Some people believe that mosquito control is something about insecticidal sprays and ignore such method as trapping. They are wrong. This is a very beneficial way to get rid of mosquitoes because it targets the insect’s biological features. In other words, while spraying is a defensive position, trapping is an offensive one. You make an ambush, you mislead the enemies by luring them inside the death machine. You wait patiently until they buy into this whole thing. And finally, you kill them. This is a proactive approach and is 100% effective when applied properly. So, here you’ll find 10 best mosquito traps that are worth buying.
What you’ll learn from this Guide:
- How the mosquito trap works
- Types of Mosquito Traps
- Where Can I Use Mosquito Traps?
- Top 10 Best Mosquito Traps
The mosquito trap is a device that can be loosely divided into two parts — the one that attracts and the one that kills. The latter is not typically a concern for users as once the insect is caught, it is easily killed by the even the least effective device. The main challenge here is to attract the target pest inside this death machine. And this is where mosquito traps differ fundamentally from each other.
In this guide, you will learn what types of mosquito traps exist and can be purchased from stores, where they differ and what are the most effective devices approved by scientists. I have compiled this guide based both on my personal experience and suggestions made by trusted professionals. So I hope this material will be beneficial for you.
What really attracts mosquitoes?
Understanding mosquitoes’ preferences is a key to success in catching them. Now, let’s have a look at the following list of the lures these bloodsuckers cannot resist:
- First of all, it is You. To be precise, the signs of your presence in the area — sweating, breathing, and warmth of the body. In scientific terms, this means heat, moisture, and CO2. This is important because mosquitoes are known to remember human smells. However, this is true for female mosquitoes only as the males are not bloodsuckers.
- If you live in a rural area, keep in mind that mosquitoes prefer cattle to humans.
- The second most powerful attractant is water. Mosquitoes need water in order to survive. More importantly, standing water serves as an environment where they breed, i.e. lay eggs, producing furthergenerations.
- The source of light. They prefer bluer and cooler spectrum over the infrared one.
- Dark and blue clothes. Bear it in mind when picking out clothes for your outdoor activities.
- A bottle of beer. Yeah, nothing about human beings is strange for mosquitoes… And they especially like biting those people who have recently drunk some beer.
Such devices need a powerful attractant, a container where the captured insect is trapped and a tool designed to kill it. The most common attractants are ultraviolet light, CO2, H20, heat, and octenol that are emitted by the device. The insects head for the target but, instead of a rich repast, they get captured in a net or container and killed.
The killing machine is usually an electrocuting grid or good old sticky surfaces where mosquitoes adhere after landing. They can be sucked by the in-built fan bringing them into a net or container where they are dehydrated.
To activate the unit, you need to plug it into a socket or insert batteries. That is why one of the properties of mosquito traps I analyzed in the guide is its energy efficiency. After all, each of us receives bills and each of us wants to cut costs. By the way, propane trap is self-inclusive as the gas acts both as the source of power and a lure.
The main idea for using traps is to curb the number of mosquitoes outdoors and eliminate them completely inside the house. Some manufacturers promise a significant reduction in the mosquito population, referring to the fact that female mosquitoes are a prime target of their products. It is the females that lay eggs and are actually responsible for a future increase in a mosquito population. At the same time, it is females that are bloodsuckers and become so excited when feeling the human presence nearby, something that is exploited by trap producers to attract the pests. And yet, no trap will fully eradicate mosquitoes around the house. Get over it!
What you should grasp is that the key difference between various types of traps lies in the types of attractants they exploit. Generally, these are lures imitating the human scents and body heat which are prime targets for female mosquitoes — real bloodsuckers. The overwhelming majority of these devices utilize carbon dioxide, generated either via the propane combustion or through CO2 cylinder. The plume of the produced CO2 imitates human exhalation, attracting mosquitoes. This is a good feature because such devices do not affect beneficial insects which can necessarily be present in any garden or yard.
Now, what are the most common types of mosquito traps?
CO2 traps imitating human breathing
CO2 traps play on the bloodsucker’s instincts, making them believe that a living being is somewhere around. The insects perceive the emitted carbon dioxide as a sign of the human presence as if someone is breathing nearby. As for female mosquitoes, they are able to detect CO2 at a long distance. As a rule, the gas is supplied from a balloon or is generated when ultraviolet light comes into contact with some kinds of metal materials. Do not worry, the emitted amount of gas does not pose a risk to anyone in the house, except for pests.
