Viatek Mini Insect Trap - MK02

Viatek Mini Mosquito TrapThe Viatek Mini was the first mosquito trap to break the $50 price barrier. That in itself was enough to get our attention.

The Mini is completely maintenance-free. It has built-in LED lights and doesn't rely on propane, pesticides, or chemical lures, so there are no supplies to purchase. It uses a combination of light, heat and CO2 to attract insects - essentially the same capture technology used by the highly-rated Dynatrap.

With prices this low there are bound to be some tradeoffs - for the Viatek Mini the tradeoffs come in the form of a plastic housing and a skimpy power cord. There are also shortcomings in the design, which we cover in more detail in our review (along with some tips which may help you get more out of this bargain-priced trap.)

If you're looking to fend off a large, hungry mosquito population, we suggest you look into a more powerful and durable all-weather unit. However if you have a small deck or patio a and want to see if a mosquito trap is right for you with a minimal investment, the Viatek Mini is worth a look!

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Details:

Attractant(s) Used: Light, heat and CO2 (carbon dioxide) generated by a Ti02 (titanium dioxide) coating.
Capture method(s): Dry - a fan pulls insects into a catch bin.
Note: See our review for tips on rigging up a more-effective wet-capture tray and some other helpful "hacks"!
Additional features: Weather resistant plastic housing, 12V power supply with 6' cord. 12 month manufacturer's warranty.
Price range: $17 - $35
Supplies and Accessories: N/A
Cost of supplies: N/A
User feedback: Mixed reviews, it seems to work OK in small spaces. It did catch some mosquitoes in our test.
There are complaints about the design of the catch bin - lack of a cover or damping mechanism means that some still-alive mosquitoes can esacpe when you shut the machine off to empty it. This is a common problem in dry-capture traps.
The manufacturer recommends running the trap for several additional hours to dehydrate any insects that are still alive.
Comments: Small, entry-level mosquito trap employing the same attraction and capture strategy as pricier traps. If you just have a small area to protect, it's hard to go wrong for the price.

Viatek Mini Insect TrapViatek Mini Insect Trap - Our Review

The budget-friendly Viatek Mini mosquito trap boasts of the same basic technology (light, fan and titanium dioxide coating to generate carbon dioxide) as traps costing up to 5 times as much. Is this inexpensive gadget as good as the original Dynatrap? Or is it more a case of getting what you pay for? We took a close-up look and later put it to the test.

Our First Impressions

trap and adapterOut of the box, the Viatek Mini is an attractive device with a cheery, light-green top. Construction is ordinary plastic, and it has a metal handle which can be used for hanging or carrying. The trap has maintenance-free, blue-spectrum LED bulbs built into the underside of the top, and uses a fan (like the one which cools the inside of your PC) to draw insects into a cleanable plastic and metal-screened trap area. A titanium dioxide coating generates CO2 to attract mosquitoes. It comes with a power adapter and 6' cord.

Setup and Use

Setup of the Viatek Mini is a no-brainer.

  • Take it out of the box
  • Plug in the adapter
  • Press the "on" switch

And that's it! Cleaning also couldn't be easier. Simply unplug the unit, twist the capture bin off, clean it and twist it back in place, and you're good to go. Other than emptying the bin, this trap is maintenance free - no bulbs to burn out, no costly supplies.

This device is quiet, cool to the touch, and the light from the blue-ish LED's is pleasant and not annoyingly bright.

Comments

The Mini TRIES to keep up with the "big kids" - really, it does. However there are a few things lacking.

Catch Bin - Viatek MiniFirst, be aware that this light, plastic trap is not intended to be kept out in the elements 24x7. The manufacturer notes that it is "weather resistant", but also cautions that the plug must be covered. It's suitable for a deck or covered porch, not your yard.

Speaking of the plug, a 6' cord on an outdoor insect trap is a joke, as is the thin wire it is made of. Unless you are using this on your patio with an outlet nearby, you definitely need an extension cord. BTW, our test unit was almost pulled off the table by the combined weight of the adapter and our extension cord, so be careful where and how you set it up. Hanging it up somewhere would be our choice.

