Flying insects can often present incredible challenges within pest control. Mosquitoes are some of the most dangerous pests in the world due to the ability of the insects to transmit several life-threatening diseases, therefore, these pests have a long-established difficulty when it comes to successful eradication.
Foggers are perhaps the most consistently utilized pest control method for mosquitoes, yet even these beneficial tools can sometimes miss large collections of mosquitoes.
Mosquito trapping systems offer an equally effective solution to solving the problem of flying insects such as mosquitoes by attempting to trap the insects to prevent them from flying away from a traditional insect killer.
What Are The Best Mosquito Traps?
- What mosquito traps are and how the products work
- The differences between attractants and trapping mechanism across a variety of mosquito traps
- The differences between indoor and outdoor mosquito traps
- Detailed buyers guide with key points to look for in a purchase
- Comprehensive reviews of 7 of the best mosquito traps on the market
What Are Mosquito Traps?
There are many different types of mosquito trapping systems, yet the best most universal function amongst all of the products is the ability to attract mosquitoes and get rid of the insects by trapping them. These insects are attracted to carbon dioxide in humans and animals and will seek this out both indoors and out, and even at distances of up to 5 acres.
Mosquitoes can live their average lifespan inside of your home of 7 to 10 days for males and 40 to 60 days for females and this is amplified if the pests are breeding in drains and water and/or sewer piping. With these statistics in mind, proactive measures to try and eradicate large infestations of these insects are difficult, no doubt made even more difficult by the ability to try and destroy a pest that can easily fly away.
How Do Mosquito Traps Work?
A mosquito trap is designed to lure the insects with an attractant that mimics carbon dioxide from humans. Some traps use carbon dioxide emissions combined with an equally powerful attractant, such as octenol, or other chemicals that lure mosquitoes.
Trapping mechanisms may also use lighting arrays to draw the insects into the mosquito trapper, specifically UV light, which is also a strong lure for mosquitoes. Since mosquitoes are also drawn to heat, most traps work by including a heating mechanism close to the trap reservoir as well.
All of these features are designed to mimic the same attributes mosquitoes look for when seeking a blood meal from humans. Carbon dioxide, which is constantly exhaled by humans, as well as body warmth through the heating mechanism. UV light is meant to mimic the infrared optical output that mosquitoes see humans through.
Once the attractant has successfully drawn the pests into the trap, the insects are unable to escape and eventually die. Some traps will use sticking mechanisms, similar to fly strips, which bind to the mosquito preventing the insect from flying.
Other traps may use liquid traps of either soapy water or fructose-rich liquid to drown the bugs. Mesh nets and even air pressure may also be featured in some models to aid the process of capturing the mosquitoes before they can fly away.
There are trapping systems that use electronic devices and are popularly known as a bug zapper. These types of traps may also use an attractant to increase mosquito landing.
The methods may differ across different mosquito traps, yet the concept is always the same, luring the insects to the trap and utilizing different trapping methods to eventually kill mosquitoes. Each type of trap has positive and negative attributes and the ultimate decision is based solely on your preferences.
How Do Indoor Traps Work?
If mosquitoes find a way into your home, which most usually do, it is a good idea to invest in a quality, indoor mosquito trap to handle the problem. Mosquitoes cannot reproduce without blood and only female mosquitoes actually bite humans and animals, therefore, there is a good chance that female mosquitoes have made it into your home if you are being bitten.
Since the problem will not be as advanced as an outdoor mosquito swarm, investing in an indoor mosquito trap is great since these types use safety equipment in lieu of potentially hazardous killing mechanisms. Since a rampant infestation is not likely to occur indoors, a simple, non-gaseous, non-electrified model is ideal.
Nearly all indoor models work in a similar manner. Flying insects are attracted to the brightness inside of the trap, in addition to the carbon dioxide coating that lines the outer structure of the trap. Once a mosquito lands in the coating, they are trapped inside of the cage where dehydration and death will usually occur within twenty-four hours.
