DIY Mosquito Traps With Yeast, Dry Ice, or Buckets
Catch indoor or outdoor mosquitoes with bait placed in an ideal location
Mosquitoes are drawn to the scent of human skin and the carbon dioxide (CO2) we exhale. The best way to keep mosquitoes away is to incorporate tried-and-true mosquito control methods with a do-it-yourself trap that will surely attract and kill mosquitoes so they leave you alone.
Here are several DIY mosquito traps that work:
- Sugar and yeast bottle trap: The same bottle trap for flies works well for mosquitoes. Use yeast and sugar as your bait.
- Baking soda and vinegar bottle trap: A bottle trap using baking soda and vinegar also releases carbon dioxide gas, attracting mosquitoes to their death.
- Dry ice mosquito trap: This dry ice trap mimics mosquito traps used by the CDC.
- Bucket trap: Female mosquitoes lay eggs in still water; this method kills them and reduces the future mosquito population.
- Fan trap: Box fan and mosquito netting pull mosquitoes to their death.
First Try These Mosquito Control Methods
Pest control is never a one-and-done solution. A DIY mosquito trap will work best if you're already trying to keep the mosquito population in your yard low. Combine control methods with mosquito traps for maximum success.
For easy mosquito control around your yard, start with these steps:
- Reduce standing water: Mosquitoes use standing water for reproduction. If you've ever seen a bunch of tiny, squiggly black wormy creatures in your bird bath or dog's water dish, these were likely mosquito larvae (understandably called wrigglers). Mosquitoes prefer more shallow water sources (24 inches or less). Even a bottle cap of water is enough, so leave no shallow water source unturned.
- Use an outdoor mosquito light: These lights are hung outside to reduce mosquito populations. We'll use an attract-and-zap-style bug light for this project, but mosquito-repellant lights are also available.
- Avoid dark clothing while outside: Studies have shown that mosquitoes are most attracted to the color black when carbon dioxide is present in the air. If the mosquito is already drawn to the air you exhale, don't give it more of an invitation by wearing black clothing.
What You'll Need
Equipment / Tools
- Serrated or Exacto knife
- Permanent marker
Dry Ice Trap
- 1 mosquito zapping light
- 1 pair of thick work gloves
- 1 pair of closed-toe shoes and protective clothing
- Eye protection
- 1 drill or other tools for installing hanging hooks
- Light source
- Spray bottle
- 1 2-liter plastic bottle
- 1 cup hot water (Yeast and sugar option)
- 1/4 cup sugar (Yeast and sugar option)
- 1 gram yeast (Yeast and sugar option)
- 1/4 cup baking soda (Baking soda and vinegar option)
- 1 cup vinegar (Baking soda and vinegar option)
- Light source
Dry Ice Trap
- 2 heavy duty hanging hooks (15 lb limit)
- 1 large, dark drawstring bag (preferably black)
- 5 pounds dry ice
- Half bucket of water
- Dish soap
- Box Fan
- Mosquito netting, fine mesh, or tulle fabric
- 8 extra strong magnets
- Isopropyl alcohol (70%)
How to Make a DIY Bottle Trap for Mosquitoes
Fermenting yeast releases carbon dioxide, attracting mosquitoes. Another option is baking soda mixed with vinegar, which also releases carbon dioxide gas. With these bottle traps, mosquitoes enter the funnel, enticed by the carbon dioxide, and drown in the solutions. These methods are more effective if placed near a mosquito-zapping light or light source.
Make a Bottle Trap
Take an empty 2-liter bottle, cut the top half off, and invert it so the top with the mouthpiece is upside down, creating a funnel—tape around the edges to keep the bottle trap intact.
Make the Bait Solution
Two bait options:
- Sugar and yeast solution: Pour 1 gram of yeast (approximately 1/4 teaspoon) down the funnel. Next, mix a sugar water solution by dissolving 1/4 cup of sugar in 1 cup of hot water, and pour it down the funnel.
- Vinegar and baking soda: Pour 1/4 cup of baking soda down the funnel of the inverted bottle and mix in 1 cup of vinegar (apple cider is best).
How to Make a DIY Dry Ice Mosquito Trap
The CDC recommends dry ice as a mosquito lure. Dry ice emits a high concentration of carbon dioxide gas over an extended period, which is an effective lure for mosquitoes.
Hang a Mosquito Zapper Light
Carefully hang the mosquito light outdoors. Pick an area that will stay dry and is away from people, with enough space to hang your dry ice nearby.
Install Another Hook Near Your Mosquito Light
Install a hook near the light trap to hang the drawstring bag. Measure the bag before installing your hook. Ensure the bag won't touch the mosquito light while it hangs, as this could create a fire hazard.
Fill Your Bag with Dry Ice
Carefully fill the black drawstring bag with five to 10 pounds of dry ice.
Hang the Bag of Dry Ice
Once your bag of dry ice is hanging near the mosquito light, the carbon dioxide will draw mosquitoes in while the light finishes them off. Use gloves and protective clothing to add more dry ice as necessary.
How to Make a DIY Bucket Trap for Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes lay eggs in water. This simple trap attracts egg-layers to their death. The soap coating the water drowns mosquitoes when they touch the surface.
Fill Bucket With Water
Fill a bucket half full of water.
Add Dish Soap
Add four drops of dish soap to the water. Stir it so the soap coats the surface of the water. Avoid making a lot of bubbles.
Place Near a Light Source
Place the bucket near a mosquito-zapper light or any light source.
How to Make a Fan Trap
A fan trap works best near a light source that attracts mosquitoes. This option can also draw mosquitoes away if placed near a spot where you are seated outdoors.
Cut Netting or Fabric
Cut a piece of mosquito netting or fine mesh fabric 4 inches larger on all sides to surround the box fan on the backside of the fan.
Use Magnets to Secure the Mesh
Use two magnets on each side of the fan, one at each corner of each side, to secure the mesh tightly in place.
Turn on the Fan
The exhaust side that pulls air in will also pull nearby mosquitoes into the mesh. The constant suck of the air will keep the mosquitoes bound to the mesh. The force of the air will dry them out.
Safety Considerations When Using Dry Ice
When using the dry ice option, take special care handling it. Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide—and it is really cold. Working with dry ice can be dangerous if not done correctly. Before proceeding, familiarize yourself with all safety precautions and dangers relating to dry ice.
Dry ice can burn your skin. Never store it in a closed container or your standard freezer. It can cause damage to your pipes if you leave dry ice in the sink to melt. Never breathe in its fumes. It can only be stored in a cooler rated to hold dry ice. When assembling the dry ice trap, make it in a well-ventilated area. Wear protective clothing that covers your skin, closed-toe shoes, eye protection, and thick gloves.
When to Call a Professional
If you have a persistent and ongoing mosquito issue or are tempted to try using chemical controls, it's time to call in the pros.
When shopping for pest control, make sure not to fall for sales pitches that promise the world and focus heavily on chemical applications. If a professional company doesn't need to treat with chemicals, they shouldn't. The chemical should always be a last resort for mosquitoes, used in tandem with reducing standing water, using light traps, and repelling them.
How Mosquitoes Detect People, National Institutes of Health
Alternatives to Dry Ice Used in Mosquito Traps for Surveillance, CDC
Mosquito Life Cycle, EPA
- Preliminary study on the effectiveness of mosquito repelling lamp, National Library of Medicine
- The olfactory gating of visual preferences to human skin and visible spectra in mosquitoes, Nature Communications
- Dry Ice Tip Sheet, Cornell University