In summer time, one of the main things that keeps people from enjoying their outdoor spaces is mosquitoes. Nothing ruins a backyard barbeque or even just a relaxing evening outside faster than a swarm of mosquitoes attacking your skin. While there are some solutions for a mosquito problem, most of them are pricey, made from possibly toxic chemicals, and require frequent reapplication.
If you’re looking for a chemical free and cheap solution to a mosquito problem, look no further!
You can make your own mosquito trap from less than $5 worth of ingredients.
There may be a lot of traps out there, but this one uses the mosquito’s natural behavior to trap them.
Just like the pitcher plant, which lures bugs into its belly, this trap uses a bait liquid that attracts the flying pests into a plastic bottle with a funnel top that keeps them stuck inside. The best part? It only takes minimal DIY skills to make.
Materials for the trap:
- A 2 litre plastic soda bottle
- Scissors or craft knife
- Duct tape
- Black paper or other opaque material
How to make the mosquito trap:
To make the trap, you first wash out your plastic bottle and remove the label. You can use any type of plastic bottle, but we found that a 2 litre works best. Using your craft knife, cut around the top of the bottle just under where it starts to narrow into the neck. It can be helpful to draw a line with a permanent marker.
Be careful with your craft knife! If you don’t have one, you can always cut a small hole with a regular knife, then cut around the bottle using scissors.
Take off the top. Turn the top of the bottle upside down and put it inside the body of the plastic bottle so it makes a funnel, then tape in place with your duct tape.The top of the bottle funnels the mosquitoes into the body of the bottle. Once in the bottle, they aren’t equipped to turn around and fly back out.
Cover your bottle with something opaque such as black or kraft paper, vinyl sheets, or even duct tape.You can wrap it after you add the liquid to check the level of the liquid in the bottle.
The bottle needs to be covered because mosquitoes like dark places, and they will be more drawn to the bottle.
Ingredients for the bait liquid:
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup cold water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 packet “active dry yeast” (about 2 teaspoons)
How to make the mosquito bait liquid
Boil one cup of water, and then add your ¾ cup of sugar to make a simple syrup. Once the sugar is completely dissolved, pour it into a heat-safe bowl. Then add your cup of cold water and allow it to cool.
Following the directions on the package, add one packet of active dry yeast, or two teaspoons if you don’t have the premeasured packets. This is the kind of yeast used for baking, not brewer’s yeast or nutritional yeast. You add it to lukewarm water (no hotter than 90 degrees F) to encourage growth without killing off the yeast, as it will die at higher temperatures.
Pour this liquid into the container, making sure that it doesn’t reach the neck of the bottle, so the bugs have a space to fly all the way in.
Why does this mosquito trap work so well?
This trap uses the natural instincts of these airborne pests to draw them into a place they can’t escape. Mosquitoes are attracted by carbon dioxide, and the combination of yeast and sugar water releases this carbon dioxide.
The carbon dioxide rises from the opening in the bottle to attract the mosquitoes. They fly into the cloud of gas and then down into the bottle to check out the sugar water as well, guided by the funnel. The black covering on the trap draws them as well, especially the female mosquitoes, who like a dark place to breed. Once inside the bottle, the mosquitoes can’t turn around and fly back out.
The key to these traps is to put more than one out and combine them with other control methods. While they will attract and trap some mosquitoes, there are just so many of the flying pests that they can’t completely clear an area. So while your DIY mosquito trap will catch some bugs for you, always remember to also pour out any standing water, plant mosquito repellent plants like lavender, or burn citronella candles. These DIY traps are a great addition to a natural mosquito control arsenal.