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Midge Free Zone - FAQ's

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® machines 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, the Mosquito Magnet® Liberty Plus, coverage is up to one acre, the Mosquito Magnet® New PRO (professional use for highly infected areas), coverage is up to one and a quarter acres and the Mosquito Magnet® New PRO Plus coverage is up to one and a half acres - the latest and most powerful machine.

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 the large machines! In one day, one Mosquito Magnet® PRO last year caught 3.7 million midges in a day! In more urban areas, catch results may be much less. If you can beat these records, let us know!

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.

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. 

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.

Where should I locate of my system?
We recommend that you place the system as shown, where the insects rest and breed i.e. in the foliage and beside water rather than amongst people. When placed properly the system will entice the midges 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 2004-8 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.

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