40 min read

Best Mosquito Trap for Indoor & Outdoor Use

Mosquito traps are essential, especially in the summer months. We tested the top 10 mosquito traps to get rid of the pests for good. We realize that there are two primary intended uses for mosquito traps -- indoor and outdoor, which is why we chose a winner for each category.

Best Outdoor Trap
Mega-Catch Ultra Mosquito Trap
$899.00 on amazon

Mega-Catch Ultra Mosquito Trap 9/10

  • What we like
  • Extreme flexibility. Can choose to use CO2, Octenol Lure, or none to increase catch rate or save on costs.
  • One of the most effective traps tested
  • Can be used indoors if CO2 and Octenol attractants are not used
  • What we dislike
  • High initial expense and potentially high operating expenses
  • More attractant options means more repairs over time
  • Needs to be plugged in

Product Details

  • Attraction: CO2 (Optional), Heat, Infrared & UV Lights, Octenol/Lurex (Optional)
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Outdoor Only
  • Coverage: 150 feet (1.5 acres)
  • Weight: 22 lbs
  • Power: Electricity, Custom CO2 Canister

Our Review

The Mega-Catch Ultra mosquito trap is a proven, reliable trap. It boasts a whole host of ways to lure in mosquitos, which includes a heating element that mimics the body temperature of a warm-blooded animal, LED lights that simulate movement, and UV lights to attract mosquitos. The system is incredibly powerful to its flexibility.

It has additional lure options that can incorporate both Octenol and CO2 as attractants. Keep in mind that the Mega-Catch Ultra requires proprietary CO2 canisters in order to work with the system, but using the cylinder can increase catch rates by as much as 400%. The system can also use an add-on Octenol lure or Mega-Catch’s own 3000 Combo Lure (includes both Octenol and lactic acid), which is a custom designed by the company to lure Asian Tiger mosquitos which have historically been more difficult to trap.

Flexibility in the Mega-Catch Ultra is not just limited to attractants, but also ways to capture mosquitoes. By default, the Mega-Catch Ultra traps mosquitos with a high powered fan, which sucks them into a container where they die naturally. The container can be customized to be a wet-catch container, which drowns mosquitos rather than trapping them in a dry net. This water can be mixed with a bit of soap and sugar to provide another layer of attractants – this time simulating a sweet drink like soda or fruit juice.

Mosquito Magnet MM3300 Executive Trap 7/10

  • What we like
  • Cordless, which means it can be deployed anywhere.
  • Also attracts black flies and no-see-ums
  • What we dislike
  • Cost of maintaining propane tanks and lines can be expensive.
  • Product defects have been common
  • The heaviest trap reviewed

Product Details

  • Attraction: CO2, Heat, Moisture, Octenol/Lurex (Optional)
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Outdoor Only
  • Coverage: 100 ft (1 acre)
  • Weight: 32.93 lbs
  • Power: Propane, Battery

Our Review

The Mosquito Magnet operates by utilizing heat, moisture, and carbon dioxide to lure mosquitoes. It’s one of the few systems that uses vapor as a means attract mosquitos. The mosquito magnet also has the option to use Octenol and Lurex3, which specifically target mosquitos native to northern states or southern states respectively. They need to be purchased separately.

The Mosquito Magnet runs very quiet and creates no odor. Since the company recommends the machine be run 24 hours a day during peak mosquito system, it means that the propane tank will need to be replaced every three weeks. In addition, the propane lines will also need to be cleared periodically.

One thing to keep in mind is that the Mosquito Magnet has not had a great track record reliability when it comes to using propane to generate CO2. However, the company’s MM3300 Executive model has an additional fuel-saving mode, which makes propane last up to 30 days rather than 21 days. The model also has a panel that shows all sorts of information such as status of propane lines, how much propane is left, and battery percentage. The system’s battery is huge too, which means it can last almost a whole season on one charge.

