A swarm of biting mosquitoes can ruin family outdoor activities like cookouts and pool parties. Despite spraying repellent, one of the most effective ways to combat infestations is to use a trap that captures and disposes of them. According to Cindy Mannes, the Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for the National Pest Control Association, cleaning gutters filled with debris and dumping stagnant water sources, such as bird baths, kid toys, and pool covers, is an effective method to prevent mosquitoes on your property. To provide our readers with the best options, we consulted with Mannes and researched numerous traps before testing and evaluating each based on their effectiveness, coverage, and cost.
DynaTrap 1-Acre Mosquito and Insect Trap
The DynaTrap Mosquito and Insect Trap is designed to reduce mosquito populations on properties up to 1 acre in size. This trap can be easily plugged into a standard 110V electrical outlet and runs quietly 24 hours a day. It works by emitting carbon dioxide from its titanium dioxide surface, along with the off-gassing of organic matter inside the collection chamber, which attracts mosquitoes. The trap also uses warmth and ultraviolet light from two bulbs to attract mosquitoes to the upper housing. A silent fan then draws the insects into the metal retaining cage, where they dry out and die without any noise or electric zapping. It’s effortless to maintain; one just needs to twist off the retaining cage and empty its contents.
According to the manufacturer, constant operation of the DynaTrap takes about 3 weeks to capture enough mosquitoes to notice an impact. It can take up to 6 weeks to kill enough mosquitoes to interrupt their breeding cycle. During our testing, the DynaTrap Mosquito and Insect Trap effectively attracted mosquitoes and other flying insects. We set it up in a covered porch area in our backyard and ran it continuously for 6 weeks as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. It is easy to set up and clean, and the fan is barely noticeable while in use. The only disadvantage is that it kills all flying insects, including beneficial ones such as native bees and ladybugs. However, it did have a positive impact on the mosquito population in our yard.
Product Specs: Type: UV light and carbon dioxide Indoor or outdoor: Both Coverage area: 1 acre
- Effortless to set up and install; just put in the batteries and turn on
- The removable base is easy to clean and maintain
- The fan operates silently and traps insects without making any noise or zapping
- It effectively captures mosquitoes and reduces their population
- It kills all flying insects, including beneficial ones such as pollinators.
Faicuk Wall Sconce Fly Light Trap
The Faicuk wall-sconce flying insect trap is an upgraded housing for the traditional hanging glue strips that are unappealing and unhygienic. This trap uses replaceable “sticky” boards that are activated by the UV light to attract and trap mosquitoes and other flying pests. It is recommended to replace the glue board every 30 days for optimal results. This trap is not recommended for outdoor use, but it works exceptionally well in indoor spaces such as kitchens, restaurants, basements, and schools. The sconce shape of the device is designed with a sleek and modern appearance that complements various decor styles.
Thermacell E90 Rechargeable Mosquito Repellent
Thermacell offers various spatial repellents for mosquito control that cover a large area rather than just an individual. However, none of them compare to the convenience of the E90 Rechargeable Mosquito Repellent. With its simple interface and rechargeable lithium-ion battery, this repellent is much easier to use than other options that require butane cartridges. The E90 includes a 12-hour repellent cartridge, but it also offers 40-hour cartridges for extended use. Overall, the E90 is more effective and user-friendly compared to other methods of mosquito control. It has replaced the previous pick, the Thermacell E55 Rechargeable Mosquito Repellent, which is identical except for the shorter battery life of 5.5 hours. The E90’s longer battery life of nine hours justifies the slightly higher price point of $10 more. However, the E55 remains a great option if the E90 is unavailable or if you prefer a more affordable option.
