Making a Mosquito Trap

To keep mosquitoes from ruining a picnic or camping trip, it is nice to have an enticing trap to lure them away from you. This guide is about making a mosquito trap.
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June 25, 2008 Flag
68 found this helpful

Because mosquitoes are attracted to the CO2 we breathe out, I started looking for ideas that used CO2 as the bait for the mosquito trap. I did think of dry ice but it does dissipate fairly quickly.

I found a cached link on Google here. It seems to be active again now. I've rewritten the instructions some and hopefully it will work as well.

Thanks to the students for their hard work on this project. I've used some of their photos for illustration.

Supplies:

  • 1 2 liter soda bottle
  • a sharp knife
  • black paper
  • tape
  • candy thermometer

Take a 2 liter soda bottle. Cut off the top right below where it starts to narrow for the top, invert and place inside the lower half.

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Make a simple sugar syrup.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups cool water
  • 1 tsp. active dry yeast

Directions:

Bring 1 cup of the water to a boil.

Dissolve the sugar into the boiling water.

Once the sugar is dissolved completely, remove the pan from the heat. Stir in 2 cups cool water, stir well.

Check the temperature of the syrup to make sure it is no hotter than 90 degrees F, if hotter, let cool to 90 degrees F, add 1 tsp. active dry yeast, no need to mix. Put syrup in the bottom part of the bottle, using the cut off neck piece, leave in place.

Be sure to seal the two parts of the bottle with the tape. The fermenting yeast will release carbon dioxide. Put black paper around the bottle since mosquitoes like dark places and carbon dioxide. This mosquito trap will then start working.

TIPS: Put the trap in a dark and humid place for 2 weeks, you'll see the effect. You'll have to replace the sugar water + yeast solution every 2 weeks.

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CommentWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
Anonymous Flag
March 6, 20121 found this helpful
Top Comment

http://www.diyhappy.com/quick-and-dirty-mosquito-trap/

This links tells the direction and what to do with the black pepper. Here is a cut-n-paste of the the info on the paper:

Put black paper around the bottle since mosquitoes like dark places and carbon dioxide. This mosquito trap will then start working.

Mosquitoes fly around the corner, so the best place to place the trap is at some dark corner.

It also says this about placement and longevity - Tips: Put the trap in some dark and humid place for 2 weeks, you'll see the effect. You'll have to replace the sugar water + yeast solution every 2 weeks.

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October 21, 20160 found this helpful

Mama2CamKat its used so that the mosquitoes will be more attracted to it because its darker. :)

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October 22, 2012 Flag
15 found this helpful

On your website, someone posted how to get rid of mosquitoes using a plastic bottle. Wonderful idea, but even better, adding vinegar and sugar water will not just get rid of mosquitoes, but pesky annoying gnats too.

By twinheart13

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March 14, 20130 found this helpful

If using vinegar and simple syrup, do you still use the yeast?

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June 12, 20130 found this helpful

How much vinegar would you put in with the sugar water and does it have any effect on the yeast producing carbon dioxide?

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June 30, 2015 Flag
5 found this helpful

Today, I made two mosquito traps from soda bottles. I did not have any black construction paper but did have black ground cloth. I cut a piece to cover the bottle and stapled the fabric on the bottom so it would sit flat. This should last longer than paper.

A mosquito trap from a soda bottle.

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March 23, 2012 Flag
1 found this helpful

How do you know your "trap" is not just attracting more mosquitoes?

By KimS from Russellville, AR

AnswerWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
May 12, 20124 found this helpful
Best Answer

They do attract mosquitoes, that's their job. They attract the females (which are the biters), and thus there is a cumulative impact on decreasing the mosquito population as successive crops of females are wiped out.

We use CO2 traps and live on the water on the Texas Gulf Coast. We have mosquitoes up to 12 months a year and I can attest to their efficacy.

The key is knowing how to use them. Never put them near your outdoor seating areas, they attract mosquitoes. Seems self-evident, but people who complain about traps usually have them too close to their areas. About 30 feet away, preferably upwind, seems to work best for us.

If I'm on the lee side of the house working in the yard or garden, I'll wear a DEET repellant, but for everyday mosquito control; sitting out in the morning with coffee, hanging out in the hammock during the day, or sitting on the deck for happy hour until after dusk, the CO2 trap works. We don't have to spray pesticides on us or our wetland marsh. We don't want to kill the dragonflies and butterflies, etc.

Give it a try, how cheap and easy is it? Much cheaper than the propane powered SkeeterVacs, which also work wonderfully, when used correctly. If you don't like it or it's ineffective, you're out a 2 liter bottle and a package of yeast.

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March 26, 20120 found this helpful

You don't. Many traps do just that. The ones that are in the trap are not biting you, but there is a pretty much endless supply of mosquitoes. Unless you have a screened in area or it is inside, which would limit the "supply". I live in mosquito country, and don't waste my time with traps. Use a repellant with Deet or use an Off Mosquito lamp or Thermocell to repel them from outdoor areas.

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June 27, 20140 found this helpful

Any dead mosquito is a good mosquito. Fewer mosquitos means less breeding means less chance of EEE or other transmissible diseases they carry.

Thanks for posting this inexpensive, easy trap!

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December 5, 2013 Flag
1 found this helpful

How do the mosquitoes die? Can it just drink it and fly away?

