In our all mosquito traps review we have presented to you 3 best propane traps. There were two products of one and the same brand - Blue Rhino SkeeterVac. This is why we have decided to devote a separate review to Blue Rhino. Here we will compare the characteristics and the effectiveness of the two traps; we’ll look into their advantages and disadvantages and see which one is more popular with Amazon users. But first let’s figure out the general idea of Blue Rhino products’ functioning. Despite many differences, they have much in common.
What Do the Blue Rhino Propane Traps Have in Common?
Blue Rhino brand is a manufacturer of not only propane mosquito traps, but also of other very compact insect extermination products (such as hanging traps) and even portable propane fireplaces for your cottage or patio. It is their Blue Rhino GAD860SP LP Gas Outdoor Firebowl with Slate/Marble Mantel that has highest Amazon rating. In spite of the price of ~$459, consumers eagerly buy this huge torch and rate it 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com
We are interested specifically in their propane mosquito traps. Blue Rhino traps are popular with the consumers living in damp climate (in coastal or marshy regions), since propane traps were designed for mass extermination of mosquitoes and use loads of propane for this. They are definitely not made for killing a few bugs in some Southern dry state, as in that case the cost of the gas won’t be justified.
Their competitive edge is the price. Blue Rhino traps are considerably cheaper than other propane traps with similar characteristics, for example, the legendary Mosquito Magnets!
The main distinction from their main rival is that Blue Rhino traps don’t use any electricity. They find the energy in propane, and a small AA battery is only needed to supply a spark and start the unit. You don’t need any other batteries or cords! That’s why Blue Rhino can be put into the trunk and taken along when going fishing or hunting (that’s exactly what many customers do).
Read about Mosquito Magnet Traps in more details in our “Review of MOSQUITO MAGNET TRAPS: «INDEPENDENCE», «PATRIOT» and «EXECUTIVE»
SV3100 and SV5100 traps are perfectly compatible with additional traps, such as chemical attractants, adhesive tapes or LED traps. Moreover, adhesive tape with contrast ornament, octanol attractant and 5 LEDs are supplied with SkeeterVac. No other propane trap has so many add-ons supplied.
You can address with both of these models to a single Blue Rhino service center, which works well, follows the warranty conditions and eliminate the problem quite enough.
- SV3100 and SV5100 give off neither odor nor noise;
- The traps are designed for outdoor use only;
- Both traps are harmless for children and pets (when used properly);
- The traps are equipped with the Flight Guide system (i.e. contrasted ornament on the adhesive tape which attracts insects);
- SV3100 and SV5100 can also exterminate flies, moths and other flying insects;
- These are wireless traps which can be installed at any distance from your house and even taken along when going fishing to Alaska (that’s what one of the Amazon.com customers did)
These traps also have some common problems. If you analyze the customers’ feedback, you’ll see that they mention the necessity of regular replacement of the accessories, as the motor and other details fail from time to time. That’s why you should examine the traps carefully each spring and buy new parts.
Also, unfortunately, the propane tank itself is not supplied with these traps. You’ll have to purchase it separately, and fill propane once in 3 weeks.
However, we’ll talk about real customers’ reviews a bit later and in more detail. Now let’s turn to the principles of operation of these gadgets.
How Do Blue Rhino Propane SkeeterVac Traps Operate?
All propane traps work in a similar way. There’s no difference between SV3100 and SV5100 in this matter.
What attracts the mosquitoes? They are attracted by heat, moisture and carbon dioxide. Mosquitoes perceive all that as results of human activity. When operating, SV3100 and SV5100 turn propane (which is kept in a special tank) in CO2, and exude moisture and heat of about 37-40 degrees Celsius. An odor which is very attractive for mosquitoes is spread on the area of 1-1.5 acres and is perceived by them as a trail of 5-8 people. Momentarily they fly to the source of CO2… and die. The mosquitoes are sucked into the trap by a special vacuum fan which sucks them into a special container where the insects die of dehydration within 24 hours.
Add to this a possibility of using such attractants as Octenol or Lurex3, and the luring light of LEDs and the attractive for insects contrasting design, and you’ll get a very decent product against mosquitoes.
7 Tips to Using Propane Mosquito Traps
- Start using the trap at the very beginning of the season – the earlier, the better! This will allow you to stop mosquito reproduction and thus you’ll decrease their population significantly.
- Be certain that the lure is fresh, it helps very much!
- Be certain that the trap is located in a shadowy place and is kept away from direct sun rays. Don’t use in indoors: if your house is even slightly infested by the mosquitoes, you’d better choose a mosquito zapper.
- Don’t leave the device outdoors when it’s raining, snowing or when the wind is wind, despite its outer rain cover.
