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Mushroom of Doom
on July 17, 2012
I had been looking for a convenient and compact indoor flying insect trap to replace a larger unit I have that lures bugs using black light and drowns them by blowing them into a drawer filled with soapy water.
The large unit works, but the fan is noisy and the chores of adding water and cleaning out the drawer are a hassle.
I saw this InaTrap in a gadget blog and was intrigued. The trap features a handsome mushroom-like design with a compact footprint, and I like the dual lure of the light plus the CO2 scent. I also appreciate not having to deal with a drawer of soapy water!
At any rate, I can report that after two weeks of use, the machine seems to be doing its job effectively. I live in New York City, where flying insects are not a major nuisance, but we have had our share of mosquitoes this year, as well as some no see ums that bit me pretty good a few weeks back, along with the usual house and fruit flies and moths.
Well, I haven't seen any of these critters flying around my apartment since I started using the trap, and when I emptied the trap compartment today, I was surprised to see that the machine had even caught some moths, which I would have thought were too large to get sucked in by the silent fan here.
Buyers should be aware, however, that the instructions advise NOT using the machine in your bedroom while you sleep. They say that the human body gives off ten times the amount of CO2 that this machine does, meaning that the machine can't compete with your body when it comes to attracting biting insects. Instead the instructions suggest running the unit in a different room while you're sleeping and running it in your bedroom for a few hours before you go to sleep.
Unfortunately, I live in a small studio apartment, so I keep this machine running across the room from me when I sleep -- I have no other option. I should also mention that I use an ultrasonic Sunbeam mosquito repeller, which sits on my nightstand. This sounds like a male mosquito to females -- the ones that bite -- and it makes the females stay away.
So I bought this InaTrap to deal with no see ums, fruit flies, and other flying pests as well as mosquitoes, and it seems to be attracting them despite my presence in the same room.
I should note that the machine gives off a fair amount of light, so folks who like to sleep in a dark room will have another reason not to sleep with the trap in their bedroom. This particular model offers a twelve-hour timer mode that will shut the unit off automatically at night to accommodate light-sensitive sleepers. I'm not bothered by the light, however, so I use the always-on setting to keep the machine running 24/7.
Apparently the coating that produces the CO2 when the light shines on it will last indefinitely, provided you don't remove it with a strong cleaning agent. Inadays says that the bulb will lose its ability to attract insects within two years of continuous use, and the manufacturer makes replacement bulbs readily available (here at Amazon) at a reasonable price.
So if you're looking for an attractive, effective, and convenient method to control flying insects indoors without noxious chemicals, you might want to give this little "Mushroom of Doom" a try.
UPDATE: As I've had this unit for about two years now -- and run it 24/7 -- I thought it time to replace the bulb, which the manufacturer suggests you do for maximum bug-luring effectiveness. Aarghh -- the bulb is NOT easy to replace! You have to remove the mushroom's tinted collar, unscrew the base of the unit, remove a plug from the circuit board without damaging the board, cut two wires, plug in the new bulb and attach its wires to a new plug, and then reattach that plug to the circuit board before reassembling the base and collar.
The procedure took me between twenty and thirty minutes -- that's about nineteen to twenty-nine minutes too long, by my reckoning! So I have deducted one star for this unnecessary nuisance. Inadays should redesign the bulb and trap so the bulb clips into place, with contacts at the ends of the bulb, enabling a simple one-minute replacement procedure. Fortunately, you only have to go through this hassle every two years or so, but the more fumble-fingered may simply choose to replace the whole unit -- or buy a flying insect trap from another company offering an easier bulb-changing procedure!
* Attractive design.
* Compact footprint.
* Entirely silent in operation.
* Low maintenance (empty trap drawer every two weeks).
* Effective against mosquitoes and other flying insects indoors.
* Not inexpensive.
* Bulb must be replaced within two years of 24/7 use.
* Bulb NOT easy to replace -- requires twenty to thirty minutes of effort -- NOT for the fumble-fingered!