The strong point of this type is that it is simple and inexpensive, especially when compared with those powered by propane. And yet, there are some downsides. Scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Entomology have carried out a study, showing two major weak points of these devices. They can be broken down easily and were not all good in producing gas.
H2O traps simulating breeding sites for mosquitoes
H2O is actually a chemical formula for water, which consists of hydrogen and oxygen. And water — particularly the stagnant one — is a top choice for mosquitoes. Why? This is because water is the best environment for them to lay eggs and for larvae to peacefully develop… Unless it is an H2O trap, of course. So this kind of devices exploits very potent attractant.
Actually, such traps have a lot of advantages. They are absolutely safe and eco-friendly as everything you need is a tray full of water — no gas and no poisons. Most of them can be installed both inside the house and outside it. They are quite effective and, with all their merits, are inexpensive.
Propane traps offering a combination of attractants
Traps operating on propane will cost you extra money but they have been used for mosquito control over a long period of time, showing a good performance. It works by releasing carbon dioxide and moisture — both serve as a great enticement for mosquitoes. To strengthen the effect, you may add baits like Octenol. When sucked into the unit, the insects die from dehydration since they cannot survive without water.
The key to success of propane traps is in a diversity of attractants they are usually designed to exploit. They can emit carbon dioxide, moisture, and heat simultaneously, which make the device resemble a real human who is breathing and sweating — the main target of all mosquitoes. Other advantages include killing a variety of pests along with mosquitoes and availability of wireless models. However, there are some restrictions: propane traps can be placed outdoors only and at least 15 feet away from the residential building.
Heat traps imitating the body warmth
When mosquitoes get closer to a person — about ten feet — they detect the warmth of the body by means of their sensitive antennae. And the sensitivity of these receptors drastically increases in a humid environment. These two biological characteristics have been used by manufacturers which produce heat traps for mosquitoes. Some models are equipped with an extra attractant, the UV light.
Their strong point is location and coverage. First, heat traps can be safely installed inside the house, provided that the building is not small. Secondly, they can cover up to two acres. However, I should mention some weak points as well: this is quite a complex apparatus and you will have to spend a whole lot of money on it — up to a thousand dollars.
UV traps: a wise choice for indoor use
The main advantage of this type of mosquito traps is that such devices are absolutely harmless. They can even be installed near a baby crib — no excessive humidity, heat, no gasses or poisons. The attractant they are fitted with is ultraviolet light. Another strong point is a lower price compared to the other types. But pay attention to the fact that UV traps are the least effective ones and can be beneficial only when installed in the room where there are normally not so many mosquitoes in the open air.
Depending on the place, you should better use different traps to get better results and, on the other hand, meet all safety requirements. Now, let’s have a look at each specific location.
Basic requirements for home mosquito traps is the absence of any harmful substances and safe operation. And I must say, there is usually no need in powerful device indoors because mosquitoes do not come to your home in huge numbers. For this reason, using a UV-light trap will be enough to get rid of them inside the house.
Now, what is the best location for traps? First, do not set them close to the place where people usually sit or walk. The best position for home mosquito traps is above the ground or on the wall. If the device should be plugged to a socket, locate it closer to a power outlet. Using an extension cord is actually not a good idea because you can trip on a cord and overturn the device. You may try a mosquito zapper that runs on a battery and is charged via USB.
Mosquitoes are most active at night and this is the time of day when we are usually in bed. Mosquito traps for the bedroom should not be placed near a bedside lamp, if there is any. This is mostly about UV-light traps which need to be the only source of light in the room to be effective. Then, look for dark spaces in the room. This is where they gather and rest, which means an appropriate location for your trap. A good choice is to place the trap inside or near drawers and wardrobes as well as around dark and blue clothes.
