Best Cheap Mosquito Traps
We scoured expert and user reviews of indoor, outdoor, and portable traps to get the buzz on which cheap electric mosquito traps outperform the others.
What We Considered
Many cheap mosquito traps that are meant for outdoor use top out at about half an acre of coverage, although the extent of their effectiveness within that range depends greatly on the attractant used in the trap (see below). While all our outdoor trap picks are meant for smaller yards, Flowtron and Dynatrap also make mosquito traps with bigger coverage areas. The Flowtron BK-80D Electronic Insect Killer (starting at $60) is suitable for yards up to 1.5 acres. The Dynatrap DT2000XL One-Acre Insect Trap (starting at $175) is the larger, more powerful cousin of the Dynatrap DT1050 we recommend. It's outside the Cheapism price range, but consumers can find it for less than $200 -- not bad for a trap with competition double its price. And like all Dynatrap models, it can be used indoors as well as outdoors.
We Looked At
Outdoor mosquito traps often use a combination of scent, light, and heat. Cheap mosquito traps designed for indoor use typically don't use scented lures to attract bugs. While carbon dioxide can be used indoors, octenol and lactic acid (other common compounds found in traps) are generally reserved for outdoor use because they have strong smells and are chemical-based. For the same reason, a scent-free trap may be best for outdoor spaces smaller than 30 feet; heat and light alone may do the trick.
There are some traps that can be used indoors or out. These are particularly good options for homes where there's a lot of traffic between outside and inside and flexible protection from a single device is desired. These types of traps generally have the option to use a scented lure but can also work without it. They frequently come with a chain for hanging or some other wall-mounting system for indoor use, so they can be kept out of the reach of small children or pets. Their hardiness may be tested, however, when it comes to outdoor hazards -- many are intended for covered spaces such as patios and not for full, prolonged exposure to the elements. Outdoor-only traps, on the other hand, are typically made of weatherproof materials that will stand up better to rain, wind and sun.
Of the two indoor/outdoor traps we recommend -- the Dynatrap DT1050 and Stinger BKC90 -- the sturdy Dynatrap model covers the largest area and skips the chemicals to provide the full-force of its bug-killing powers inside. At the same time, it boasts all-weather construction and is designed to withstand being left outdoors.
All mosquito traps use some kind of attractant to lure their prey. Mosquitoes respond to scents including carbon dioxide, octenol, and lactic acid, according to Mosquito Central. Other attractants include ultraviolet light, moving lights and heat.
The trick lies in finding a trap that uses the right attractant for the size of the space and the breed of mosquito that's the particular menace. Carbon dioxide mosquito traps attract mosquitoes from farthest away -- upward of 100 feet. Octenol and lactic acid attract mosquitoes from as far as 50 feet and are recommended by Mosquito Central for Asian tiger mosquitoes, also known as day mosquitoes. Movement and light work for distances up to 30 feet, and heat reaches 10 feet. Experts caution that using a trap with a large coverage range in a small yard might backfire by actually drawing mosquitoes into the area.
Some of the best mosquito traps employ several insect lures at once. For instance, the Flowtron BK-15D uses octenol as well as ultraviolet light and gets strong marks for effectiveness. The Stinger BKC90 uses a weaker ultraviolet light and octenol to cover a smaller area. The manufacturers of Dynatrap DT1050 stress that this photocatalytic mosquito trap eschews chemicals, propane, and pesticides and instead combines ultraviolet light, heat, and carbon dioxide to do its work.
Mosquito traps don't necessarily need more than one lure to work, however. The Aspectek Electronic Indoor Insect Killer relies solely on ultraviolet light, but owners say it's extremely effective. On the other hand, the Koolatron MK05 Champion uses light, heat, and octenol, but reviewers aren't impressed with the results.
Nearly all cheap mosquito traps use a power cord for electricity, whether that's to power a UV light, electrify a bug-killing grid, or operate a bug-sucking fan. While standard, this can be inconvenient, especially for outdoor traps. For instance, while the Flowtron BK-15D is lauded for effectiveness, many users report having to buy an outdoor extension cord in order to place it where it's needed.
There are a handful of mosquito traps that don't need to be tethered to an electrical source. This includes pricier propane mosquito traps but also a few cheap mosquito traps such as the Stinger BKC90, which has a rechargeable battery that makes it easily portable and good for use while camping. There are a few solar-charged mosquito traps on the market, too, but reviews aren't very complimentary thus far.
Reviewers identify the Flowtron BK-15D Electronic Insect Killer as one of the most efficient mosquito traps on the market. This outdoor-only unit, which looks like a decorative lantern, uses a 15-watt ultraviolet light to attract insects and an electrified grid to zap them. It covers half an acre and comes with a 30-day cartridge of octenol, a chemical mosquito lure.
The Flowtron BK-15D (starting at $31) zaps an admirable number of of mosquitoes, users say. Several consumers reviewing the product on Amazon report a noticeable drop-off in mosquitoes after they started using the trap. While some say they don’t need the octenol lures, many others say they get much better results when they use them. They appreciate that the trap seems easier to clean than similar zappers, because it’s designed with a grill that doesn’t easily clog. Reviewers do have a few qualms, though. The power cord is short (experts say about 18 inches), but since the unit must be placed outdoors and 25 feet away from people, and hung 4 to 6 feet from the ground for best results, an outdoor-rated, grounded extension cord is a necessary add-on. They also gripe that replacement bulbs are pricey, at about $17 a pop.
