Nothing spoils family outdoor activities, such as cookouts and pool parties, worse than a horde of biting mosquitoes. You can spray till your hands are limp, but one of the best ways to control an infestation is with a trap that collects and disposes of them.
"An effective method to avoid mosquitoes on or around your property includes cleaning out gutters that hold debris or leaves, in addition to dumping stagnant water sources such as bird baths, kid toys, and pool covers,” says Cindy Mannes, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for the National Pest Control Association, whom we consulted with for this article.
After talking with Mannes and researching dozens of options, we tested each mosquito trap on this list and evaluated them on their effectiveness, coverage, and cost.
Dynatrap DT1050-TUNSR 1/2-Acre Insect and Mosquito Trap
LED indicator light
No pesticides used
Needs to be plugged in
For a mosquito trap that can do it all, pick up the Dynatrap DT1050-TUNSR 1/2-Acre Insect and Mosquito Trap. This powerful trap is a bit costlier than other options on our list, but we think it's worthy of our top spot because it is portable enough to take on the go, while powerful enough to use in a large outdoor or indoor space. It can either be placed near an electrical outlet or plugged into the appropriate extension cord. The company does recommend keeping it 20-40 feet away from people. But it can be left on 24 hours a day and in all weather to keep you protected from pesky bugs.
The Insect and Mosquito Trap offers what the manufacturer considers “3-way protection.” First, the unit uses UV light and carbon dioxide to lure mosquitoes to a whisper-quiet fan. Then, the fan vacuums them into a chamber, where they meet their demise. Customers say the chamber is easy to remove and empty when needed. You will need to replace the bulb every few months, depending on the amount of use.
Unlike comparably effective models, Dynatrap’s lantern-style unit is completely free of pesticides and chemicals. It also features a unique twist-on/twist-off feature to ensure that no pests can escape even once the unit is turned off. For maximum efficiency, Dynatrap recommends using the trap for a full six weeks to break the breeding cycle.
Price at time of publish: $144
Type: Electronic | Dimensions: 10.5 x 10.3 x 12.60 inches | Effective Period: 6 weeks | Refillable: Yes | Use Around Pets: Yes
Best for Outdoors
Flowtron BK-15D Electronic Insect Killer
Needs to replace the pricey bulb once a year, and cartridges monthly
Requires an electrical outlet
Recommended for use 25 feet away from people
If you are looking to tackle a large outdoor area, you should consider an insect killer that can go the distance. Flowtron’s Electronic Insect Killer is our pick for the best outdoor mosquito trap. We tested it in one of our own backyards and appreciated its small size and effectiveness in killing many different types of bugs, including mosquitos.
This trap uses a 15-watt ultraviolet light to lure mosquitos in, and then they are disposed of when they contact the electronic grid, so there are no pesticides, propane, or glue to worry about. The manufacturer says the trap is effective for up to half an acre. You also can use an optional mosquito attractant cartridge containing octenol, which is not harmful to humans or the environment. The cartridge is designed to last for 30 days and is relatively cheap to replace, however, the bulb needs to be replaced once a year and is a bit more costly.
The attractive, lantern-like design blends in with the surroundings and is also weather-proof. Keep in mind that this trap keeps the dead bugs contained and we did notice a smell over time. However, the manufacturer recommends keeping this product 25 feet away from people, so that shouldn't be an issue. Also, despite the recommendation to keep it at a distance and not to mount it on a house, the trap only has a 9-inch cord, so you may want to use the proper extension cord.
Price at time of publish: $48
Type: Electronic | Dimensions: 8.5 x 8.5 x 13.5 inches | Effective Period: 24 hours | Refillable: Yes | Use Around Pets: Yes
Awoco LED 5W Wall Mount Sconce
Sleep-friendly blue light
Kills a variety of bugs
Needs replacement bulbs and mounting supplies
For those seeking indoor relief with sophisticated flair, the Awoco wall mount sconce offers an attractive way to rid your home of biting mosquitoes and other bugs. The trap uses a combination of a sticky board, UV lamp, and CO2 to lure mosquitoes and house flies inside. Using only 110 volts and covering up to 900 square feet (about one-third of a tennis court), these traps are great to have in every room. We like how whisper-quiet this model is, despite its size and reach.
The light is blue, an unusual find in mosquito products, considering UV lights usually have a purple hue. The blue light is designed to also help you sleep more easily, making this a great choice for those who need extra shuteye. It does require replacing the LED UV lights, however, as well as your own equipment to hang this model.