Flowtron MT-125 Mosquito Trap 5/10

  • What we like
  • Insect capture basket cleanup is easy
  • What we dislike
  • Capture fans have a unsteady track record
  • Requires both electricity and propane to function
  • Propane can cost a lot over time

Product Details

  • Attraction: LEDs, CO2, Octenol (optional)
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Outdoor Only
  • Coverage: 100 feet (1 acre)
  • Weight: 15 lbs
  • Power: Electricity, Propane

Our Review

The Flowtron MT-125 is a unit that requires both electricity and propane to function, making it one of the least mobile options. It uses a combination of LED lights and CO2 to lure insects, with the option to use Octenol as well.

The unit sucks insects into a capture chamber with a fan. The chamber has no sticky elements such as glue or adhesives, which makes cleanup easy. However, there have been reports of the capture fan malfunctioning across multiple units, which can only be repaired by the manufacturer.

Blue Rhino SkeeterVac SV5100 0/10

  • What we like
  • Dual-trapping mechanism keeps more insects captured
  • Cover 100ft of area (one acre)
  • Can be tuned to use less attractant than other mosquito traps
  • Cordless and easily moveable
  • What we dislike
  • High upfront costs and expensive to maintain
  • Cannot be used indoors

Product Details

  • Attraction: CO2, LED Lights, Heat, Color Contrast, Octenal
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Outdoor Only
  • Coverage: 100 feet (1 acre)
  • Weight: 15 lbs
  • Power: Propane, Battery

Our Review

The SkeeterVac SV5100 uses a host of attractants and dual capture methods to cover a large area. The system uses CO2, LED lights, heat, color contrast, and Octenol to attract biting insects. This particular system also has the option to “fine tune” Octenol so that it matches exactly with what local mosquito species look for, potentially greatly extending the lifespan of the charge.

Insects are trapped using a two-part method. A vacuum sucks bugs into a chamber which also has a sticky tape which ensures bugs are trapped in the machine until they are dead. Most other mosquito traps use a net to prevent insects from escaping, which is less reliable.

The downside, however, is that the sticky tape and attractants need to be replaced consistently. The tape will need to be replaced every 8 weeks whereas attractants will last only 5-6 weeks. Propane tanks will also need to be replaced every 3-4 weeks, which can make maintenance costs rather high for the Blue Rhino.

The SkeeterVac also runs on only propane, no electrical charge is needed. The trap is also easy to assemble when first purchased, as no tools are required. The two wheels part of the trap makes it easy to maneuver and move with too.

Koolatron Guardian Pro Bite Shield 6/10

  • What we like
  • Easy to assemble and use
  • Covers 100ft of area (one acre)
  • Cordless and mobile
  • What we dislike
  • Cannot be used indoors
  • High upfront costs and expensive to maintain

Product Details

  • Attraction: CO2, Heat, Octenol (Optional)
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Outdoor Only
  • Coverage: 100 ft (1 acre)
  • Weight: 20 lbs
  • Power: Propane, Battery

Our Review

The Koolatron Guardian Pro Bite Shield uses CO2 and heat to draw in biting insects over an acre of space. The system also includes the option to use Octenol as an additional attractant, which would increase the efficacy of the device. Since the unit is powered by a 20lb tank of propane, it can be used anywhere for mosquito control.

The insects are trapped via a vacuum and pulled into a chamber where the bugs perish. Since the system burns only Octenol and propane, it is safe to use around pets and children as no harmful substances are emitted or created during the use of the device.

The Koolatron Guardian Pro Bite Shield is easy to assemble and is started with just the push of a button, making it easy to use.

Mosquito Magnet MM4200B Patriot Plus Mosquito Trap 6/10

  • What we like
  • Very large insect capture basket
  • Covers 100ft of area (one acre)
  • Cordless
  • What we dislike
  • Cannot be used indoors
  • High upfront costs and expensive to maintain
  • One of the heaviest mosquito traps reviewed

Product Details

  • Attraction: CO2, UV Lights
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Outdoor Only
  • Coverage: 100 ft (1 acre)
  • Weight: 22.7 lbs
  • Power: Propane

Our Review

The Mosquito Magnet MM4200B Patriot Plus is another trap that utilizes propane to generate CO2 in order to lure mosquitoes and other biting insects into a vacuum trap. It runs almost silent and is odorless. In addition, the fact it runs off of just a propane tank means that it can be deployed almost anywhere. The trap can also use secondary attractants such as Octenol and Lurex but need to be purchased separately.

