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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.
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.
Make a simple sugar syrup.
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.
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.
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.
If using vinegar and simple syrup, do you still use the yeast?
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.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
How do you know your "trap" is not just attracting more mosquitoes?
By KimS from Russellville, AR
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.
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.
How do the mosquitoes die? Can it just drink it and fly away?
By RJ I. from Manila, Philippines
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.
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.
How do you build a mosquito trap?
By Karilynn from Lambert, MT
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.
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.
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!
Anything sweet to feed the yeast is fine.
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
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.
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?
Those are trapped mosquitoes.
Um that's not the paper shredded....that's dead mosquitoes.
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.
They don't seem to be smart enough to fly upwards.
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.
Which type of yeast do I use in this?
Any yeast will make CO2.
Is there anything else I can use besides yeast?
Do you put all the solution in the bottle?
By Dave O
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.
What is the best ways to make mosquito traps, if I don't have any apple cider, and I am not allowed to use meat or wine?
I like this idea for a mosquito trap, but the bottle looks ugly to hang outside in my yard. Can I decorate the outside of the bottle with some sort of flower design and will it discourage mosquitoes from entering the bottle?
I was thinking of painting a flower garden design or using stickers.
You can decorate it or not decorate it, but it won't make a bit of difference to the mosquitoes. Mosquito traps have no effect on how many mosquitoes are going to be biting your ankles.
How often do you have to change the mixture in the bottom of the mosquito catcher bottle?
How do the mosquitoes get in?
How do mosquitoes get in? Through an open window or door! Forget about trapping mosquitoes. Can't be done. Inside, get screens. Outside, wear a repellant containing Deet or use the Off Lamps or the belt clip ons. Thermocel is also a product that works and it is portable because it uses a butane burner.
I want to make mosquito traps, but I live in the southwest and it gets well over 100 during the day and we're lucky to hit 80 @ night in the summer time. Will this extreme heat kill the yeast?
Yeast will live in a wide range of temperature. It goes dormant below about 70F and die off above 140F or so. Yeast is the most active in the 85F-95F range. We store it in a refrigerator for months. In such wide extreams as you mention you may wish to double the yeast; but by all means keep the trap out of the sun and as always, 25 to 30 feet away from where people congregate.
What is the period of efficacy for the liquid? How often does it need replacing?
By Billy Bob
When is the pepper added and how much?
By Sandy L
Black paper, not pepper. You wrap it around the out side of the bottle. I read it the same way at first. :)
Do you put pepper inside the container?
Black paper, not pepper. You wrap it around the out side of the bottle. I read it the same way at first. :)