Mosquito Trap Buying Guide

By: Peter
Last updated:
mosquito trapped in spiders web

I’m going to give you the lowdown on mosquito traps. This isn’t just about convenience, it’s also about your well-being.

Mosquitoes aren’t just pesky; they’re carriers for diseases like malaria, Zika, and dengue fever. It’s worth remembering that they are the world’s deadliest animal.

So, figuring out how to keep these critters at bay is pretty vital. This is where mosquito traps can help you, although they probably won’t eliminate all the mosquitoes in your yard.

Should You Buy a Mosquito Trap?

Unfortunately, there isn’t one form of treatment that is 100% effective in eliminating all the mosquitoes from your yard.

A mosquito searching for a blood meal uses different cues – visual, thermal, and olfactory. As the seeking of prey is a complex process the results of traps can vary greatly depending on the species of mosquito, where the trap is placed, the concentration of CO2, and the lure used

Nonetheless, traps can certainly help!

If you’re considering a bug zapper, think again! Bug zappers will attract many insects with their ultraviolet light but very few mosquitoes.

In this article, you will find out about the various traps out there. The ones that use heat, CO2, odors, and light to mimic human presence, to others that utilize water and grass to attract and trap breeding mosquitoes. Each of these systems has its unique angle on putting an end to your mosquito woes.

And since I’m here to help you with this, we’ll also look at some key features. Think about stuff like coverage area, trap type, attractant types, and power sources. I’ll make sure you’ve got all the details you need so you can choose something that resonates with you.

Now, that’s your basic primer on mosquito traps.

Next up, I’m going to walk you through assessing your own needs, because let’s face it, not everyone’s mosquito situation is the same. You might need a different strategy if you’re dealing with a small backyard versus a large outdoor venue.

The species of mosquitoes can also play a part, attractants may work for one species and not for another.

So stick with me, and I’ll guide you through finding the perfect mosquito trap for your situation.

Determining Your Needs

Traps can help reduce the mosquito population in your yard, but they are most effective when used alongside other control methods. Most importantly the elimination of breeding sites.

To help you tackle the mosquito menace in the most effective way possible; it starts with understanding your specific situation.

The first step is to gauge the extent of your mosquito problem. Are they swarming your backyard during barbecues, or do you occasionally find them buzzing inside your home?

Determining how heavy and frequent the mosquito presence is will guide you in the choice of trap.

What Type of Mosquito?

As some traps or attractants are designed for certain species of mosquitoes it’s helpful if you know what sort of mosquitoes you are combating.

But as there are about 175 different species in the US it can be quite hard to identify the mosquitoes in your yard.

Two of the most common mosquitoes are the Aedes aegypti and the Aedes albopictus. They’re quite easy to identify. They are dark-colored mosquitoes with white markings on the thorax and legs. Additionally, they are more active during the day than many other species and particularly like biting around the ankles.

aedes aegypti
Photo CDC Aedes aegypti
aedes albopictus
Photo CDC Aedes albopictus

Other common biting mosquitoes you might find are various Culex and Anopheles species.

culex pipens about to bite someone
Culex pipiens
anopheles freeborni taking blood meal
Photo CDC Anopheles freeborni

If in doubt about the species in your area ask your local mosquito control district for information about the mosquitoes known to be active around you.

Where Will You Put Your Trap?

Next, let’s talk location. Will the trap serve its purpose better indoors or outdoors?

Indoor traps are typically smaller, quieter, and designed for a living space. On the other hand, outdoor traps are built to cover larger areas and often have more robust construction to withstand the elements.

A patio might require an outdoor trap, but if mosquitoes are a problem in your sunroom, an indoor model could suffice. Or if you’re pestered by mosquitoes indoors and outside you may decide to go for both sorts of traps.

What is the Area of Your Garden?

Lastly, sizing up the coverage area is crucial because you’ll want a trap that’s capable of protecting the right amount of space. A small trap might be perfect for a studio apartment, but it won’t cut it for a two-acre lot.

Manufacturers usually specify the effective coverage area, so check that the trap you have your eye on can handle your property’s square footage. But bear in mind that the areas claimed may be overstated, they are probably based on the best-case scenario.

