Every summer comes with the dreaded mosquito season! Those pesky insects can ruin a perfectly good night out or a relaxing evening in your backyard. But rather than reaching for the DEET or other insecticides, why not try making a homemade mosquito trap?
We love spending time outdoors during the summer. Outdoor movie nights, planting in the garden, and anything that involves being outside on our patio.
But, what we don’t love is getting eaten alive by mosquitoes! And certainly the fear of zika virus, west nile virus, or other equally scary diseases a fun problem to have to ponder.
I have long been on the hunt for the perfect mosquito trap…that actually works.
I hate the idea of spraying chemicals around the yard for all of us to inhale. And I don’t like the idea of harming other beneficial insects with overzealous sprays. So I’ve done some serious research on the best mosquito traps that suck ‘em in and take ‘em out for good.
The great thing about DIY traps is that they’re easy to make, environmentally friendly, and won’t break the bank. Plus, they’re all natural – no chemicals or toxins involved.
Tips to Keep Mosquitos Away
- Reduce standing water. Mosquitos love standing, stagnant water, which they use for reproduction. If possible, reduce the amount of standing water in dog bowls and water baths.
- Use an outdoor mosquito lamp to trap and zap mosquitoes. However, the noise from these lights can be annoying.
- Avoid dark clothing outside. Mosquitoes are most attracted to the color black when carbon dioxide is present (AKA the breath of humans). My rule is no black socks after Memorial Day 😉
- Make sure your door and window screens are in good shape. If not, here’s how to easily repair them.
- Burn scented candles. Citronella is an old-reliable, but it’s not the only solution. Any scented candle masks your scent so the mosquitos won’t come near you.
- Come on baby light that fire! Fire pits aren’t just fun, the smoke and flames repel mosquitos, too.
A mosquito trap made using a two-liter bottle with a sugar and yeast solution.
Does a dish of soapy water kill mosquitos?
Yes, soap creates a thin film on top of the water, which drowns the mosquito and kills any eggs.
Do vinegar traps work for mosquitos?
When combined with baking soda, the solution creates carbon dioxide which attracts mosquitoes and prevents them from escaping.
What can I put in my standing water to kill mosquitoes?
A solution of vinegar, essential oils, baking soda, or sugar source will lure mosquitos to your trap.
Chemical Mosquito Traps vs. Homemade Mosquito Traps
It’s the age-old dilemma of chemical mosquito traps versus homemade mosquito traps.
Mosquitoes are not only irritating but can also transmit diseases. So, it’s imperative to keep them at bay. There are various ways to do that, including using chemical mosquito traps or making your own at home.
Chemical Mosquito Traps
Chemical mosquito traps are devices that use chemicals to lure and kill mosquitoes. Most commonly, these solutions are mosquito “foggers” that mist insecticide across a certain area. They are highly effective and cover a large area of your yard.
However, the chemicals used in these insecticides can be harmful to humans. These solutions are also costly and require regular maintenance, electricity, and propane gas for power.
Homemade Mosquito Traps
Homemade mosquito traps are a great alternative to chemicals. These traps are safer to humans and animals with minimal risk.
Usually, these are made using natural ingredients and simple materials found around the house. These typically involve creating a container with an attractant that lures mosquitoes into it. The trap then captures them alive or kills them.
While a homemade trap is much safer and more affordable, it won’t cover as much ground as the chemical alternative.
However, the DIY versions are sufficient enough to keep you comfortable throughout the summer months, and help minimize a mosquito problem.
6 DIY Mosquito Trap Ideas (That Actually Work)
There are several different types of homemade mosquito traps, including the sugar trap, yeast trap, vinegar trap, and soap trap. Most of these solutions use two-liter soda bottles and a few other household supplies.
Let’s take a look at DIY ideas you can make today!
1. Brown Sugar and Yeast Bottle Trap
The combination of yeast and brown sugar creates carbon dioxide, which mosquitos love! This simple project takes about 15 minutes to make and can be used all season long.
The full tutorial is available through the link above. To get started, you’ll need to find an empty 2-liter bottle, a gram of yeast (which is a teeny, tiny amount…a typical yeast packet contains 7 grams), brown sugar, a cup of hot water, plus a few more odds and ends.
2. Box Fan Mosquito Trap
Get rid of those pesky mosquitos with a box fan and insect screens. This nifty DIY uses stagnant water to attract mosquitoes, then sucks them in through the box fan as they get close.
I like this trap idea because it avoids sugar, which attracts other insects in addition to mosquitoes.
3. Sugar Source Mosquito Attractant
It’s no secret that mosquitoes love sugar. By adding a sugar source to the bottom of a soda bottle, you can trap those bloodsuckers once and for all!
Bait examples include fruit, juice, sugared water, honey, old wine, or apple cider vinegar. This can also be used indoors.
By simply cutting and flipping the top of the bottle upside down, the mosquitoes are attracted to the sugar source in the bottle’s bottom half, so they enter the small opening in the funnel part of the bottle and get trapped inside, creating a super simple, but effective trap!
And for more insight about effective mosquito solutions, I highly recommend checking out Dr. Purrington’s website, and this article about mosquito tips for homeowners.
Dr. Purrington received his PhD from Brown University, then did post-doctoral research at Washington University and the University of Chicago. He also taught evolutionary biology at Swarthmore College. In short, this man knows what he’s talking about.
4. Dry Ice and a Hanging Bag
This solution is more involved than the other options but is a mosquito-trapping winner according to The Spruce.
The dry ice puts off carbon dioxide to attract the mosquitos, then they are sucked in by a mosquito-zapping light source.
5. Vinegar and Baking Soda Bottle Trap
Using a 2-liter bottle, combine baking soda and vinegar together. When the vinegar and baking soda meet, the mixture releases carbon dioxide, which attracts mosquitoes.
They will then enter the funnel and become trapped in the bottom half of the bottle.
6. Dish Soap Mosquito Catcher
Add any dish soap to a water source to create this super easy trap! While it doesn’t repel mosquitos, dish soap creates a thin film on top of the water. As the mosquitos land on the water, they will sink and drown instead of flying away.
This solution can be used where any standing water is present.
But be cautious in places like your bird bath, or a water dish for an outdoor cat…you don’t want to harm other animals with this technique. The best solution for those situations is an agitator that keeps the water moving/bubbling, and to change the water regularly.
- Certain types of plants are naturally mosquito-repelling. These include rosemary, lemongrass, peppermint, sweet basil, marigolds, lavender, lemon balm, thyme, or catnip.
- Burn citronella candles or mosquito-repelling oils.
- Spray a mixture of water and essential oils around patios or on furniture or clothing. Repelling essential oils include lavender, eucalyptus, spearmint, cedarwood, or cinnamon.
We all love the warm weather, the lemonade, and the smell of fresh grass clippings as the summer season rolls around. But it’s important to remember the importance of mosquito control as our outdoor activities ramp up.
By making homemade traps for mosquitos, you not only save money but also reduce your reliance on harmful chemicals found in store-bought traps.
These traps are easy to make and require only a few simple ingredients. So next time you’re planning a barbecue or outdoor gathering, try making one of these DIY traps and say goodbye to itchy mosquito bites for good!
On the hunt for more simple home improvement ideas, and DIY home decorating inspiration? Be sure to check out these articles, too!
Pin this project for later! And if you decide to try it, leave a comment on the pin! That helps others know whether they want to try it, too!
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