H2O devices are the best mosquito traps for the garage. Roof leaks often happen in garages, creating puddles with standing water, which means a perfect breeding site for mosquitoes. If you have any puddles or containers with standing water, remove them and place H2O traps instead. Mosquitoes will mistake the device for their breeding site and get trapped. And most importantly, place traps outside the garage as well since usually there is a lot of standing water around. A trap by Magnet that exploits a combination of attractants including moisture would be beneficial in this case.
For the outdoor use, there is a wide array of choices. This is mainly because many powerful devices cannot be exploited in an enclosed space for safety reasons. At the same time, some traps are confined to indoor use because they are not waterproof. Now, where should you place the mosquito trap outdoors?
Mosquito traps for yard / backyard are suggested to be placed in shady areas, under shrubbery and trees. This is where mosquitoes rest in the daytime. Another target is any source of standing water, primarily a swimming pool. This is where they breed. You may try a programmable Mega-Catch trap there, which attracts mosquitoes by CO2. Place it in the yard, customize settings and go out your business. The trap will do the whole job on its own! Also, the unit covers an area of 1.5 acres, which is why it is the most appropriate trap for yards and other large spaces.
Mosquito traps for camping need to be portable, lightweight, and easy-to-use. This means that you will need a UV-light trap. But do not place them close to you or other people in the camp. The best location is around a perimeter of the campground, as well as beneath the bushes, branches and trunks of the trees and other sheltered sites. A USB-charged mosquito trap for camping is specially designed for such outdoor activities.
Mosquito traps for the patio should be not only useful but should also harmonize with the house exterior. Like this stylish Flowtron electronic trap. But keep in mind that you should place it about 30 feet from where people are usually active. The best location is shady and humid spaces that can serve as shelters for mosquitoes.
Below you will find all kinds of mosquito traps within the price range from some ten dollars to one thousand dollars. These are traps under such famous brands as Flowtron and Dynatrap as well as new solutions from start-up companies. Some traps rely on a single attractant while other exploit a combination of them, enhancing the effect. Have a look at products that lure mosquitoes into deadly traps by means of CO2, moisture, heat, and UV-light.
Best Electronic Mosquito Trap — Flowtron
Pros: This trap covering up to half an acre would be a wise choice for your patio or yard. The device does not release any hazardous chemicals or gases. However, you can always add a bait as it is compatible with Octenol cartridges. The charged grid is protected by the outer layer. One more strong point of the product is that it consumes only 15W and is energy efficient. And, what is important, it will not cost you a lot — just a few dozens of dollars.
Cons: The unit should be placed at least 25 meters away from the site where people usually gather. This means that you might need additional power extender.
Flowtron BK-15D: Check the current price
Best CO2+UV-light Mosquito Trap — Dynatrap
Pros: The device covering an area of one acre attracts mosquitoes with a combination of lures — UV light and CO2, which enhances the effect. Then, the insect is sucked by the fan and dies inside from dehydration. The damper shuts automatically, so the captured insect has no chance to get out. A seven-foot cord comes with the product, which is helpful in case you want to install it in the yard.
Cons: This product is quite expensive and will cost you more than one hundred dollars. Also, you will need to replace UV bulbs at least three times a year, which means extra spending.
Dynatrap DT2000XL: Check the current price
Best H2O+CO2+UV Mosquito Trap With Water Tray — Dynatrap
Pros: This is a less expensive mosquito trap of the same brand. The device works the same way — attracting mosquitoes by UV light and CO2 — but covers a smaller area, which is no more than half an acre. A stand pole is convenient for use and can be placed in any place both indoors and outdoors. You will not have to seek a flat surface or something to attach the unit to.
Cons: The trap is still in the high price range. Although its design is convenient, for some people the product’s large size can be a downside.
DynaTrap DT1260: Check the current price
Best CO2 Outdoor Mosquito Trap — Flowtron
Pros: This is one of the priciest traps and you will have to pay several hundred dollars to get it. Why is it worth buying? The device is economical, effective and has a powerful vacuum sucking the insects in. It covers an area of one acre. But I would like to draw your attention to its safety features. The unit is absolutely safe for kids and pets while its flameless platinum catalyst is a fire protective. This is an important quality characteristic of the product, I believe.
Cons: The product has two main downsides. First, it consumes 120W of energy, something that will cost you extra money. Secondly, it can be used outdoors only.
