In the past, we would often see those bug zappers hung on people's patios and hear that zzzzztttt throughout the night giving you a sure sound that another one bit the dust. These are definitely effective at attracting insects, the question is what type. Since the invention of the first bug zapping device back in 1934 (it was invented in the early 1900s, but the first patent was issued in 1934), little has really changed about its design. What has changed is its certain safety precautions. But, it is still basically a light, an electrical grid and a power source.
So, what is wrong with this simple design you may be wondering. Well, here's the thing. The design of the zapper is in fact killing insects, it's just doing it to the wrong ones. By 'wrong' ones, I mean, the bugs that are not the ones you are really wanting to be gone. See, the mosquitoes, biting gnats and flies are really not attracted to the light of the zapper. Well, that isn't entirely true. There is a certain number of flies and mosquitoes that will be electrocuted and found in the tray of those zappers at the end of the night. The thing is, it represents a very small number in percentage terms of what insects are killed.
This led some researchers to study what it was that caused mosquitoes and the other biting insects to be attracted to us humans. What they found was quite interesting. The studies showed that it wasn't light that attracted these insects, it was carbon dioxide and humidity. This is why mosquitoes in particular are attracted by large crowds of people enjoying an outdoor barbecue or other event. With that much carbon dioxide being emitted by our breath and the humid summer air, it is almost a recipe match made in heaven for these little blood suckers.
As a consequence of this research, several machines have been invented that are much better at getting rid of mosquitoes, they're called mosquito traps. Not too complicated of a name, but it is the perfect name for the product. Because this is how they work. The mosquitoes are lured to these traps because they emit carbon dioxide and water vapor. Some models also emit a pheromone that attracts the female mosquitoes which are the ones causing you all the bumps on your arms and legs each summer. As the mosquitoes get closer and closer to the source of the carbon dioxide and water, they eventually get sucked into the trap through the vacuum mechanism that is part of these units. They all run on propane, so you don't need to worry about electrical supplies or cords. This way they can also be used quite far from the source of any electrical outlets.
Each model of mosquito trap has a slightly different selling point. Like mentioned, some have a pheromone emitter, others a more powerful vacuum or carbon dioxide supply and range. You will find that some claim to be effective for within so many yards or hundreds of feet. You can expect to pay somewhere in the ball park of $200-400 USD for one of these units. If you do any amount of outdoor barbecuing or entertaining, the mosquito trap is well worth the investment. They also eliminate the need for harsh chemical sprays and toxic ingredients being sprayed on your body or inhaled in the air. People with sensitivities and children are greatly assisted from these harmless mosquito traps.