The 3 Best Mosquito Traps

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by Masha Vapnitchnaia

Mosquitoes zero in on humans by tracking things such as body heat and the carbon dioxide (CO2) in our breath, which is why the best mosquito traps emit CO2 and other attractive scents to lure blood-feeding insects. Then, the trap pulls mosquitoes in using a fan, reducing the number of pests around your home. Bonus: These mosquito traps are all chemical-free, and you can choose one that’s designed for indoor and/or outdoor use.

When you’re shopping for a mosquito trap, your biggest consideration will be where you’d like to place it. Each of the traps below uses CO2 and a fan to attract and contain mosquitoes, and all must be plugged into a power outlet. That being said, some traps are easily portable and designed for indoor and outdoor use, while others are larger and meant to be set up outdoors. Most traps below will cover at least approximately 0.15 acres (6,534 square feet).

In addition to CO2, some of the traps below also use ultraviolet (UV) light. While UV light isn’t an effective lure for mosquitoes, it may help attract other unwanted flying insects in the area. And if you already have a UV bug zapper, this list also includes a lure made with mosquito-attracting Octenol that you can attach to most zappers.

Finally, you’ll want to consider maintenance. All mosquito traps will need to be emptied of bugs periodically, but some have a coating that emits CO2 while others require a CO2 tank that’s sold separately.

With that in mind, I’ve also included a set of budget-friendly sticky traps that will work with a CO2 trap. You might also want to use mosquito repellents to help prevent bites — and in the meantime, scroll on to find the best mosquito traps for your yard and home. Just keep in mind that mosquito traps don’t offer instant results and often take several weeks to make an impact.

1. A Lantern Trap For Indoors & Outdoors

The titanium dioxide coating of this indoor/outdoor mosquito trap produces carbon dioxide to attract mosquitoes, while a UV light can help entice other bugs. A fan works to trap mosquitoes and pulls them into a container, which you empty about every two months, according to reviewers. The UV bulb will last up to four months and replacements are available. You’ll get up to 1 acre of coverage and the manufacturer recommends placing the lantern 20 to 40 feet away from where people will be sitting. You’ll need to plug the trap into a 110-volt outlet, and the device has a generously sized 10-foot cord. You’ll need a little bit of patience, as it will take at least three weeks to trap enough mosquitos to make a real difference, and six weeks to break the breeding cycle.

One promising review: “I’ve had our Dynatrap on the back of our patio for almost two months now. There are NO bugs, NO mosquitoes. I am thrilled with this purchase! We can sit on our lanai and enjoy it bug free day and night.”

2. A Decorative Trap That’s Great For Outdoors

A beautiful choice for outdoor use, this decorative mosquito trap will cover one-third of an acre, and it’s also suitable for use indoors. The torch’s titanium dioxide-coated surface releases CO2, and the trap also uses a UV light bulb to attract other flying bugs. The bulb lasts up to four months and replacements are available. Just like with the first pick, the trap uses a fan to pull in mosquitoes and trap them in an easy-to-empty container, which can be cleaned about once a month, according to a reviewer. This model will take five weeks to make a significant impact, and eight weeks to break the breeding cycle. The provided cord is 10 feet long and it plugs into a 110-volt outlet. The pole stand is included. The brand recommends placing your trap 20 to 40 feet away from a sitting area.

One promising review: “It works wonders. Left it running for 2 weeks already and the difference outside is astonishing. I can now be outside without any or minimal disturbance from bugs. I highly recommend this product.”

3. An Outdoor Trap That Runs Continuously During Mosquito Season

For serious infestations, this outdoor trap can’t be beat. The trap works to lure mosquitoes using both CO2 and a mosquito attractant that mimics the scent of human skin, and you can replace the attractant every two months using these refills. Like the other traps, it then sucks the bugs into a container and keeps them there until you’re ready to empty it out. The frequency of cleaning will depend on how many bugs are in the area, but the manufacturer recommends doing it when the trap is about halfway full. It is recommended that you run the trap 24 hours a day at the start of mosquito season and place it about 65 feet away from a breeding ground. It will cover up to approximately 0.15 acres. This trap will work to reduce biting from all types of mosquitoes, but if you’d also like to reduce mosquito reproduction, you can simultaneously use the brand’s trap that targets egg-laying mosquitoes. You’ll also need to buy a CO2 tank to use with this device (the brand recommends a 20-pound tank). The trap comes with an outdoor power cord, though the cord length isn’t mentioned.

One promising review: “After battling Asian tiger mosquitoes all summer, we bought and installed one of these. We are removing many hundreds of mosquitoes each week and can now enjoy the open areas of our back yard without being swarmed.”

Also Consider: A Set Of Low-Maintenance Sticky Traps

While this pick is not a CO2 trap, these glue traps are a cute addition to your garden, and they’ll catch any bugs that land on them. They’re also UV-resistant and waterproof, with a sharp bottom that lets you firmly place them in the ground or a potted plant. Plus, a glue-free section makes placement easy. You can choose from packs of 12, 24, 48, and 120 and the traps have earned more than 17,000 five-star ratings.

One promising review: “This is the best product that have ever worked. They not only trap those small nasty mosquitoes but also big flies! It catches so many that is unbelievable how effective it is.”

Also Helpful: This Octenol Mosquito Lure

If you have a bug zapper, you can make it more effective just by attaching this mosquito lure to the side using the included clips. It is treated with Octenol to attract mosquitoes and other biting insects, helping your zapper work overtime. One lure will give you 30 days of continuous use.

One promising review: “Just what I needed to turn my bug zapper into a mosquito zapper as well. It's smaller than I expected which is perfect because it had no problems hanging on my zapper [...] And such a cheap price, it was no problem for me to buy 4 so they will last me the whole summer. These are just perfect!”