3 DIY Mosquito Traps That Actually Work, According to Pest Control Experts

Trap these pesky pests using yeast, a box fan, or stagnant water.

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Chairs on dock by lake

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Warm weather brings all kinds of summer fun back into our lives, from trips to the beach and outdoor entertaining to days spent lounging by the pool. But one thing no one looks forward to during this season? Mosquitoes. These pests don't just leave us with red, itchy bumps, but are also vectors of numerous diseases. Controlling mosquitoes on your property will limit your exposure to mosquito-borne illnesses and prevent the insects from laying eggs around the perimeter of your home—which means less swatting and scratching come summer.

But that doesn't mean you have to rush out to the store to buy mosquito traps or repellents. You can effectively keep the pests at bay by making one of these three simple DIY mosquito traps. 

How to Make a DIY Mosquito Trap With Yeast and Sugar

Making a combination of sugar, yeast, and water is an effective way to trap mosquitoes in and around your property. "After a few hours, the yeast starts releasing a steady stream of carbon dioxide, which mosquitoes are highly attracted to," says Timothy Wong, technical director of M&M Pest Control.

  1. Cut off the top of an empty plastic bottle, cutting right below the neck.
  2. In the bottom of the bottle, mix together a sugar and yeast solution (if using a 2 liter bottle, mix 1 cup of warm water, 4 tablespoons of sugar, and 1/3 teaspoon of yeast; for a smaller bottle, use the same ratio and adjust the amount accordingly). 
  3. Flip the top part of the bottle over so that it's pointed downwards and forms a funnel. 
  4. Place it on top of the bottom part of the bottle. Use tape or glue to hold the funnel in place, making sure that any gaps or openings around the edges are sealed. 
  5. Wrap the bottle in something black (leaving the top uncovered for mosquitoes to fly in) so that both the inside and outside are dark. 
  6. Refill the trap with fresh yeast and sugar every few days. 

How to Make a DIY Mosquito Trap With a Box Fan

Have a box fan lying around your house? Use it to trap mosquitoes. "Most species of mosquitoes are weak fliers and any significant wind can prevent them from getting to you," says Ian Williams, BCE technical services manager at Orkin. "An overhead fan on a porch or a well-placed box fan that blows away from the area you are trying to protect can help reduce mosquito bites." If mosquitos reach the back of the fan, the air will draw them in and subsequently trap them.

  1. Attach a mesh screen to the back of a box fan. 
  2. As air is propelled through the fan it will suck in nearby mosquitoes.
  3. Remove and clean the mesh screen weekly to ensure trapped mosquitoes aren't blocking the back of the fan.

How to Make a DIY Mosquito Trap With Stagnant Water

Mosquitoes are attracted to stagnant water, which can be used to your advantage when presented correctly. "Soaps and detergents are surfactants, which reduces the surface tension of the water," says Wong. “When mosquitoes try to land on the surface of the water to lay their eggs, they won't be able to stay afloat and end up drowning.” 

Keep in mind that this only works for certain mosquitoes. "Only female mosquitoes that have already fed on blood will actively look for stagnant water to lay their eggs in," says Wong. "So if you're planning to use this indoors, know most mosquitoes will bite first before getting caught." Make sure you limit any stagnant water in and around your property unless you're using it to trap mosquitoes. 

  1. Fill a bowl or bucket with water.
  2. Add a few drops of soap or liquid detergent and mix gently, without making it too bubbly.
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