Once insects are lured into the capture mechanism via vacuum, they are pulled into an internal basket where they starve to death after some time. The MM4200B model has a larger collection space than older models, such as the MM4100 which means the basket needs to be replaced with less frequency.

DynaTrap DT2000XL Mosquito Trap 7/10

  • What we like
  • Lower start up costs, because no propane tank is needed.
  • Can be used indoors.
  • Cheaper to maintain.
  • What we dislike
  • Limited CO2 production means Asian tiger mosquitos are unaffected
  • Tends to catch insects other than just mosquitos

Product Details

  • Attraction: CO2, UV Lights
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Indoor & Outdoor
  • Coverage: 30 ft
  • Weight: 10.9 lbs
  • Power: Electricity

Our Review

Dynatrap’s insect traps operate on similar principles as other traps. The DT2000XL model uses a multi-stage process to lure in these pesky insects which includes heat generation, a florescent UV bulb, and visible bug-attracting lights. The big difference is that Dynatrap does not use propane to create CO2, but rather a custom process.

Since Dynatrap does not use propane, there is no need to maintain and switch out different propane tanks. Instead, the system is entirely electricity powered. This means that the Dynatrap DT2000XL is cheaper initially, due to not needing additional accessories. The lack of burning propane also means that the Dynatrap DT2000XL can also be used indoors!

The Dynatrap DT2000XL captures bugs with a fan solution, which sucks them into a chamber where they are unable to escape and die.

The downside of DynaTrap’s solution is that it tends to attract critters other than just mosquitos – such as moths at night. There have also been inconsistencies regarding the amount of CO2 produced by different models. Regardless, this trap emits far less CO2 than propane-powered solutions, which makes light and heat one of the major ways the trap attracts insects. Unfortunately, this means that it is most effective at night or indoors.

One mosquito that the trap does not attract well is the Asian tiger mosquito, which is present in many southern states. Traps need to rely more heavily on CO2 emissions or other attractants to lure in these pests.

DynaTrap DT1775 Insect Trap AtraktaGlo Light 8/10

  • What we like
  • Cheap to purchase and maintain. No propane needed.
  • Easy to move and clean
  • Can be used indoors
  • What we dislike
  • Captures more than just mosquitoes
  • Requires electricity, limiting mobility

Product Details

  • Attraction: UV Light, CO2
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Indoor Preferred
  • Coverage: 100 ft (1 acre)
  • Weight: 9 lbs
  • Power: Electricity

Our Review

The DynaTrap DT1775 is a little bit different than many other mosquito traps since it produces CO2 without using propane. It has a special coating on a disc inside the trap that produces CO2 over time and it attracts insects using UV lights to mimic human movement. The trap is powered by electricity.

The trap does not kill bugs by zapping, but rather captures them into a chamber where they starve. The downside with this approach is that it takes time for the bugs captured inside to die, which means that pulling out the capture container can yield some live insects that can escape. This trap is less CO2 focused, which means it can capture other flying critters as well.

LIGHTSMAX Indoor Bug Zapper Plug in 6/10

  • What we like
  • Small, lightweight
  • Instantly kills bugs
  • Can be used indoors
  • What we dislike
  • Requires a plug to function, limiting mobility
  • Tends to attract all sorts of insects, not just mosquitoes

Product Details

  • Attraction: LED Lights
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Indoor Preferred
  • Coverage: 12.5 ft
  • Weight: 0.25 lbs
  • Power: Electricity

Our Review

This bug zapper is an electricity-powered bug zapper/insect killer that attracts insects with lights. There is no capture chamber, but rather an electrical grid that instantly kills insects upon contact. The lack of CO2 generation or reliance on propane means that it can be used indoors safely.

