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Making a Mosquito Trap

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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.


  • 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.

Make a simple sugar syrup.


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


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.

Making a Mosquito Trap Making a Mosquito Trap


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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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By Alan195307/14/2015

I have made two of these. My wife made one and my father-in-law made one, all using the same directions. This simply does not work. Maybe the mosquitos in Texas are too big or too smart for this! :) If you Google this idea, you'll find hundreds of others that had no success with this either. The dry ice idea does work!

By papashakey10/29/2014

I tried this last summer, sans the black paper, and I didn't catch a single mosquito. Several times I walked out to where it was sitting in a shady area, no mosquitos in the bottle, but my legs and arms were literally covered with them.
In answer to the question about taping the two parts back together, you invert the top down into the bottom part like a funnel, then tape them together.

By Mary Martin D.07/10/2014

I am forward to trying this. Our "canal" out back is stagnant, standing water - a mosquito breeder for sure. We have a few citronella plants but not much luck with them. I'm also involving the kids in this... science project. Thanks for sharing!

By do.luan08/12/2013

Would rain water fill up the trap? Would it attract honey bees with the sugar solution? Does the amount of yeast need to be adjusted for the weather/temperature? Thanks!

By Dover Zondiros C.07/08/2013

7/7/13 tried yesterday, there isn't a single mosquito in the trap - was out for the prime mosquito times, they didn't have any trouble finding me, but they didn't find the trap

By Michelle Owens 06/09/2013

I have tried this and is does not work. I have managed to trap a fly and two or three gnats in a week. The mosquitos are still here, avoiding the trap like the plague.

By erick.ouellette06/01/2013

Yes yeast will produce CO2 after a day or so and continue to brew for a few days. Has anyone tried this alternative? The old vinegar and baking-soda trick. That produces CO2 too. And it is instant. If you're looking to sit outdoors, this mixture could be effective on a moment's notice.

By terre05/05/2013

This recipe makes enough for 4 traps, fyi.

By Drew M.05/03/2013

I live in Michigan, the mosquito capital of the united states, and I will be trying this for sure. I have also found that another good all natural way to detour mosquitos is to use garlic. Fresh minced works the best but fresh ground garlic powder will work as well. I sprinkle it around the deck and it works great.

By Nyah B.04/18/2013

I am living in the Hills of Dominica and we do have mosquitoes; [Mosquitoes season/rain season] to keep you area clean is the first rule. we do for example have one Barrel of water outside, rainwater, to wash clothes, feed the animals, clean up, etc.... we cover it, and we use to add 1 spoon Chlorine powder by 500 l water! I tried the mosquito trap, unfortunately, the trap collected a lot of fly's, but no Mosquitoes. Electric mosquitoes killer are not bad, also incenses, but to keep the most of the Mosquitoes away it is always to keep your area dry!
To keep Mosquitoes away from you, just take a Q-tips and dip it in Citronella Oil, rub it on your heels.... Mosquitoes hate the smell of Citronella oil.

By Cheyenne S.04/10/2013

Ok I'm lost if you tape the two parts of the bottle together, how do the mosquitoes get in the lower part?

By jojo7801/22/2013

Could you use some kind of dark tape to wrap the bottle ns tea of black pepper or does the BP serve another purpose?

By nanaof205/25/2012

Or you could just get one of several mosquito repelling plants. Here is a link to tell you about some. Hope it helps!

By Christine McDermott P.05/09/2012

It states to put it in a dark room. My mosquito problem is outside. Maybe a shady spot in my yard?

By TuskersKC03/06/2012

They forgot the rest of the steps. You wrap the bottle with the black paper because mosquitoes like the dark. Place it in a dark, humid spot in the room. In about two weeks you should have a lot of dead mosquitoes. Replace the mixture every two weeks.


By Mama2CamKat03/06/2012

I'm sorry, I think I'm missing something... what is the black paper for? I would love to try this! Wanted to invest in a mosquito magnet but they are pricey and it's not in our budget. This might be just the solution! :)

By amy [2]08/22/2008

Thanx for the idea. xoxo

By Silverojo (Guest Post)06/29/2008

Thank you for sharing this! I want to make one so that we can enjoy our lovely new front porch.

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