Also if you have a yard with several areas of shrubs that provide shaded resting areas for mosquitoes you may need a trap for each of these spaces. But this can depend on the type of trap you use.

So, as you can see, there is much to consider, and this is just the first step.

Key Features and Technology

When you’re on the hunt for a mosquito trap, the bells and whistles might catch your eye, but it’s the core features and technology that determine its effectiveness. Let’s consider the key elements you’ll encounter.

Attractants and CO2

Most traps employ attractants or lures that are particularly adept at mimicking human presence. Most attractants are designed to attract a wide range of mosquitoes while others may be manufactured to be more attractive to a certain species.

A fan disperses the odor from the attractant in a plume and the mosquitoes are attracted to the trap. If they come too near they will be sucked into the net where they dehydrate and die.

In the more complicated traps UV light mimics the visual attraction certain species may have to light sources. While carbon dioxide (CO2) and octenol replicate the scent of human breath and sweat, respectively. These features can significantly enhance the trap’s ability to lure mosquitoes.

Therefore, you will need a trap with some form of attractant, and for better catch rates adding CO2 is necessary. Some manufacturers claim that using CO2 will increase the catch rate by up to 10 times.

Using CO2 is optional but if you have a big problem it is recommended, although it has a cost.

Some traps use propane which when processed through a catalytic combustion system creates warm CO2 and moisture. Other traps that use CO2 as an attractant require CO2 cylinders.

Power Source

Your choice of power source is next – most traps are electric and have a fan that creates a plume with the attractant odor and CO2. The fan also draws mosquitoes into the trap when they are nearby. So the majority of traps require a plug.

These are suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Although many come with a cable of 20 feet or more you will have to add an extension cord to allow you to place the trap correctly away from your house and in the shade. Battery-powered options offer more flexibility and are ideal for larger gardens.


As for maintenance, you’ll want something easy to clean and manage. The most common maintenance chores you will have to carry out are;

  • Regularly cleaning the net and emptying the mosquitoes you have caught. A clogged net will reduce the airflow and the effectiveness of your net. A trap with a large catch container or net and straightforward access will save you both time and hassle.
  • Make sure the air vents are unobstructed. This again, can restrict the airflow.
  • Changing the attractant. This is usually necessary every 3 or 4 weeks. Having an attractant that is easily accessible makes the task simpler.
  • Replacing the CO2 source. Either a 20lb propane or CO2 cylinder, these should last at least 3 weeks. However, this will depend on how many hours per day you run your trap or release gas and also on the amount of gas released. The manufacturers of traps that use a CO2 cylinder give the cylinder life from 3 weeks up to 4 months.
  • Some traps use a sticky card instead of a net to trap the mosquitoes, these will have to be changed periodically.
  • If you have an ovitrap to eliminate pregnant mosquitoes and their eggs, the water solution in the trap will have to be changed every week to prevent any eggs from producing new adults. Also, the inside of these traps should be thoroughly cleaned to remove any eggs. In dry weather, the ovitrap may need to be topped up with water.


Lastly, an often overlooked aspect is the trap’s operation noise. This mainly applies to indoor traps. A quiet device will be less disruptive, especially if you’re using it in a common area or near a bedroom. If you have a small yard this could also be a problem outside. After all, the goal is to forget about the mosquitoes, not the hum of your trap.


Your next move is considering where you’re going to place your trap. I can tell you that location is key. You want to target those buzzers where they rest and breed, but you also need to keep the trap out from areas where you and your family spend time to avoid becoming the nearest attraction.

Traps come with details of where and how you should place your trap, but to be successful you will need to try different emplacements. Experiment with different locations, a few feet can make an enormous difference to your catch rates.

Safety and Environmental Considerations

Now, let’s tackle safety and environmental considerations, which are paramount when selecting a mosquito trap. Choosing the best mosquito trap isn’t just about effectiveness; it’s equally important to consider its impact on your health and the planet.