The Flowtron BK-15D can be hung from a chain or hook and run all day on electrical power, though many users put it on a timer to save energy. The polycarbonate trap is weatherproof, and reviewers say it’s easy to shake out dead bugs from day to day. Many recommend a small brush or vacuum for deeper cleaning.
Most mosquito traps get decidedly mixed reviews, so we were impressed with the amount of enthusiasm about this trap. Although users occasionally need to buy replacement bulbs and octenol cartridges, this trap’s low cost and effectiveness still make it a top choice. Larger versions, the BK-40D and BK-80D, cover an acre and an acre and a half, respectively.
The popular Aspectek 20-Watt Electronic Indoor Insect Killer (starting at $41) earns the praise of thousands on Amazon for zapping a wide range of insects, including mosquitoes. One of the nearly 2,500 positive reviews says pesky bites stopped within hours of plugging in this trap, and after two days, at least 20 dead mosquitoes were counted. Users like the fact that they don’t have to employ any chemicals to attract bugs, especially indoors, but they caution that this zapper is quite loud when it kills insects. Some find the sound satisfying, but it might startle others. Reviewers like the removable catch tray, which speeds cleaning, but caution users to wait at least a couple of hours after unplugging the trap to make sure there is no charge remaining in the grate before cleaning any other part.
The Aspectek is an indoor-only trap that relies on two 10-watt ultraviolet bulbs, which cost about $17 to replace. This model attract bugs from up to 80 feet and covers an area up to 6,000 feet, according to the manufacturer. If 20 watts isn’t powerful enough, there are 30- and 40-watt versions. The trap comes with a chain that lets users hang it on the wall. It can also be placed directly on the floor, but reviewers caution against that if you have small children or pets. While the trap has plastic housing that doesn’t conduct electricity and safety mesh to keep hands from accidentally brushing the electrified grid, it might not stop small, curious fingers.
The brutal “zap” of this mosquito trap may not be for the faint of heart, and with the powerful electric current, users should be sure to follow all safety tips. However, the overwhelmingly positive reviews indicate that users consider this a small trade-off for a chemical-free, bug-free home.
The widely sold Stinger BKC90 Cordless Rechargeable Insect Zapper is a convenient, easy-to-use mosquito trap that goes almost anywhere, reviewers say. It uses a 2-watt ultraviolet black light and an octenol lure to attract bugs to an electrified grid that kills them.
Bugs are everywhere during summer months, and that’s one of the main reasons the Stinger BKC90 (starting at $30) has become a top seller. Users like being able to take this portable, rechargeable trap wherever they go, whether that’s just a patio or somewhere further afield. One shopper reviewing the trap on the Walmart website says it has done a good job of zapping mosquitoes on her outlet-free patio so she can use her hot tub without being bitten. On Amazon, several reviewers say it’s particularly convenient for killing mosquitoes at campsites that don’t have electricity. The unit requires a few hours to charge, and although it can be used while plugged in, a few users grouse that the cord is too short to make that practical outside.
The Stinger BKC90 Cordless Rechargeable Insect Zapper lasts about 3.5 hours on battery power and covers 625 square feet -- roughly the size of a large deck, patio, or campsite. Replacement bulbs cost about $6 each, and octenol lures are about $7 each. This indoor/outdoor trap doubles as a lantern and has LED lights that can be used without turning on the UV light. It can be hung like a lantern or placed on any flat surface. A removable tray catches dead bugs.
Although most users agree that the Stinger BKC90 is effective, there are durability complaints. In reviews at Amazon, Home Depot, and Walmart, consumers say they purchased units that stopped working anywhere from days to several months later. Others say battery life dwindled quickly.
This mosquito trap may not last forever, but it can zap a lot of insects in a number of settings, even without an external power source. For many consumers, that convenience alone makes the Stinger BKC90 worth trying, especially given its low price.
Unlike many other traps, the Dynatrap DT1050 Half-Acre Insect Trap, does not employ an electric killing grid. Insects are lured by a 7-watt ultraviolet light and the carbon dioxide-producing surface of the trap itself. A fan sucks bugs into a retaining cage, where they slowly die on their own.
The Dynatrap DT1050 (starting at $109) gets the highest praise from consumers who want a more unobtrusive way to catch mosquitoes than an electric zapper. On Amazon, one reviewer says he bought the trap after being forced to brave the bugs for years because a noisier one scared his dog. Others agree it’s quiet, and it’s also a safer pick for those with pets or small kids because there’s no chemical lure and little risk of electrical shock.
Consumers are divided on how well the Dynatrap DT1050 deals with mosquitoes, which is why this trap doesn’t earn a higher ranking. Although many say it does a great job of keeping them at bay, others say it's more adept at catching moths and other winged insects. There is no mosquito-specific octenol lure in this trap, which may help explain the mixed results. On the whole, however, most seem satisfied.