By RJ I. from Manila, Philippines

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December 7, 20130 found this helpful

Here in northern Canada, we have lots of mosquitoes, and let me tell you that so called "mosquito traps" do not work. The only repellants that work are those with Deet. Nothing else works. However, the new products by Off that are the clip ons you wear on your belt, or the Off Lamps, that have little pads that are heated with a candle also work.

The same type of thing is available here in a product called a Thermocell, which heats the pad with a butane heater. This is good for using in places where you can't burn a candle. The coils that one burns are also pretty effective, but the other products are better. Do not waste your time, effort, or money on anything else, because other products do not work.

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December 24, 20130 found this helpful

They drown in the water, so its important to keep the water level up to the original mark, about half way up the bottle. From experience with my fly trap the black painted area tricks them going further down the bottle to try and get out, they head towards the light. These things do work if you maintain them, I'd add more of the active ingredient every week or so to keep it going, even try masking the bottom half and spray paint the top half black.

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January 21, 20140 found this helpful

They cannot fly out and die quickly. We have several restaurants in Hawaii where these are used and work quite well!

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June 14, 2011 Flag

How do you build a mosquito trap?

By Karilynn from Lambert, MT

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June 15, 20111 found this helpful
Best Answer

I did an internship with the Entomology Dept at UC Davis, many moons ago. I assisted with mosquito research. I recall our mosquito traps were about the size of a small coffee can, with a bottom, and a tapered top. We would hang them from tree limbs, and put a piece (about 3x3 inches) of dry ice in the can. The carbon dioxide would attract the mosquitoes and we would get plenty of samples in out traps.

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June 14, 20110 found this helpful

Put a white plate out away from where you will be eating. put soapy water in the plate. If you have bees put some sugar in the plate along with the soapy water.

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July 5, 2013 Flag
0 found this helpful

It looks from the picture that the black construction paper is shredded up and in the bottle vs wrapped around the outside of the bottle. Which way should you do it?

By Daniela

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July 12, 20130 found this helpful

Those are trapped mosquitoes.

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July 12, 20130 found this helpful

Um that's not the paper shredded....that's dead mosquitoes.

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July 15, 20130 found this helpful

Daniela, Those are the dead mosquitos- not paper. The paper has been taken off to show us what it looks like on the inside.

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February 12, 2014 Flag
1 found this helpful

I live in the jungle on a tropical island in Indonesia. It has been raining here lately so as soon as the rain stops the tiger mosquitoes come out, big fat ladies! Here's the question though, I don't have sugar around the house. Can I change it for some apple juice or some orange juice or something? I wanna make one now!

By Peter

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July 7, 20141 found this helpful

Anything sweet to feed the yeast is fine.

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August 31, 2013 Flag
1 found this helpful

We live in Jakarta and are currently in the dry season where the mosquitoes are at their worst. I was just looking at the drink bottle mosquito trap.

We have two young children and have nets over their beds and keep the top of the house closed and ACs on. As you can imagine however the top of the house leads outside and obviously the mosquitoes can still get in. We spray an hour before bedtime however we are finding a few are still getting in or managing to avoid the spray or we believe they maybe getting in through the exhaust fan shoots.

Anyway my question is, the top floor of our house is quite large, would it be worthwhile placing a couple of these traps around say perhaps in our walk-in robe, which gets very little natural light and perhaps on the top of a cupboard in another room? Or do you think we will attract more and perhaps defeat the purpose of the trap?

Your advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

By Tamzin B

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September 2, 20131 found this helpful

I don't know if you can get it in Jakarta, but Lemon Joy dish detergent kills mosquitos. They drink it and die. We use it in our house if mosquitos get in. We leave it in shallow plates around our sleeping areas.

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September 7, 2012 Flag
0 found this helpful

I get that the small opening makes it hard to leave. But, can't they get a free meal and fly out the same way they got in?

By Jenny M

Editor's Note: Here is the post that Jenny is referring to.

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September 9, 20120 found this helpful

They don't seem to be smart enough to fly upwards.

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April 15, 20130 found this helpful

They are attracted to CO2 but feed off of blood. There is no way they would get a meal out of this contraption. *facepalm* A fair number of them would probably down in the syrup in the bottom of the bottle.

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July 14, 20130 found this helpful

Actually, mosquitoes feed off of nectar and other sugary things such as fruit juice, however the females need a blood meal in order to lay eggs. Some directions for mosquito traps call for adding a tiny bit of boric acid in the sugar/fruit juice mixture as a natural insecticide. They fly in, feed on the acid-laced sugar solution, and then even if they find their way out, they are still killed. The particular directions I'm thinking of came from the website for Mother Earth News.

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August 5, 2013 Flag
0 found this helpful

Which type of yeast do I use in this?

By Ravi

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June 12, 20140 found this helpful

Any yeast will make CO2.

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Anonymous Flag
November 17, 20150 found this helpful

Is there anything else I can use besides yeast?

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August 5, 2014 Flag
0 found this helpful

Do you put all the solution in the bottle?

By Dave O

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August 7, 20141 found this helpful

Unless you are using such a thing inside a screen porch or your house, there is no use to it. Outside there are an endless supply of mosquitoes. No matter how many you trap and kill, there will still be another on that is biting your ear. Outside you need one of the products that repel them - coils you burn, the Off lamps, the Off clip on repellant, or the Thermocell work. I am told that citronella candles work, but I have never found them effective and I can't stand the smell.

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