For those of you particularly concerned about environmental sustainability, it’s good to know that most mosquito traps are chemical-free. These traps provide a greener alternative, using methods like heat, odors, light, or colors to attract pests without harming the ecosystem.

If you’ve got little ones running around or pets that tend to be curious, safety is of the utmost importance. Opt for mosquito traps that are designed to be safe to use in family-friendly environments.

Features like protective casings, out-of-reach electrified grids, and non-toxic operation should be at the top of your checklist.

It’s vital to understand the broader ecological impact of the trap you choose. A good trap targets only mosquitoes or other biting insects and spares beneficial insects like bees and butterflies.

When shopping, look for traps that specify a focus on targeted pests to preserve the surrounding biodiversity. This means the bug zappers aren’t the best choice for mosquitoes.

You’re probably thinking about cost now, and that’s exactly where we’re headed next. In the following section, we’ll take a clear-eyed look at how to balance budget concerns with brand reliability and performance, ensuring you get the most bang for your buck without shortchanging your other priorities.

Budget and Brand Reliability

I’m going to walk you through finding a mosquito trap that’s worth every penny. When you’re looking for a reliable mosquito solution, your budget is a practical starting point. But don’t let the price tag be the only guide.

Don’t forget that the initial purchase price is only one point you should consider. The running costs can also mount up. Propane, CO2 cylinders, and attractants may be more expensive than you think.

You can find a range of mosquito traps that fit various budgets, but it’s the performance and longevity that count.

Prices can range from $900 for a top-of-the-range trap that covers a large area (about 1.5 acres), uses CO2, lures, and has thousands of different settings to about $100 for an outside trap that works UV light and attractants.

Gravid mosquito traps (that attract pregnant females) cost about $10 to $30, or it is quite easy to make your own.

Mosquito traps for the interior can range from $100 to $30.

Choose something that resonates with you, not just your wallet. Higher cost doesn’t always equate to higher quality, but it often means better build and more advanced features.

Now, when it comes to brand reliability, that’s a whole different ball game. This includes considering the brand’s history, customer feedback, and service responsiveness. A mosquito trap from a reputable brand with positive reviews is more likely to be a smart investment.

Don’t forget to check the warranty. A company that offers a robust warranty demonstrates confidence in its product. It also means you’re going to find peace of mind knowing you’re covered if something goes awry.

Customer service is another crucial aspect. Imagine needing a spare part or some assistance with setup, and you’re stuck with unresponsive support. To avoid such scenarios, always check for brands praised for their customer support.

And here’s a tip: read through customer reviews on multiple platforms. They can offer a wealth of information about the product’s day-to-day performance and the company’s reliability after the point of sale.

Your first attempt doesn’t need to be your last. You can always adjust your approach down the road.

For example, you could start with a trap that uses an attractant and a fan to draw the mosquitoes into the net. If you feel you are not catching a sufficient number of mozzies you could later add CO2.

With the right balance of cost, features, and brand strength, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying mosquito-free bliss.

Here are some trap reviews that might help you make your choice:

If you want to make or buy a trap for trapping females who are looking for a place to lay their eggs the Ovitrap A Mosquito Larvae Trap article may help.

Making a Well-Informed Decision

I hope this mosquito trap buying guide will help you round out your search for the perfect mosquito trap. When you pause to weigh all the features against your personal needs, you’re taking a wise step toward effective mosquito control.

It’s not just about snagging the fanciest device on the shelf; it’s also about making sure it meshes well with the specifics of your environment.

Finally, before pulling the trigger on your purchase, run through a final checklist. Have you thought about ongoing costs like attractant refills? What about durability in your local climate? I hope that you keep these considerations in mind, so you end up with a mosquito trap that gives you peace of mind and fewer bites.

Choose something that resonates with you and your lifestyle, and you won’t go wrong. Remember, your first attempt doesn’t need to be your last.

You can always adjust your approach later as you learn what works best in your battle against these pesky insects. If you want to enjoy your summers to the fullest, an informed decision today will save you a lot of itching tomorrow.

Photo of author


Peter spends most of his time outside in his large garden. He has been fighting mosquitoes for a few years trying different traps and repellents without using agressive chemicals.

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