Flowtron MT-125: Check the current price
Best Propane CO2+Heat+H2O Mosquito Trap — Magnet
Pros: This propane device utilizes a mixture of powerful attractants for mosquitoes — CO2, heat and moisture. A deadly force! Another advantage that is essential for an outdoor mosquito trap is that it runs on batteries and does not require any cord. So feel free to place it anywhere in the yard, without worrying about electricity supply. One more crucial benefit is that you can use the device almost under any weather condition.
Cons: This is the most expensive trap that will cost you a lot of money — more than half of a thousand dollars. And that is not all… You will have to spend some more money on a propane tank as it is not included.
Mosquito Magnet MM3200B: Check the current price
Best Propane Mosquito Trap — Blue Rhino
Pros: This trap operates on propane and batteries as well but is a bit less expensive than the previous product, falling into the price range of under half of thousand dollars. In general, this device is considered effective.
Cons: This propane trap is bigger in size than that under the brand of Magnet. Secondly, it is not as effective under unfavorable weather conditions. Also, there is no indicator to see how much propane is left in the tank so you will have to keep track of its amount. Just for information, on average, one propane tank lasts for some three weeks.
Blue Rhino SV5100: Check the current price
Best Heat+UV-Light Mosquito Trap — Mega-Catch
Pros: This product would be a wise choice if you want an environmentally friendly and energy efficient trap that will really kill mosquitoes. In this case, this product is the best bet because it uses neither propane nor insecticides. Mosquitoes are attracted by UV-light and heat and are trapped by a high-speed fan. And the unit consumes less energy than a 40W bulb, which makes it energy efficient. One more strong point is its convenience — the device arrives fully assembled and you will not have to puzzle over making it work.
Cons: The area it covers is not large enough — just one-quarter of an acre, which is not actually much for some three hundred dollars you will have to pay for the product.
Mega-Catch Pro 900 Premier: Check the current price
Best Programmable CO2 Mosquito Trap — Mega-Catch
Pros: Compared to the previous product of the same brand, this one covers a larger area — up to 1.5 acres. Mosquitoes are lured inside the trap by released CO2. An important characteristic feature of the device is that it has customizable Mosquito-Attracting-Stimuli (MAS) settings so that you can change them. In addition, this advanced product has a programmable timer.
Cons: This is the priciest solution in this review — its price approaches one thousand dollars, which is no wonder given that this is a feature-packed product. Another disadvantage is that it is strictly forbidden to turn the trap on in any enclosed space.
Mega-Catch Pro 900 ULTRA: Check the current price
Best USB Mosquito Zapper With A Suction Fan
Pros: This is a safe, eco-friendly and cheap way of catching mosquitoes. Insects are lured by UV light with 365 NM wavelength, which is the best range for mosquitoes. When trapped, the insects remain there until they die from starvation. It is convenient to use because the unit can be charged via USB and run on a battery pack. One more strong point is that the device can be safely placed anywhere inside the house and no one living there will be put at risk.
Cons: The device is effective only in places without illumination. Secondly, its performance is poorer when there are people around. And thirdly, it should be regularly cleaned, at least twice a month.
HUNTINGOOD: Check the current price
Best Mosquito Trap For Camping
Pros: This easy-to-use and lightweight device was created for outdoor activities. And it is inexpensive — some twenty bucks for such a great stuff! Mosquitoes are attracted by the UV light with 3 lighting modes and then are killed by electricity. The product is energy-efficient and can be charged through USB. Feel free to place it in the open air and even wash with water as the trap is waterproof.
Cons: Firstly, the lantern in the zapper is built-in and cannot be removed. And secondly, using UV-light only to attract mosquitoes is not very effective.
DILISENS: Check the current price
What kind of mosquito traps are absolutely useless?
Many manufacturers selling UV & sticky traps claim that these products help to control mosquitoes. But in fact, as I have already mentioned above, the UV-light is the weakest attractant while the sticky surface would hardly work as a good trap. This is especially true for the outdoor use of the trap because the wind can cover the adhesive with dust while the rain can make it simply useless.
And on top of that, the product will cost you several dozens of dollars, which is not much for a good working apparatus but is a waste of money for the product that was apparently cheap in production and design. So my recommendation would be that you do not purchase UV & sticky traps if you do not want to throw your money away.