- Allergic persons and animals are allowed to leave house not earlier than 30 minutes after the trap has processed the territory.
- Don’t forget to re-fill a propane tank in time, as it contributes to the effective functioning of the device!
- Propane is denser than oxygen, so if it remains in the grass or in the bushes, the trap’s covering area will decrease substantially. That’s why you should place the trap on a flat surface.
It’s time for a battle of the two models! Obviously, the younger device should be better, but it costs much more. We have to figure out whether these differences are worth such a price.
What is the most important thing about propane traps? It’s their power, effectiveness, portability, propane consumption, area of coverage and durability. These and other parameters will serve as the main criteria for comparing SV3100 and SV5100.
Blue Rhino SV3100 SkeeterVac Mosquito Eliminator, 1-Acre Coverage
This trap costs ~$295. This is a rather compact propane trap, the coverage area of which is 1 acre given perfect weather conditions and optimum relief. It works autonomously, i.e. no power supply is needed. Blue Rhino SV3100 can process 27 000 cubic cm per hour. The device can be installed manually, without special equipment. Its weight is 19 pounds, and the manufacturer’s warranty is 1 year. The device is made of high-quality plastic and is wind and rain resistant. Unfortunately, there are no scales showing the volume of propane and the amount of attractant left. The propane supply is usually enough for 16-21 days of active use.
Accessories costs are the following: you’ll have to spend about $19-20 for the gas tank, $20 for the attractant, $5-10 for adhesive tape. Brand-name and other accessories are available online. One year of trap service might cost you up to $180.
The main perk of this model is its price. It works just as well as its more expensive rivals do, it’s well assembled and rarely breaks down. This is true value for money.
Price: ~$295 Check the current price
Blue Rhino SkeeterVac SV5100 Mosquito Eliminator, 1+-Acre Coverage
This trap costs ~$429. The coverage area of SV5100 is slightly larger (the official description states that it is “1+ acre”), and its capacity has grown to 35 000 cubic cm. 2 additional pounds have also been added to the weight thanks to the built-in wheels. You don’t have to carry this device around anymore, you can roll it instead it. The attractants and other features are the same, and still there are no statistics on the volume of propane and bait, unfortunately. Gas consumption has slightly increased, but the accessories costs have not changed at all. The autonomy and proper rain resistance are still there. In addition to the SV3100 rain covering, there is also a separate propane tank case.
As for the drawbacks, identified by the users, the engine and the ignition device break down more often. They used to occasionally fail in the previous model as well, but there are way more complaints of ignition in the SV5100 comments section.
Blue Rhino SkeeterVac Comparison Chart
We have compiled this chart so that you could understand whether the differences between these two models are crucial for you.
We give approximate prices (~), because Amazon.com sales and discounts are common, or else the situation may occur when different sellers sell one and the same product. So, please, check the current price.
27 000 cubic cm per hour
35 000 cubic cm per hour
Wireless, with wheels
Plastic and steel
Adhesive tape, LED, Octenol, Lurex, moisture and heat
Adhesive tape, LED, Octenol, Lurex, moisture and heat
Engine breakdown, frequent ignition breakdown
1 tank for 3 weeks
1 1 tank for 3 weeks
Official characteristics do not always match a device’s real effectiveness. Let’s see what real users have got to say about these two traps.
Blue Rhino SV3100 Customer Reviews
The most popular positive reviews are about the moderate price of the device. It is openly compared to the expensive line by Mosquito Magnets (particularly with its models Defender and Independence), and many advantages of SV3100 are then revealed, for example its price, proper assembly and relative durability.
For example, Matt comments: “I would recommend this model over other models. Comparable models in Home Depot/Lowes are $450+ for the 1 acre unit. The sticky paper replacements and the attractant can get expensive, but at least we can enjoy our yard/the lake now. You won't be disappointed.”
Though, durability is a relative notion. Of course, we have found dozens of comments which state that you have to replace at least one part of SV3100 after each season: “Bought Skeeter Vac and it worked great for a year. I had to replace the motor and it worked again for a year. When it failed to work again the next year I chalked it up to learning experience and junked out failed unit”.
Somberwolf believes that this trap is not suitable for any terrain: “I have no doubt that this works for some people, depending on the species of mosquito, but here in North Idaho it is worthless for mosquitoes. I have tried everything for a month now, and I estimate that it has captured maybe two dozen mosquitoes, and most of them are on the sticky trap. The screen captures a few gnats, mostly.”