The device runs with a very silent humming and is essentially silent from noiseless. The downside with the light-based approach is that it is not necessarily mosquito-specific, and seems to have the greatest success against gnats.

Best Indoor Trap
Dynatrap Ultralight Mosquito Trap
$32.26 on homedepot

Dynatrap Ultralight Mosquito Trap 9/10

  • What we like
  • Can be used indoors
  • Completely silent
  • What we dislike
  • Requires electricity power, not waterproof

Product Details

  • Attraction: UV lights, CO2
  • Indoor/Outdoor: Indoor Intended
  • Coverage: 10 ft
  • Weight: 1.25 lbs
  • Power: Electricity

Our Review

The Dynatrap Ultralight mosquito trap is primarily an indoor solution. It uses both UV lights and CO2 to attract mosquitoes, but the unit is not propane-based. Instead, it uses a specially-covered disc that emits CO2 over time, making it safe to use indoors. It can also be used outdoors in a pinch if it is in a covered space.

The trap uses a vacuum method to pull insects into a chamber, where they starve to death.

It’s important to recognize that indoor traps don’t need the sheer coverage that an outdoor trap will need. A rated coverage of one acre (100 feet) is overkill. The most important thing to keep in mind for an indoor mosquito trap is positioning – placing the trap in between the area mosquitoes tend to enter from and where people commonly reside can allow one small trap to cover the entire house. Just place the trap near a bottleneck and your biting insect problems should be over.

The Dynatrap Ultralight Mosquito Trap is lightweight and covers enough area to be able to cover the entirety of almost any room. It runs on just electricity and is very easy to clean and maintain. It’s our top pick for its no-fuss nature and strong results.

How to Choose Best Mosquito Trap for Indoor & Outdoor Use for 2019 [Top 10]

Mosquitos are not only annoying, but they can also be dangerous. As carriers of some of the most deadly diseases in the world such as West Nile Virus and malaria, it is essential to find a solution to keep you and your family safe from them. Both outdoor and indoor use.

It may seem like there is an overwhelming amount of different mosquito traps, but don’t worry. We will help you break down how mosquito traps work so you will become an expert in no time! While a mosquito repellent can help for a little while, a trap works much better in the long run. Most insect traps are intended to capture mosquitoes, but there are some that are capable of killing the blood-sucking insects too. Some people think that mosquito traps are inefficient and do little to reduce the mosquito population near your home, but that may only be true for certain traps. Some traps are suited for indoors, others outdoors, but here we’re going dive deep into all the different types of mosquito traps and how they function. Solve your mosquito problem for good.

One thing to keep in mind is that mosquito traps are not cheap. They are used as a semi-permanent solution to keep an area a pest free and can cost up to hundreds of dollars.

We realize that there are two primary intended uses for mosquito traps — indoor and outdoor, which is why we chose a winner for each category. Mosquito traps do not have immediate results. Unlike insecticides, mosquito traps take a little while before you notice a visible reduction in the population of unwanted pests. Don’t expect to see no insects at all after 10 minutes of turning the trap on, but rather a few days.

The way a mosquito trap functions is unique and can be broken down into two parts. The first task is to lure mosquitoes to the trap by mimicking human activity in some capacity. Some traps try to replicate human movement in the visible and invisible light spectrum, create heat mimicking a human body, or excrete emissions to mimic human breath or sweat. The second task is to trap and kill the mosquito, which can be done through a suction machine or even with a net.

How Mosquito Traps Lure Targets

A mosquito trap is useless if it can never lure mosquitoes to investigate it, which means it’s important to understand how mosquitoes hunt for their targets. Only female mosquitoes bite for blood. They typically fly around 25 feet or lower from the ground, where they use a combination of their three sensory organs to find prey:

Antennae detect carbon dioxide released from a person’s breath and are also extremely sensitive to chemicals commonly produced by humans, including octanol which is a substance found in sweat.