Indoor traps are highly effective and this is also achieved without the need for harsh insecticides or cumbersome equipment. The flying insects are not able to escape the cage once they are trapped inside and this requires practically no work on your part to eliminate a large number of mosquitoes from your house.
With only periodic tray cleanings necessary, indoor models are a safe and chemical-free method for killing this pest that works very well. Some variations may occur, such as the placement of sticky strips to trap mosquitoes as opposed to fans, yet the design of indoor models are pretty universal in the absence of electrified grids or gases.
How Do Outdoor Traps Work?
When determining the best mosquito traps, outdoor models are usually the models that are frequently referred to. These traps act as a mosquito magnet across various types of methodologies to lure the mosquitoes in and kill them by trapping them.
Most outdoor models are powered with potentially dangerous components, therefore, these models should never be allowed to run inside of a home. Outdoor models are scattered across many different types of variations, including gas-powered, fan and lighting array-powered models, electrical transformer zapping models, and more traditional types of trapping systems that rely on familiar attractant techniques.
The basic mechanism of action involves the bugs flying toward an attractant and either entering the unit to become trapped inside or being electrocuted once the insects touch an electrified wire mesh. The mosquito trap type is primarily up to you based upon your preferred specifications.
What Are the Different Types of Mosquito Traps?
Gas-Powered Mosquito Traps
Because there are many different variations in how these models actually work, we will break down the various types for a well-rounded analysis.
Apart from the benefit of not having to be limited by a cord that needs to reach an electrical outlet, gas-powered traps are oftentimes some of the best mosquito traps based simply on the power within the unit. The trap is run primarily on propane, which powers the attractant by creating an emission of carbon dioxide, which is the primary attractant that a mosquito seeks out when looking for a blood meal.
These traps are sometimes referred to as ‘mosquito magnet traps' since the CO2 can reach far distances and alert mosquitoes into thinking that humans are nearby. Once the insects land into the mosquito magnet, they are sucked inside via a fan which makes it impossible for the mosquitoes to escape the trap.
Most gas-powered traps also use smart technology to alert homeowners of mosquito activity within the trap, in addition to allowing the homeowner to program the trap to run at specific intervals, such as dawn or dusk when mosquitoes are most active. The propane or CO2 container will need to be replaced periodically in order for these traps to maintain effective performance.
High-Voltage Mosquito Traps
Unlike a mosquito magnet, an electronic insect-control system or ‘zapper' also uses attractants but relies on a powerful electrical grid system to lure the insects in and electrocute them on contact. Instead of trapping the bugs, this model kills them instantly.
This is achieved via a high-voltage electrical transformer within the trap, which is usually made of mesh that electrocutes the bugs as soon as they land on it. The voltage rates generally fluctuate between 1,000 to 2,000 volts and even higher in some models.
In terms of attractants, most zappers use a lighting array source as the primary luring mechanism to get bugs to fly into the trap. The best mosquito traps of this variety will also use additional attractants to aid the lighting source, such as octenol strips or even CO2 emissions generated by an additional heat source within the trap.
All of these components are housed inside a protective barrier to prevent any possible electrical currents from emitting outwards from the transformer. High-voltage traps are attractive due to the ability of these models to instantly kill the pests, which prevents any possibility of escape.
Non-Electrical Mosquito Traps
For all the additional types of outdoor traps available, more traditional luring and capture methods are used to trap the bugs. Most of these systems rely on light to draw the insects into the trap, by which the bugs are then sucked into the trap below by a fan.
No gas or transformer is used in this kind of model, rather the bugs are primarily trapped inside of a tray with stick glue, which prevents escape. The best mosquito trap will essentially use powerful techniques to kill the bugs, however, these traps can prove to be quite successful if used in areas with only moderate mosquito activity.
For all intents and purposes, these traps are best-suited for outdoor patios and social areas, since relying on a lighting system alone to lure mosquitoes will likely not produce the best results within the field.
Mosquito Trap Buying Guide: What to Look For
It is always important to read product labels and base your decision on if the product will address the particular type of problem you are dealing with.
