Nobody likes to see or even hear mosquitoes!
One moment, you’re trying to enjoy yourself, and the next, you’re suffering from a stinging bite. These tiny insects can leave you uncomfortable and itchy for days after a bite, and they’re almost impossible to catch. If you’re like most of us, you’ve even found yourself staying indoors on a warm, beautiful summer night because you just don’t want to deal with the bugs.
There’s good news, though! The best mosquito trap can catch those little monsters and leave you free to relax. Imagine spending a starry July night out on the lawn or by the lake, with no biting bugs to be found.
Does it sound like a dream come true?
There are plenty of traps out there to help you make it a reality!
Of course, the market is full of different mosquito traps. They use a range of fuel sources, different baits and operating conditions. There are even mosquito traps made to catch specific species of insects. That can make things a bit confusing when you go to purchase your own.
If this sounds like your situation, it’s time to stop and do your research. We’ve gathered up reviews for 10 of the most popular traps on the market. They run the gamut from inexpensive indoor models to high-end outdoor mosquito control units. There’s sure to be one that fits the bill. So let’s take a closer look and find out which mosquito trap is best for all your buggy problems.
How to Buy the Best Mosquito Trap
Nobody wants to be bitten by mosquitoes. Most of us would rather that these nasty little bugs went away entirely. Unfortunately, they aren’t likely to do that on their own. We need mosquito traps to lure these biting pests safely away from us, where we can dispose of them.
Which mosquito trap is right for you?
It all depends on your situation.
Hoping to clear mosquitoes from a large area?
An outdoor trap that relies on propane might be the best choice for you.
Do you just want to spend a few quiet nights on the porch?
A smaller trap designed for indoor/outdoor or indoor-only use would probably be a better buy. Either way, you’ll get the best results by reading all the specifications carefully.
To get the best trap for your situation, know how much area you need to deal with and where you’ll use your trap. That will help you read through all the reviews to find the perfect solution.
All Types of the Mosquito Traps
Not all mosquito traps are created equal, of course. These devices come in a range of sizes and prices. They use different attractant methods and power sources. When it comes down to it, however, you can break them into a few main groups. Let’s take a look:
Since commercial mosquito traps cost money, it can be tempting to control mosquitoes using a trap you make yourself. Finding a DIY mosquito trap that works can be easier said than done, though. Traps that rely on plastic bottles full of yeast and sugar are more likely to catch fruit flies than mosquitoes.
More complex traps can be difficult to build, with lots of room for mistakes. These traps do catch a few mosquitoes, but they’re much less reliable than a commercial model.
All traps need some kind of attractant to bring in the bugs. In a homemade trap, that’s often some kind of fermenting material or fruit juice. In a trap that uses a propane tank, it’s moisture, carbon dioxide, heat and other components of human breath.
This type of trap can function on its own or along with a bait such as octenol, but you will need to replace the tank regularly. These mosquito traps sometimes have electric ignitions or programmable features, but the actual trapping is done via propane.
Propane is a great fuel for a trap you’ll be using outside, but it’s dangerous indoors. That’s why products meant to catch mosquitoes around the home usually use an electric power source to generate attractants. A titanium oxide-coated surface produces substances that mosquitoes like, drawing them in.
A small electric fan then pulls the insects down to the inner chamber of the trap. Unless you’ve found a rare solar-powered mosquito trap, this type requires a cord and an electric power source to function.
Worried about your family while using your mosquito trap?
In many cases, it’s no worry at all, but you’ll need to read the manual to be certain. Indoor electric mosquito traps don’t need any more safety precautions than the average electric appliance. Outdoor traps can be more complicated, however. Since they often rely on a propane tank, there are emissions and heat concerns.
Keep flammable materials away from the trap and treat it as carefully as you would any other propane device. Avoid using a trap of this kind in an enclosed space, since both propane and the emissions from burning it can be health hazards. Keep everything out of the severe weather and extreme temperatures, and follow the manual carefully.
One additional concern for both indoor and outdoor traps is bait. Chemical mosquito attractants like octanol and lurex3 can greatly increase the number of bugs your take out of the ecosystem. They can also be toxic when eaten. If you use this kind of mosquito lure, make sure to keep it in a closed container, away from children and pets.
Design & Size
There are lots of different shapes and sizes on the mosquito trap market. These devices range from indoor-only traps about the size of a gallon jug to large outdoor traps that need a cart to move them. In general, larger traps catch more mosquitoes and offer more features. They also tend to be accordingly more expensive.
To decide what style mosquito trap you need, determine where you’ll be using the trap, what kind of area you need to protect, and how much money you’re willing to spend. From garden lantern-style traps to propane-fueled giants, there’s a size and shape for you.
The Reliability Factor
You know you want to buy a mosquito trap to keep down biting pests in your yard, but can you trust it to keep working?