Price at time of publish: $60
Type: Electronic | Dimensions: 14 x 5 x 7.5 inches | Effective Period: 48 hours | Refillable: Yes | Use Around Pets: Yes
Kensizer 30-Pack Dual-Sided Yellow Sticky Gnat Traps
Easy to use and dispose of
Can clearly see whether it’s working or not
For well under $1 per sheet, you can go the old-fashioned route and hang a dual-sided sticky trap to get rid of your mosquito problem. These traps are designed for flying pests such as mosquitoes and gnats. They are much more affordable than standard plug-in mosquito traps, and they reduce the use of chemical insecticides.
Easily portable, these 6-by-8-inch sticky yellow paper traps work for indoors and outdoors. They are waterproof, UV-resistant, and long-lasting, meaning they can be left outside in a garden or on a patio for an extended period and remain effective. The dual-sided feature allows them to cover more space, and cleanup is as easy as can be. Simply throw them away once they are covered, and replace.
For the best results, hang these traps during the start of the warmer months before pests begin to multiply. Be careful, because this trap can stick to anything, including curtains and linen.
Price at time of publish: $20
Type: Sticky Trap | Dimensions: 8 x 6 x 0.4 in inches | Effective Period: Ongoing | Refillable: No | Use Around Pets: No, can get stuck to the glue
Gardner FlyWeb Fly Light Indoor UV Insect Trap
No harsh chemicals
Safe for pets
Ideal for small- to medium-size indoor spaces and enclosed patios, Gardner’s Flyweb Classic Fly Light attracts mosquitoes and other pests with UV light. Simply plug the unit into an electrical outlet, and watch as the light attracts pests to a glue-board adhesive, which easily slides out for simple disposal and replacement.
The compact size and inconspicuous design of Gardner’s UV trap make it easy to hide it in any room where you have a pest problem. To use, remove the protective coating on the adhesive board, and insert it into the unit. Then, plug the unit into your outlet, and you’re all set. For maximum effectiveness, replace the adhesive strips once a month, and replace the UV light annually.
Price at time of publish: $50
Type: Light | Dimensions: 10.5 x 3.5 x 1.75 inches | Effective Period: 24 hours | Refillable: Yes | Use Around Pets: Yes
Katchy Indoor Insect Trap with UV Light
Needs refills of sticky paper
There is only so much a citronella candle can do. So when you need something more substantial that is still portable, give Katchy’s Electric Insect Trap a try. This portable bug trap can tackle more than just mosquitoes—it also handles gnats, fruit flies, and moths.
The trap works by luring insects with UV light. Then, a fan sucks them down into the machine and to a glue trap at the bottom. The fan prevents them from generating enough lift to escape, while the glue immobilizes them until they perish. The unit weighs only 1.37 pounds, making it easy to pack for camping and other outdoor trips. For the best results, use the device with all other lights off for at least three consecutive nights.
Price at time of publish: $45
Type: Light | Dimensions: 5.5 x 5.5 x 9.1 inches | Effective Period: 24 hours | Refillable: Yes | Use Around Pets: Yes
DynaTrap DT1100 Insect Trap with Optional Wall Mount
Large coverage area
Durable and weather-proof
Dynatrap is no stranger to high-quality and durable traps that stand up to weather. That is why we recommend its Wall Mount Insect and Mosquito Trap, a chemical-free, weather-proof trap that is sure to get rid of flying pests. You'll find all of the great features our the Dynatrap 1/2-Acre Insect and Mosquito Trap, our best overall model, with the addition of a wall mounting feature.
Like the company's standard model, this unit also offers three-way protection for up to half an acre. The fluorescent UV bulb produces warm light, while a titanium dioxide-coated surface releases CO2 to mimic the lure of humans. A whisper-quiet fan pulls and traps the insects inside a catch basket located at the bottom of the unit without zapping them, and they eventually die there.
While this model is durable enough to withstand extreme weather conditions, it can also be mounted inside (wall mounting hardware included) or hung with an included chain.
Price at time of publish: $98
Type: Light and Fan | Dimensions: 10.25 x 10.25 x 12 inches | Effective Period: 3 weeks | Refillable: Yes | Use Around Pets: Yes
Tysonir Mosquito Zapper
Small, portable size
Needs replacement bulbs
Using a powerful 4200V grid and a UV light, this trap is efficient at mosquito trapping. It is also waterproof, which means you can use it indoors and outdoors, extending its practicality. You can choose to set it on a tabletop or hang it with the included hardware.
