty 2003 & Defender only) and switch back on (all models) to commence the start routine.

How to check for sufficient vacuum.
This is the test to ensure that midges and mosquitoes are sucked up into the machine. 

To check if you have a good vacuum you need to hold a piece of tissue, about half the size of a penny, under the opening of the trumpet shaped part under the green and tan housing. Place the piece of tissue about a half inch into the trumpet shaped part. Release the tissue, and it should be pulled upwards into the trap. It may not get vacuumed all the way in through trap and into the net. Mainly you are looking to verify that there is air current moving in the right direction. The vacuum may not seem very strong, but keep in mind we are only trying to pull in a very tiny insect.

Can I buy replacement attractant, nets and CO2 cartridges?
Yes, you can order all these products online. The attractant 'Octenol' comes in a 3-unit pack. The replacement MagNets nets are currently in 3-unit packs for the Liberty 2003 and 6-unit packs for the PRO (2003 Model) and all the new machines (2004-8 models) are purchased in 1-unit packs. The CO2cartridges are in 3-unit packs. Octenol and MagNets can be purchased together as a package to save on delivery charges.  Please be careful when ordering MagNets Nets as you must order the correct net for the right machine.  Each product clearly states the machine name and model the net is for.

How do I know when the gas has run out?
The indicator lights on the Liberty Plus change from green on only to red on, yellow on and green flashing - see the relevent machine manual for full details.

What other fuel can be used to run the Mosquito Magnet®? 
In the UK, only use red Propane gas cylinders as the regulator is set up for UK Propane use only. Butane cannot be used in the U.K. Natural gas cannot be used. In Ireland use Butane only. The regular size to use is either the 11 or 13 kg Propane cylinders depending on the availability from your local supplier.  6kg and 19 kg sizes can also be used however the 19 kg would have to stand alongside the machines. Propane gas cylinders must be stored in the upright position when being used.

Propane gas is usually sold in either red or orange gas bottles. It is sold by Registered Bottled Gas Suppliers such as garages and hardware stores. Main suppliers are:

Calor Gas – - click on Calor Dealers on left hand side of screen, then enter your postcode and the nearest stockists will be presented.

Flogas – – Click on Gas Finder window, left hand side at top of Home page, then enter your postcode and the nearest stockists will be presented.

Johnston Oils and J Gas - - Click on the Contact form to find your nearest supplier for users throughout Scotland.

Is the Mosquito Magnet® cost-effective? 
Yes. Propane costs are not expensive. Suppliers include Calor Gas (13 kg), J-Gas (12 kg) and Shell (11kg), also cheapest option. Do not buy Patio Gas or Butane. The usage rate is approximately 1 lb or 0.454 kgs operated 24 hours a day.  The new Mosquito Magnet® Liberty Plus generates its own electricity so no additional power supply is required.

Is the Mosquito Magnet® quiet? 
Yes. The only moving part is the internal fan, which is very quiet.

Where should I place the Mosquito Magnet®? 
We recommend that you place the Mosquito Magnet® where the midges and/or mosquitoes rest (foliage) and breed (water), not near people. If placed properly the Mosquito Magnet® will draw the midges and mosquitoes to it and away from you. 

Can you give us any tips about using the machines?
Yes, empty the nets when they are about half full. Turn off the machine and on the 2003 models, pull the net drawstrings first before releasing the net attachment and have a polythene bag ready to put the net and the contents in and then seal the bag quickly. The 2004-9 models have rigid nets with flap tops. We suggest you remove these putting the net and contents in a polythene bag too. Once all the midges are dead in the net follow the same procedure for the other net. Remember there will be thousands of midges still alive in the net and you don't want them to escape!   Clean out the net area including the fan cover and insert a new net ready to use the machine again. Once the 'beasties' are all dead in the bag, dispose of them and wash out the net for later re-use.  When you catch midges, always dispose of them by putting them out with the rubbish.  If you compost them, any eggs that have been laid in the net may hatch out and you’ll be back to square one!

When attaching a new Propane gas cylinder to a machine, expel a small amount of gas from the cylinder into the air prior to connecting the cylinder to the regulator. CO2 cartridges are available to be purchased online to clean out the gas line (for further details see the important new instructions above for using CO2 cartridges - remember to disconnect the machine from the Propane gas cylinder before using a CO2cartridge).