With that in mind, keep these key points in mind when it comes to selecting the best mosquito traps.
Do Mosquito Traps Actually Work?
According to the National Center for Biotechnology, mosquito traps represent one of the best methods for controlling problematic mosquito populations. The science behind this method is ingenious, even if there are some complex breeds of mosquito that are leery of taking the bait.
A mosquito trap works best when more than one attractant is used to lure the bugs into the trapping mechanism. When successful, this is what solidifies these contraptions as a true mosquito magnet, since the temptation is too strong for the bugs to resist.
With these statistics in mind, there are some possible inadequacies when assessing the overall efficiency of certain kinds of traps. Zappers that solely rely on lighting arrays are nowhere near as successful as traps that use CO2 emissions to lure the bugs in.
Light offers only passing interest to this insect, whereas CO2 and heat respond directly to the stimuli that alert the insects to possible blood meals. Likewise, that is inconspicuous are also preferred, since these bugs are primarily attracted to the human and animal form in lieu of a machine.
Therefore, the best mosquito trap to consider is a trap that uses CO2 and heat to lure the insects in. These traps act as a virtual mosquito magnet and have a very high success rate.
Mosquito Trap Reviews
1. Flowtron BK-15D Electronic Insect Killer
The great thing about a zapper bug model is that these devices do not generally involve a trapping mechanism, the product simply lures flying insects through UV light by which the insects are then immediately killed by a high-voltage transformer. This saves time by not having to consistently change the trap or the baiting stations.
The Flowtron BK-15D is a highly effective bug zapper that will also address problems with gnats and other problematic flying insects up to 1/2 acre away. You can also add an optional octenol attractant to increase the luring mechanism to attract these pests from the surrounding environment. If you want an effective insect trap with limited maintenance, this model is highly recommended.
2. TBI Pro: 2-in-1 Bug Zapper and Attractant
Not all electronic mosquito traps use primary mosquito attractants, yet the models that manage to use UV light, attractants, and a transformer for killing, are highly effective. Mosquito control is best suited for methods that acknowledge a wide range of attractants and effective killing mechanisms, which is the cornerstone of a mosquito-free area.
The 2-in-1 Bug Zapper and Attractant by TBI Pro has a 4200-volt electrical grid in addition to a 20-watt UV light, which works well to lure mosquitoes into immediate death. Apart from the powerful voltage, the true standout of this product is the 2-in-1 component, combining octenol with light to work effectively as a mosquito magnet of sorts.
A cleanable catch tray is included and the electrical grid is fenced behind a plastic cage to prevent any possible danger when coming into contact with the unit.
3. Aspectek 20W Electronic Indoor Insect Killer
Indoor insect traps need to prioritize safety above all else since the products rely on powerful electrical grids with high voltage to zap mosquitoes in lieu of trapping them. This is beneficial for this species of insect since females frequently find ways to get inside of homes to feed on blood.
The Aspectek 20W is designed specifically to be mounted on walls with two powerful UV lights to attract mosquitoes to the electrical grid. The standout feature of this unit is the safety it will provide you when placed indoors through a mesh screen to prevent electrical shock.
4. Katchy Indoor Insect Trap
It isn't always necessary to use potentially dangerous traps to attract mosquitoes. More often than not, a simple light that attracts the sensory perception within the mosquito eyesight and a glue trap is all it takes to effectively eliminate common swarms of mosquitoes.
The Katchy Indoor Insect Trap is perfect for indoor mosquito problems as there is no gas or high-voltage electrical grid to cause potential dangers within the home. This mosquito trap works by utilizing UV light to lure mosquitoes into a fan which sucks the mosquito into a glue trap within the container.
This is a perfectly feasible solution for indoor mosquito problems and works well when complemented by an outside mosquito trap.
5. DynaTrap Outdoor Insect Trap with UV Light
DynaTrap is a company that creates some of the best mosquito trap models with a commitment to endurance and effective control. The DT2000XLP is a standout within the series as it designed to be used either indoors or outdoors and uses no chemical or gas-powered attractants to work its magic.