The design also has safety features in mind, with a screen in front of an electric grid that prevents curious fingers or paws from meeting it. The bottom opens to reveal a rotating, removable tray that can easily be washed out and reinserted. We love that this trap does not involve any scented bait and features a portable size. However, it's worth noting like several options on this list, you will need to replace the bulb from time to time.
Price at time of publish: $40
Type: Zapper | Dimensions: 8 x 6 x 0.4 in inches | Effective Period: 48 hours | Refillable: Yes | Use Around Pets: Yes
If you are searching for a powerful, pesticide-free mosquito trap that will reduce the number of mosquitoes in a large area, pick up our best overall pick, the Dynatrap Insect and Mosquito Trap. For a budget-friendly option, we recommend the Kensizer Dual-Sided Yellow Sticky Gnat Traps, because they are long-lasting and affordable. However, it's not the most attractive choice.
What to Look for in a Mosquito Trap
When purchasing a mosquito trap, the type influences effectiveness. Most on the market today use one of the following methods to lure in mosquitoes with many using a combination for better results.
- Heat: A few of the traps showcased mimic our body temperature, which is a natural attractant to mosquitoes as they are on the prowl for a blood meal from a warm animal.
- UV Light: Most insects are attracted to UV light, as they can generally see within the range of this spectrum. At night, this is particularly enticing and a great, safe, chemical-free way to attract biting flies easily.
- Sticky Traps: Many that feature the above also use a sticky card in the bottom in order to make sure flies do not just turn around and leave. These can easily be thrown out and do not contain chemicals.
- Zappers: Zappers use voltage to provide an electric shock to an insect that dares to get too close.
Both our best overall pick, The Dynatrap DT1050-TUNSR 1/2-Acre Insect and Mosquito Trap and our best wall-mounted pick, the DT1100 Insect Trap with Optional Wall Mount feature a combination of these methods including UV light, TiO2 coating lure, and a fan.
Most mosquito traps promise at least 24 hours of effectivity. Light traps can be turned on and off, increasing the longevity. Many manufacturers recommend leaving the products on for a set time to take care of most mosquitoes concentrated in an area.
Ease of Use
Some mosquito traps are easier to use than others. Some involve being hung from a significant height and may require extra hardware. Many light traps and zappers have sticky boards or need to be emptied regularly. All traps featuring lights or filters need to have those refilled when they have reached their end of life.
How do mosquito traps work?
Most traps these days take on multiple features to offer the best entrapment rate. UV lights are one of the simplest and easiest ways to capture mosquitoes, moths, and other pests. Those are paired with an interior sticky trap, a voltage grid, or a vacuum to administer the final blow. Since mosquitoes are looking for mammals, using CO2 (which we breathe out) and heat can help mimic us and entice mosquitoes as well.
How often do you need to replace a mosquito trap?
Mosquito traps' replacement times vary by product and type. Generally, the trap body can last several years, but interior parts, such as light bulbs, filters, and sticky boards, require replacing. Mosquito traps that are battery-operated need their batteries replaced as well.
What’s the best place to set a mosquito trap?
This may sound like a no-brainer, but the best place for a mosquito trap is an area that's known to include mosquitoes! Those can include outdoor areas where mosquitoes have bred and congregated, and indoors, where you sleep. Outdoor traps can take care of a bunch of mosquitoes at once if placed where they like to swarm, such as near standing water or light fixtures. Inside, locate them in bedrooms to keep pests off you while you rest. However, be sure to read the manufactures recommendations, as some on this recommend keeping the traps over 25 feet away from people.
Can mosquito traps be used in homes containing kids and pets?
Most manufacturers of mosquito traps these days do not use chemicals as frequently as they used to. For the most part, we have found that UV lights and CO2 are far more efficient than chemical-laden bait at luring in the pests. Sticky traps are just fine for making sure the mosquitoes do not leave. However, zappers and products with sticky cards are best left out of reach of children and pets, as those can still provide hazards.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Amanda Rose Newton, a freelance writer and garden reviewer for The Spruce. As an entomologist, she delighted in personally testing out the products to provide advice to those with different needs, homes, and price points when it comes to pest control. She also spoke with Cindy Mannes, Senior vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association.
To make this list, Newton tested each product over the span of two weeks, evaluating each on setup, positioning, and cleanup, as well as overall effectiveness.