When can the Mosquito Magnet® be turned off? 
The Mosquito Magnet® should run continuously to catch both day- and night-biting midges and mosquitoes until the temperature is consistently below 50º F. The Midge season in Scotland is generally between early May and through to September but in some areas can be late April to October.  Ensure you clean out the gas line with a CO2 cartridge before putting the machine away at the end of the midge season.

Before packing up your Mosquito Magnet® for the winter, we recommend the following: 
Turn off your Mosquito Magnet®. Turn off and disconnect the Propane tank. If your product is equipped with the new, Quick-Clear blow out valve, it is recommended that this preventive maintenance be performed prior to storage. Place trap cover over the unit and secure the velcro strips. This will keep insects from hibernating inside and clogging the funnel or fans. This will also prevent dust and moisture from accumulating in the unit. During the off-season, we suggest storing the Mosquito Magnet® in either a garage or shed to protect it from the elements. Any open attractant cartridges should be removed and discarded. The net should also be discarded prior to storing the Mosquito Magnet®. 

Some Mosquito Magnet® startup tips: 
Remove the trap cover or bag from the Mosquito Magnet®, and let the trap fully dry out before starting. If there is a lot of dampness, place the trap in the sun for a couple of days before starting. Re-attach the regulator hose to the tank. Re-attach the power adaptor. If your Mosquito Magnet® is equipped with the new, Quick-Clear valve, it is recommended that this preventive maintenance be performed prior to starting. See Instructions for more information. Turn the Propane tank on, and proceed with the standard start up instructions. Be sure to start the season with a new net and new Octenol cartridge. Always remember to disconnect the machine from the Propane gas cylinder when using a CO2 cartridge.

What makes the Mosquito Magnet® your choice for controlling biting midges and mosquitoes?
For almost a decade American Biophysics Corp. has been manufacturing effective surveillance equipment tested by the USDA and other U S government agencies using their patented Counterflow Technology™ to produce the only effective, consumer-friendly biting insect trap for consumer use. In North America this product is called the Mosquito Magnet®. Midge Magnet® is the name the product was called by the press in the United Kingdom and was only available to the United Kindom market for the first time in 2003.  The Mosquito Magnet® models available from us in the UK are CE marked and have regulators suitable for United Kingdom use. Over 1,000,000 Mosquito Magnet® machines have been sold world-wide in the last seven years (updated June 2004).

What is the equivalent CO2 emission when these machines are running?
The equivalent CO2 emission is apparently that of two cows whilst a machine is in operation.

Can I get Spare Parts for a machine if needed at any time?
Yes, all parts are available - Click on this link for Spare Parts

Do you hire these machines out for events or trial?

If I order a Mosquito Magnet® now when will I receive delivery?
If machines are in stock delivery is about two to three working days from placing an order, if paid by debit card, slightly longer if payment is made by cheque.  As demand is so high for these machines, we are constantly selling out and then orders have to be reserved for the next importation - a new container arrives about every two weeks.  You can order any of the Mosquito Magnet® machines now and pay a few days before you require delivery to ensure your machine is booked. Please normally allow seven days from ordering to delivery as this will include postage time for your cheque by 1st class mail to us, presentation to bank, warehouse handling and delivery (up to three working days) i.e. If ordering on a Wednesday you would normally receive delivery by the following Wednesday. At least one day can be saved if you make payment by bank transfer and two days if paying by debit or credit card. 

Can I collect my order from your warehouse?
Regretfully this is not possible from the warehouse in Stirling. 

If I should have a problem with my machine what should I do?
You should first of all check the Troubleshooting Guide in your Operations Manual, supplied with each machine. To assist you further you can click on this link that gives you access to the details of everyMosquito Magnet® machine.

We will always try and assist you with any problem on 01436 679735.  If we can't assist you immediately call the engineer - Ewen Todd - 01786 440028 or 07766 774 458. We will need the following: -

  • Your name
  • Telephone number
  • Model
  • Serial number
  • Nature of problem

How can I register my new Mosquito Magnet®? 
You should send in your Warranty Registration Card that you receive with the product by post as soon as you take delivery of your machine. Please take a note of the serial number of your machine.

Do you still have questions? 
E-mail us with your questions to and we will reply as soon as we can...

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