The powerful UV light will attract mosquitoes, who are naturally drawn to illuminating light sources. For added efficiency, the DT2000XLP includes a special coating of carbon that is generated into carbon dioxide (the main mosquito attractant) by the light source that regularly heats it into an aroma.
Once the mosquito lands on the outside of the trap, a quiet, but forceful fan pulls the mosquito into the inside of the trap, where the mosquito will usually die within 24 hours. This model is comprehensive in how it manages to both lure, trap, and ultimately kill mosquitoes and any other flying insect that is attracted to light and/or carbon dioxide, without the potential safety hazards of more complex mosquito traps.
6. Mega-Catch Pro Ultra Mosquito Trap
A gas-powered mosquito trap works by utilizing either propane or other heat sources to radiate carbon dioxide into the surrounding atmosphere to attract mosquitoes. This type of trap uses attractants to mimic human attractants to mosquito stimuli, which can be very effective and makes this model the best mosquito trap on the market.
The Mega-Catch Pro 900 can attract mosquitoes and other biting insects including black flies, sand flies and biting midges from as far away as 150 feet. This insect trap works through a superior brand of technology and is designed to provide long-term relief, by reducing mosquito populations and interrupting the breeding cycle.
This trap uses gas-powered CO2 to mimic a key feature of human and animal respiration by releasing or exhaling variable amounts of CO2 into the air plume. This means that this is quite possibly as close to the real thing available in a mosquito trap. Although expensive, this mosquito trap represents the best within the field.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will Mosquito Traps Alone Get Rid of the Problem?
Even the best mosquito trap on the market will need to be complemented by a comprehensive eradication plan to see the overall success of the problem. If you are experiencing an onslaught of mosquitoes in your surrounding area, there are other measures you will also need to take in order to eradicate the problem.
The first is the elimination of stagnant, standing water around your yard. Always empty any containers containing rainwater as soon as possible to eliminate breeding grounds.
Keep bushes and trees trimmed and always mow your lawn to prevent other potential breeding sites. You cannot simply rely on a trap to handle the problem, you have to also attack the source.
What is the Best Backyard Mosquito Control?
A mosquito trap is one of the best pieces of equipment you can use to eliminate these pests from your backyard, yet there are additional methods that are equally effective. Foggers can emit chemicals via fog across far distances to eliminate the pests within their natural environment.
Foggers are efficient because they can disburse an insecticide to control areas that you will be using outside, keeping those areas mosquito-free for hours at a time. When used in conjunction with traps, this represents one of the best dual-methods available for consumers to attempt to eradicate the problem on their own.
How Can I Make My Patio Mosquito-Free?
If you are just wanting to keep your outside common area free of these pests, one of the more traditional traps is likely all you will need. Consider investing in a trap that uses CO2 emissions or even just a trap that uses lighting arrays to lure the bugs into the trap.
Additionally, be sure and keep all stagnant water emptied and be consistent about this to avoid any females from breeding right near your home.
A mosquito trap is one of the best inventions within pest control when it comes to controlling and eliminating large swarms of disease-carrying mosquitoes. This pest can be hard to eliminate based simply on the insect's ability to fly away at will.
There are many different kinds of traps and the best will usually contain more than one attractant to ensure that the pests are drawn into the trap within. The smaller the problem seems to be, the more simple you can afford to be when picking which trap is the best for your own situation.
The DynaTrap DT2000XLP is a perfect all-around trap that uses no added chemicals or complex voltage systems to adequately capture and kill mosquitoes. For more complex efficiency in eradicating these pests, consider using the Mega-Catch Pro 900 which utilizes smart technology to keep track of all the pests being killed in addition to emitting powerful CO2 emissions.
Whatever trap you decide to purchase, you will likely find great success with these types of equipment. Since this pest is hard to control, the best method is sometimes one that seeks to trap as opposed to outright kill with harsh, airborne chemicals.
Roiz, David et al. (2012). Efficacy of Mosquito Traps. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3403756/.