Many customers complain of SV3100, but they still keep buying it. E. Smithouser explains the reason for this: “I am ordering my third Skeeter Vac. as the motor of both the previous ones died after three to four years. The only reason I’m buying another one is that my property is against wetlands and it is impossible to go outside without this product during the season. I wish there was a better alternative. PLEASE IMPROVE YOUR PRODUCT!! IF SOMETHING BETTER COMES ALONG I AM GONE!!!” Other helpful customers’ feedback can be found here
Blue Rhino SV5100 Customer Feedback
We have discovered multiple improvements in a more advanced trap by Blue Rhino. How did other users evaluate them though?
They simultaneously praised and scolded the wheels and the handle. The height of a transporting handle seems to be uncomfortable for some owners: “This is the best device I have ever seen for getting rid of mosquitoes. However, even though it has wheels to move the whole unit, I found the design a little difficult to use as it requires you to bend over to reach the handle unless you are short in stature”.
Gerald Mann briefly described his impression of the novelty: “Much more effective than my previous mosquito magnet. But, it uses more propane.”
As we have already mentioned, the ignition is the weak spot of this product. Brandy has also found it unreliable: “The igniter switch doesn't even work. It's like it's a fake switch. Support advised me to hold the other button for at least 30-45 seconds and then try to ignite, but the button does nothing. Now I have to take it all apart and send it back. Ugh”
Matt, on the other hand, believes that if you invest into attractants and try to repair the damages on your own, the device will pay off 100%: “If you use your outdoor space a lot like we do, it's worth $300 per year to reclaim it from the mosquitoes & biting bugs.” Find more customers tips on Amazon.com
The Entire Blue Rhino Product Line Reviews
Besides specific remarks, we have found lots of comments regarding the whole product rangle of Blue Rhino. Both SV3100 and SV5100 are scolded for occasionally attracting the spiders and bees. That makes process of cleaning the container of dead insects more dangerous. The Blue Rhino traps are also criticized for the lack of the indicator.
There are lots of positive reviews too, though. Dozens of customers have named Blue Rhino products “the best”. They reckon that both models can be taken along when travelling, for example when you’re going to a region with lots of mosquitoes: “This machine was used on the Nushagak River in Alaska last year at the fishing camp. It was amazing in how it killed mosquitoes between emitting CO2 and the sticky strip. The mosquitoes were the worst that the locals had seen in 10 years and had it not been for this machine, our experience would not have been enjoyable”.
Another common aspect for praise is wireless technology and competitive price of the traps.
Blue Rhino Propane Mosquito Traps F.A.Q.
Do such traps require baits?
Yes, and we recommend using various chemical attractants for better functioning of a propane trap. Among the most popular baits there are:
- Universal Octenol bait and its derivatives, for example, SkeeterVac Fine Tune Biting Insect Lure Replacement which are suitable for most kinds of mosquitoes, including culex mosquitoes, as well as midges and biting flies. They are perfect for use in coastal and northern states.
- Lurex3 is the second most common bait – we recommend to use Mosquito Magnet Lurex Attractant It is used against the intervention of aggressive mosquitoes biting at daytime, namely, Asian tiger mosquitoes. It is recommended for using in southern states, including Hawaii. Also you may use sticky tape for collecting the flies. Thus, you can choose suitable bait having made «target killings» when exterminating mosquitoes.
I don’t want to hurt birds: can I use the trap without the sticky tape?
Yes, of course, it doesn’t influence the effectiveness much. In fact, there are known cases of birds flying to the trap and getting stuck to it so hard that they couldn’t free themselves. But such cases are very rare, so don’t worry.
Does it work on no-see-ums?
Yes, it works on them as well as on mosquitoes. Use the Octenol bait and turn the trap on as usual. No-see-ums bites won’t bother you anymore.
Is an empty propane tank supplied together with a trap?
No, you have to buy a tank separately.
How to prevent bees from getting into a trap?
Try to replace the bait with another one. Some attractants are too irresistible for bees.
Sometimes my SkeeterVac catches not only mosquitoes but also spiders. How to clean the trap and avoid bites of these dangerous insects?
Be extremely careful, put on the gloves when cleaning the tray, eliminate its contents quickly, for example, you can burn them.
A propane tank lasts for 3 weeks at most. How can I save the gas?
First, turn on the device only when you really need it. It is well-known that there are fewer mosquitoes when it’s windy; so in this case the trap is simply useless. Second, locate the device in mosquitoes’ favorite spots, e.g., near damp spots, fountains, ponds, etc.
As you can see, the described models have both some advantages and disadvantages. A whole range of positive and negative feedback of Amazon customers on these two devices on average means mediocrity. This means that every model has its own fans. Some are satisfied with the older model, SV3100, and aren’t going to switch to another one while other customers prefer a new Blue Rhino SV5100, which is a more powerful and comfortable model. In any case, it is up to you to choose!