The catch bin comes with a little "saucer" which sits in it. We're not sure why - maybe the insects are supposed to politely die on the saucer making it easier to empty? (FYI, they don't.)

The blue spectrum LED's should intrigue most species of mosquito

Viatek Mini Insect Trap Interior

Our Test Results

To find out how effective it was, we put the Viatek Mini to the test - a 12 hour test running from 11AM to 11PM. Here's what we got:

Viatek Mosquito Trap - Does It Work?

As you can see, the Mini did catch some mosquitoes - we counted 9 or 10 - but nothing near the impressive haul from the Dynatrap under simalar test conditions. The rest of the catch was a few "no see-ums" and other miscellaneous insects. Interestingly, we did not catch any moths.

We can only speculate as to why the Viatek turned in a smaller catch:

  • The LED's may not effectively activate the TiO2 coating. Without the carbon dioxide, it would be relying primarily on light to attract mosquitoes.
  • If you look at the unit directly from the side, you'll see that there's maybe an inch of space where insects can fly in between the top and the fan assembly. Compare this with the more generous space on the Dynatraps. Most mosquito species will head in a straight line towards their prey. The small space may lessen the chance of an insect flying close enough to be sucked in.
  • We tested the Viatek on a small table. Hanging it up so that it's 4-8 feet from the ground may make it more noticeable to low-flying insects.

Conclusion:

So is the Viatek Mini as good as the more-expensive Dynatrap?

In a word, no. It's a flimsier product, lacking the sturdy, all-weather construction of the Dynatrap. And while our test showed that it did catch some mosquitoes, the overall capture rates were just a fraction of what we got from the Dynatrap.

In use - viatek mosquito trapStill, we think it could come in handy in some situations.

  • As an "entry-level" device or folks wanting to check out a mosquito trap without the big investment. If you catch some mosquitoes with the mini, expect your results to scale up significantly should you later upgrade to a more "serious" trap.
  • On an apartment balcony, porch, patio or deck, especially one with a roof - there are no toxic chemicals or open flames to pose a threat in a covered area.
  • The Mini is small and light enough to take camping and place at the perimeter of your campsite. (We'd love to see them come out with a battery powered model!)

It's just not the right tool for a large area or a heavy duty mosquito problem.

You may only catch a handful of mosquitoes, but that's a handful of mosquitoes who won't be biting you or your family. And that's a good thing.

Tips and tricks:

If you don't find yourself catching much in this trap, you might want to try one of the following "hacks" to make it more attractive to the bloodsucking critters:

  • You can rig up a wet capture tray in the bottom of this device. Take a small storage container, fill it halfway with water, add a teaspoon or two of soda or fruit juice and a squirt of dishwashing detergent. Stir it up and place it in the bottom of the catch bin, being careful to keep the water away from the fan and electronic parts. (If the container won't stay in place, try some Velcro tape.)
    The humidity from the water and the scent of the sugar should make the trap more attractive to mosquitoes, and the dish soap liquid may hinder escape.
    Be warned that the sugar water could also attract bees and wasps, so use with caution! Or try just water and dish soap.
  • You could also try attaching an Octenol strip / lure to the device. Octenol is a powerful mosquito attractant used by traps like the Mosquito Magnet. They're not hard to find - several manufacturers make them to use with insect zappers. Shop around for strips or a cartridge in a size which you could attach to the trap (away from the lights and fan.)
  • If you need to shut the trap off, here's a trick to prevent "escapees": First UNPLUG THE DEVICE, then carefully slide a folded paper towel through the side to cover the fan. (This is what we did at the end of our test.) Do NOT put your fingers (or anything else) near moving fan blades while the power is on and remember to remove the paper before the next time you power on the trap!

Note that attaching things to the trap will void your warranty. Try these at your own risk, and please use common sense, like keeping flammable things away from heat, liquids away from electricity and everything away from moving fan blades.

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Specifications:

Dimensions: 7.2" x 7.2" x 7.2"
Weight: 1 lb
Power Source: A/C
Coverage: Small patios.

Where to buy :

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