Comparative Chart Of Mosquito Traps Effectiveness
What are the Best Homemade Mosquito Traps?
Some people prefer not to spend their money on expensive devices but, instead, to make them from products available almost in any kitchen. Let’s have a look at some beneficial recipes:
- A mosquito trap with brown sugar and yeast. Take a plastic bottle, cut in half with one half inverted. Place the yeast and sugar inside. When mixed, they are supposed to create a carbon dioxide plume, which is a powerful attractant for mosquitoes. They fly into the bottle and down through the funnel but cannot get out of it.
- A mosquito trap with vinegar. Cut a 2-liter bottle in half. Pour 1/4 cup of baking soda into the bottom part. Place the inverted top part of the bottle over the bottom part. Secure both parts with a tape. Then pour a cup of vinegar into the bottle. Upon contact with the baking soda, it will produce CO2 attracting mosquitoes into the trap.
- A mosquito trap with dish soap. Soap attracts mosquitoes as well. So pour some dish soap onto a saucer and wait until they land in it and drown. In fact, just some of them will drown while a lot of them will be still swarming around.
- A mosquito trap with beer. Take expended beer bottles, pour some cheap beer in them and distribute around the places where mosquito have been seen. They will come for the beer and some of them will drown.
And yet, all these homemade solutions rarely work. The thing is that CO2 produced by sugar or vinegar will never come close to that generated by an electric device. And even though the gas is produced, it will be a one-time effect compared to non-stop operation of any commercial trap. And finally, the area covered by any natural solution is always limited.
Alternatives to Mosquito traps: What devices are there?
Mosquito traps vs bug zappers
As Frank Peairs and Whitney Cranshaw from Colorado State University rightly said, devices relying on UV-light only are the least effective and cannot be used to eradicate the mosquito population around the house. They catch very few real bloodsuckers while the number of other beneficial insects in such a trap is usually very high. The scientists say that some 350 billion beneficial insects are annihilated in the US by bug zappers. Whereas other mosquito traps exploit a combination of attractants or just more powerful ones like CO2, heat, and moisture.
Mosquito traps vs foggers
Foggers can also operate on propane but they are inferior compared to traps and there are two reasons for that. First, these devices harm beneficial insects, poses a risk to people and damages the environment. Secondly, fogging is a very short-term solution lasting no more than a couple of hours. And keep in mind that you cannot re-apply it open because of the negative impact on the garden. While traps can operate nonstop.
Mosquito traps vs repellents
Many repellents have to be sprayed directly to the skin or face. Exposing your skin to dangerous chemicals is something that in the long run can affect the health. Sprays intended for application to artificial surfaces or plants will actually cost you more money than traps. One can always end up very soon and people prefer to purchase a package of cans to deal with mosquitoes. Another weak point of repellents is that you have to find the right place to spray, whereas traps attract the mosquitoes all around your house.
FAQ About Mosquito Traps
Are Mosquito Traps Safe for pets and human?
Safety properties depend on a specific type of the trap but when used according to the instruction they will not cause harm to anyone. If you use a trap with an electronic grid, do not try to put fingers inside. If you handle a propane trap, keep it away from the open fire. The models designed for outdoor use must not be placed inside the house.
Where Should You Put Mosquito Traps?
The best location is shady, humid and far from where people are active. In the open air, place traps under dense vegetation or near sources of standing water. In the house, mount them to the wall, in dark spaces and away from the illuminated area.
Do I need any extras (fuel, insecticide, etc) when buying a mosquito trap?
As a rule, you have to buy some more. Most products come with batteries included but such things as propane tanks should be purchased separately. A certain category of traps allows for adding extra attractants like Octenol that has to be bought in addition.
When mosquitoes are active and it is the best time to strike?
Most mosquitoes are active during the dusk hours, however, some species are encountered more often in the daytime. And the trap reaps a better harvest at the time when mosquitoes are most active, of course.
How to clean Mosquito Traps?
Again, it depends on a specific model. Some traps can be washed entirely while other have special trays or containers where dead mosquitoes accumulate. Wipe them with a cloth. To avoid the clogging of nets and vents, remove them regularly, at least twice a month.