This is a big concern for a lot of users since less-reliable traps might burn out mid-season or fail to start up after a winter in storage. With the right maintenance, most mosquito traps will function reliably, but it’s a good idea to check out your warranty just in case. A trap with a solid warranty and easy repair options might be worth paying just a little bit more.
With most electric traps, the process is simple: just make sure the device isn’t at risk of getting wet or dirty, and empty it routinely. Traps with batteries may need an occasional battery replacement, and if you’re using chemical bait, it’s important to change it when levels get low.
Propane-powered traps need another extra level of attention. Apart from refilling the propane tank, you’ll also need to clean the propane nozzle regularly. Some traps include a mechanism to clear the nozzle automatically, making the process much easier. Clean the mosquito chamber regularly in these traps to avoid loss of suction from the fan.
At first glance, there’s not much installation to worry about with mosquito traps. They’re self-contained units that can be easily moved around. Positioning them might be a little more complicated than it first seems, though. Placing your mosquito trap correctly helps it work well and reduces the risk of problems later on.
If you’re locating your trap outside, make sure it’s on a firm, even surface. Concrete and similar surfaces are ideal if they’re close enough to the mosquitoes’ breeding locations. Otherwise, choose the smoothest patch of ground you can. Just make sure it’s about 30 to 40 feet from human activity.
Put your trap upwind from areas where mosquitoes breed, since these bugs tend to fly upwind to find their meals. Open areas work best since the carbon dioxide mosquitoes seek tends to stick close to the ground. Tall grass and brush can keep the attractant from moving properly. Shady areas are also ideal since mosquitoes hate direct sun and will avoid it if possible.
As we mentioned earlier, a good warranty is important if you want to make sure your mosquito trap keeps on working from year to year. Most traps will provide at least a one-year warranty that covers material defects and manufacturing flaws.
Depending on where you purchase your trap, you might be able to add a longer warranty to the one provided by the manufacturer. This typically costs a little more, but it can be worth it in the end! If your device is still under warranty, remember to have all service done by the manufacturer. Opening the trap yourself can void the warranty.
Obviously, a great mosquito trap won’t need a lot of time in the shop. If you get unlucky, however, a warranty can help protect you and keep your trap catching mosquitoes. When in doubt, choose the longer, more comprehensive warranty option.
Most traps will start killing mosquitoes right away. You might not notice a difference for a while, though. It takes between four and eight weeks for an outdoor trap to start interrupting the mosquitoes’ breeding cycles, stopping the influx of new mosquitoes. Indoor traps can show results inside the house within a few days.
That depends on the trap. An electric-only mosquito trap usually emits no dangerous substances and uses no chemicals. Propane traps shouldn’t be used indoors, but are no more dangerous than a propane grill or similar device.
Things get more complex when you add chemical attractants, however. They can be dangerous if ingested, so it’s important to wash your hand thoroughly after handling them. Keep all such chemicals in a secure place, just like other potential toxins.
While devices such as bug zappers can be noisy and distracting, most mosquito traps are very quiet. They do employ fans to pull the mosquitoes into the trap, so you might hear a soft whirring sound.
We all want to get rid of mosquitoes, but no trap can promise to take care of them all. Traps help control mosquitoes, but they’re best used along with other techniques, like eliminating standing water.
Mosquito traps designed for outdoor use are often weather-resistant. Some models will include a rain cover to increase their protection from water. This doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea to leave your mosquito trap in the pouring rain or to immerse it in water, however. Rely on your manual to let you know what’s best for your device.
Leaving your mosquito trap running all the time wastes energy and isn’t very effective. It’s a better ideal to operate the trap only when mosquitoes are active. This usually happens as the sun goes down and conditions become cooler and damper. Of course, if your area suffers from mosquitoes that are active in the daytime, it makes sense to operate it around the clock.
Most traps focus on mosquitoes, but they will also catch other bugs. The carbon dioxide attractant also appeals to midges, gnats and other creatures that like to bite people. Traps that use a visible light will tend to attract moths and similar insects.
If you’re suffering in a constant war with mosquitoes and other pests, which is the best mosquito trap? Indoor units are much less expensive but can be hit or miss in terms of effectiveness. Plus, the mosquitoes are generally outside. That’s why outdoor units work best for most people. Out of the six outdoor-only mosquito traps we reviewed, we recommend the Blue Rhino SkeeterVac SV5100. This outdoor mosquito trap produces carbon dioxide at an impressive rate, attracting mosquitoes with the imitation of human breath. While it does rely on propane, this unit needs no extra cords and is easy to move around. With its wide range, it can operate in large yards, at campsites, or anywhere else you need to eliminate mosquitoes. It works so well it can even disrupt these pests’ breeding behaviors. That means fewer mosquitoes for the rest of the season. Everyone hates to be bitten by a mosquito, but these tiny little pests can be hard to kill. With a quality carbon dioxide mosquito trap, you can start cutting down their numbers. We can all have a more comfortable summer and a safer one without those nasty little bugs. Whether you need to operate one indoors or get rid of pests outdoors, check out a quality mosquito trap today.