Mega-Catch Ultra Mosquito Trap
- Offers flexibility in attractant options, with the choice to use CO2, Octenol Lure, or none to increase catch rate or save on costs
- One of the most effective traps tested
- Can be used indoors if CO2 and Octenol attractants are not used
- High initial cost and potentially high operating expenses
- More attractant options means more repairs over time
- Needs to be plugged in
- Attraction: CO2 (Optional), Heat, Infrared & UV Lights, Octenol/Lurex (Optional)
- Indoor/Outdoor: Outdoor Only
- Coverage: 150 feet (1.5 acres)
- Weight: 22 lbs
- Power: Electricity, Custom CO2 Canister
REVIEW The Mega-Catch Ultra mosquito trap is a reliable and effective trap that offers extreme flexibility. It features a heating element that mimics the body temperature of a warm-blooded animal, LED lights that simulate movement, and UV lights to attract mosquitos. The system is incredibly powerful due to its flexibility, and can incorporate both Octenol and CO2 as attractants, resulting in increased catch rates by up to 400%. Although the Mega-Catch Ultra requires proprietary CO2 canisters, it offers an add-on Octenol lure or Mega-Catch’s own 3000 Combo Lure (which includes both Octenol and lactic acid), making it easier to attract difficult-to-catch mosquitoes such as Asian Tiger mosquitos. Additionally, the Mega-Catch Ultra offers flexibility in ways to capture mosquitoes. By default, it traps mosquitoes with a high-powered fan, which sucks them into a container where they die naturally. The container can also be customized to be a wet-catch container, which drowns mosquitoes rather than trapping them in a dry net, and simulates a sweet drink with sugar and soap to attract mosquitoes. Although the initial cost is high, the Mega-Catch Ultra is one of the most effective traps tested.
KATCHY Indoor UV Light Insect Trap
- Noiseless operation
- Compact design
- Not recommended for larger homes
If you’re looking for an indoor mosquito, gnat, and fruit fly trap that is both effective and discreet, the Katchy Indoor Insect Trap is worth considering. This trap has received over 55,000 five-star reviews and uses UV light to attract insects, a quiet fan to suck them in, and sticky glue boards to trap them. Unlike some other traps, it operates silently and does not emit any zapping noises.
The Katchy Indoor Insect Trap comes with four glue boards, but additional boards will need to be purchased eventually. However, the manufacturer notes that the trap may not be as effective against larger house flies. Users have praised the attractive design, which blends in seamlessly with home decor. One satisfied customer raved about the trap’s effectiveness, saying that it finally provided relief from years of mosquito, gnat, and fruit fly infestations.
What to Avoid in a Mosquito Trap
Several popular mosquito trap brands utilize carbon dioxide as an attractant to simulate animal breath. However, these traps use titanium dioxide nanoparticles and either UV light or electricity to produce CO2. While the amount of titanium dioxide used is small, it is still considered a possible human carcinogen. As a result, it is recommended to place traps containing titanium dioxide away from high traffic areas.
Similarly, octenol, an organic chemical found in human breath and sweat in small quantities, is used as a mosquito attractant in some glue board traps. While octenol is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration as a food additive, it is considered moderately toxic. Studies have also shown that it can disrupt the balance of the brain chemical dopamine, which is closely linked to Parkinson’s disease. As the cause of Parkinson’s is still unknown, environmental toxins, including octenol, are currently being studied as possible culprits. Due to these potential risks, traps that use titanium dioxide or octenol have been excluded from this list.
Some mosquito traps also use ultrasonic devices, which emit high-frequency sounds that are inaudible to humans but are claimed to repel pests, including mosquitoes. However, there is little evidence to support the effectiveness of these devices, and some may even attract mosquitoes, despite positive customer reviews.
What’s the difference between an insect trap and a bug zapper?
A bug zapper typically features lights that attract insects to the device. When they fly up to the zapper, they land on an electrified grid that electrocutes them instantly. An insect trap merely lures the bugs inside the device, where they remain trapped until they die from dehydration.
While bug zappers can be effective at eliminating a portion of the insect population in or around your home, they make more noise and are messier than traps.
Are insect traps safe to use around children and pets?
Insect traps usually don’t utilize any type of chemical pesticide that might pose a health risk to children or animals. If you choose a model with a vacuum fan, however, you should keep children and pets away from the device, as the blades could cause injury.