Compound Eyes are how mosquitoes see the world, and they are made of hundreds of tiny lenses designed to see movement. Their eyes can see an incredibly wide angle and are typically more useful for insects active during the day, which rely more on visual cues.

Maxillary palpus is an organ located on the head of the mosquito and is heat sensitive. This is used to locate areas of heat, typically warm-blooded prey, and find the warmest areas of the body. These warm areas are usually where blood runs closest to the skin, making it one of the easiest points to draw blood from.

Mosquito traps operate by taking advantage of mosquito’s sensory abilities by tricking them, either by mimicking the smells of people or visual movement associated with people. There are a number of different methods that this is achieved, including traps that produce CO2, octanol, heat, light, or any combination of these. The goal is to lure the mosquito into the trap where they stay until they die.

Effective placement is key for mosquito traps. This means traps need to be placed in shaded areas in between where mosquitoes come from and people gather since the insects will notice the traps first. Try a number of different places until you find the most effective location. It may also be worth experimenting with different attractants to see which is most effective.

The end goal is that the combination of different attractants will lure mosquitoes to where the trap can be sprung. We’ve taken a look at all of the most common (and some less common) methods that mosquito traps use to lure their targets in. Keep in mind that not all mosquitoes are the same – extremely effective traps for one breed of mosquito may fall flat when used in another region, which is why many traps build in as much redundancy as possible by layering on multiple means of attracting mosquitoes.

The benefit of most mosquito traps is that they don’t depend on harsh and dangerous chemicals, which means they can be safe around children and pets. While propane-burning solutions can create heat and have an open flame, it still only releases CO2 which is a completely natural byproduct of breathing. Unlike pesticides or mosquito sprays which are scientifically proven to be toxic to people and pets, mosquito traps do not take a carpet-bombing approach to killing insects. Another side benefit is that because mosquito traps are specifically tailored to attract only biting insects, moths and bees are not affected at all.

Mosquito Attractant Types

While different mosquito trap models and brands may vary, there are only a handful of different methods used to attract these biting insects.

Lighting– These are traps that have light systems that flash at frequencies that are attractive to mosquitoes. Some models may flashlights that are visible to the naked eye whereas others may flash light that is invisible to people (ultraviolet light).

Lighting as an attractant is usually secondary to CO2, Heat, or Octenol. Lightning solutions usually occur right around the trap mechanism as a way to more accurately draw biting insects to where the trap is triggered.

Octenol – Is one type of attractant lure used to pull in mosquitoes. Octenol was initially discovered in Africa as a byproduct of research into sleeping sickness in cows. Since mosquitoes are known to bite both cows and people, Octenol has been a means of fooling insects into traps ever since. Octenol is a chemical that has proven to be very attractive to mosquitoes, which means the release of Octenol from the device tends to draw in biting insects. Since most mosquitoes have very primitive visual senses, Octenol is one of the more effective ways to target a broad range of mosquitoes since they rely on scent and heat detection to find people.

While Octenol does attract a variety of biting insects and mosquitoes, it’s effectiveness varies among the different species of mosquitoes. The EPA fact sheet reports that octenol is not harmful to humans and the environment.

Octenol is recommended for use in northern states.

Lurex – Lurex is a mix that contains lactic acid and another substance, and it is specifically formulated to attract Asian tiger mosquitos. This breed of mosquito is more common in southern states.

CO2 Systems – Mosquitos are extremely attracted to human breath, of which CO2 is a large component. Most CO2 systems function by burning propane steadily over time, which releases CO2. CO2 systems fool insects into recognizing these emissions as human breath and they the CO2 emission is typically only one part of an overall approach to lure biting insects into the trap.

