Costs and Limitations

Newfangled bug traps are not without downsides. Chief among them is cost — $170 to $1,300, depending on CO2-generating capacity. That doesn't include the requisite 20-pound propane tank (the same kind used with gas grills) or CO2 canister. Most units need electricity and so must remain tethered to an outlet.

Experts say not to rely on any trap as your only protection. A slight breeze can disperse the CO2 plume or send it in the wrong direction. And if a mosquito spots you first, it will most likely head for you instead of the trap. (The bugs can see about 30 feet, so traps should be placed at least that far away from places where people gather.) To thwart pests that get past the trap, apply an insect lotion and use an area repellent such as a burning coil or a lantern. Some traps even come with supplementary devices that emit repellents or block mosquitoes' homing ability. Paired with good prevention, such as eliminating standing water around the house where mosquitoes like to breed, that should go a long way toward making your summer nights swat-free.

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