Propane Systems – One of the most common methods of generating CO2 is through burning propane, supplied through propane tanks. Keep in mind that propane tanks do not have an infinite amount of fuel, which means that replacing propane tanks will become a regular part of maintaining this solution. In addition, since propane CO2 solutions involve burning gas, it is intended only for outdoor use. Under no circumstances should a propane-burning mosquito trap be brought indoors.

Heat Systems – Perhaps one of the most common forms of attracting mosquitoes, many models have a way to generate heat which replicates the temperature of the human body. This is commonly achieved through propane, which is heated to generate CO2 The heat source is typically located very close to the trap intake system. Heat and CO2 systems are commonly found together on systems that use propane.

Mosquito Trap Types

The luring system in the world is no use if the mosquitoes aren’t captured and removed from the area. The second stage of mosquito traps is how mosquitoes are captured – there are a number of different methods. They all work well, but some may be more energy intensive or noisier.

Vacuum Trap – A vacuum trap describes the means that mosquitoes are captured and held, not necessarily how they are lured to the trap in the first place. These traps use a silent vacuum to suck bugs into the chamber, where they become dehydrated over time until they die. The benefit of vacuum traps is that they don’t typically use chemicals to kill off insects, meaning that they are non-toxic and can be used around pets and children.

Fan Trap – Much like a vacuum trap, a fan trap is a means of capturing and holding mosquitoes. Unlike a vacuum trap, however, fan traps can be made at home with some do-it-yourself skills. At a high level, fan traps exert enormous air pressure of an area that sucks the insect into a space where it cannot escape. The drawback to fan traps is that they often run much louder than vacuum traps and can cause air flow in areas that may not be desired. A much more powerful solution, it is a more indiscriminate when it comes to killing flying insects so it could suck in other unintended guests as well.

Outdoor mosquito fans are a clean and powerful way of eliminating biting insects. Since they don’t require any pesticides or harmful chemicals, they are safe around children and pets. Another benefit is that they don’t extrude any strong scents.

Electrical Grids – Electrical grids are a means of killing mosquitoes instantly. The goal is to get mosquitoes to touch highly-charged electrical grids which kills them instantaneously through the high voltage contact. These types of mosquito killers typically have a tray where dead mosquitoes fall, making it one of the easiest traps to clean and maintain. In addition, since it does not use harsh chemicals or pesticides to kill mosquitoes, it is more environmentally friendly and can also be used indoors to great effect!

The drawback to electrical grids is partially implied in the name. First off, they require an electrical plug in order to function, which means the only locations they can be set up are limited by the length of your extension wire. In addition, the highly-charged surface can be very painful (and potentially dangerous) for children or pets that touch it. Fortunately, nearly all models have some sort of grid or protective barrier that makes it almost impossible to touch on accident.

Important Considerations for the Best Mosquito Trap

Phew, that was a lot of information on mosquito traps! Deciding which mosquito trap to purchase is a very detailed decision, but there are three high level points to keep in mind before you choose a trap.

Attractants vary in effectiveness with different species. The effectiveness of mosquito traps depend greatly on how they attract mosquitoes. Some attractants work better than others, which means a CO2-based system may be ideal for one home but not for another. For best results, make sure that mosquitoes in your particular area respond well to one (or more) of the attractants of your desired trap.

Maintenance is key. A trap will only work well if it is properly maintained, much like a car. For ease of maintenance, pick a trap that you can easily keep clean and in shape. If you have a strong background with electrical products, go for that! If you are more comfortable with fuel-based products, go with a fuel-dependent trap.

Location matters. The area you place your trap can make a huge difference in results. Keep in mind that some traps are intended to only be used outdoors while others are made for indoors – make sure you don’t put your trap in a location it’s not built for. Make sure that your traps are also placed in a location that mosquitoes commonly travel through, not right in the midst of where people congregate!

Mobility. Most mosquito traps are not mobile – they are heavy, require to be plugged in or need another type of external fuel source. There are, however, USB mosquito traps that can be charged and powered through a USB port! Most USB traps are lightweight and portable. However, USB mosquito traps draw much less power than other trap types which means the range of coverage will be much smaller.