As its name suggests, this all-weather trap covers up to a half-acre. It can be used indoors and outdoors. The insect trap at the bottom of the unit remains sealed even when the fan is off, so mosquitoes or other bugs that are still alive can't fly away. Like many mosquito traps, it looks like a lantern and can be hung from a pole or hook. It comes with a hanging chain, cleaning brush, and screwdriver. Replacement bulbs are about $10 each.
Though this model is a bit pricier than our other picks, we like that the Dynatrap DT1050 offers a more environmentally friendly alternative to electrified grids. “Good” bugs can be saved from their sentence in the collection tray and evenings outdoors can be enjoyed without an audible reminder of the carnage.
The small, mushroom-shaped Viatek Mini Mosquito Trap (starting at $23) ups the “cute” factor and skips the zapper for catching bugs. Instead, this indoor/outdoor trap uses LED lights and carbon dioxide generated by a special coating to lure mosquitoes, at which point a fan is meant to suck them into a collection chamber to die on their own. Unfortunately, reviews suggest it’s just too weak to do the job.
While some reviewers posting on Amazon say the Viatek Mini Mosquito Trap works well, an equal number complain that it just can’t seal the deal when it comes to attracting and killing mosquitoes. Expert testing seems to confirm the consumer criticism of this trap. In an overnight test conducted by Picaridin.info, the trap did kill about 10 mosquitoes, but it certainly didn’t stack up to similar models. The reviewer speculates that the LED lights and carbon dioxide aren’t enough of a lure and there may not be enough space for insects to be sucked in by the fan.
The Viatek Mini Mosquito Trap runs on electric power and is recommended for small areas such as a deck or patio. A metal hoop on top allows it to be suspended like a lantern. While owners like that this trap is silent, easy to clean, and relatively attractive, there are other marks against it besides questionable effectiveness. Many say it’s too flimsy for sustained outdoor use, despite the manufacturer’s claims. Also, if the trap does manage to catch bugs, they can escape as soon as the fan is turned off. On Amazon, one reviewer reports having to put the entire thing in a shopping bag before taking it outside to empty it in order to prevent escapees.
Although the Viatek Mini Mosquito Trap seems at first like it could be an attractive alternative to electric zappers, reviews don’t inspire confidence. Consider the fact that the bulbs aren’t replaceable, forcing users to buy a whole new unit if the bulbs burn out or otherwise stop working, and the appeal fades fast.
The main problem with this mosquito trap, as described in Koolatron Mosquito Trap MK05 Champion (starting at $95, Amazon) reviews at Home Depot, is that it isn't able to trap the mosquitoes it attracts, leaving them free to aggravate the humans near the trap. In fact, the trap gets mostly poor reviews everywhere. Users posting reviews on Amazon say it simply doesn't work and isn't worth the money.
The Koolatron Mosquito Trap MK05 Champion is an exclusively outdoor trap that attracts mosquitoes using a combination of light, carbon dioxide, and thermal imaging, as well as octenol cartridges. The cartridges must be changed every few weeks to be effective and refills cost about $23 for a pack of two. The trap is weatherproof, runs on electric power, and covers up to half an acre.
While the variety of attractants makes it seems like the trap should work, the poor reviews make us wary. The added cost of the octenol cartridges cements our belief that another budget mosquito trap would be a better choice.
Other Products We Reviewed
Dynatrap DT1000 Insect Eliminator Review
The Dynatrap DT1000 Insect Eliminator (starting at $96, Amazon) is praised in Dynatrap reviews at Ace Hardware for its ability to eliminate pesky mosquitoes and other bugs. One user posting a Dynatrap review on Amazon reports getting more than a dozen bites the week before she began using the trap and none afterward. In another review on Amazon, a user reports that the trap has lasted more than three years.
The Dynatrap DT1000 Insect Eliminator is billed as an indoor/outdoor trap. It attracts mosquitoes using carbon dioxide and ultraviolet light, and then uses a fan to draw them in. It can run 24/7 on electrical power to effectively eliminate mosquitoes from a coverage area of half an acre. The trap is weatherproof and comes with a cleaning brush and a chain from which to hang.
We were won over by the mostly positive feedback on this cheap mosquito trap. In a category that gets tough criticism, users seem impressed with this choice overall. Its ability to capture mosquitoes both indoors and out makes it a very convenient option.
Stinger Nosquito Indoor Insect Trap MA06 Review
Users say the Stinger Nosquito Indoor Insect Trap MA06 catches a host of bugs, including a fair number of mosquitoes, and lasts for years. This indoor-only unit uses ultraviolet light and heat to attract and trap the insects. It has a removable tray for easy cleaning and a price that's tough to beat.
The Stinger Nosquito Indoor Insect Trap MA06 (starting at $22, Amazon) impresses a majority of users posting Nosquito reviews on Amazon. They say it has eliminated mosquitoes from their homes, although many note that it works best in the dark with no other lights on. Several users also report that their units have lasted through many seasons, one claiming nearly 10 years of service. Reviews on the Walmart site are a bit more mixed. Although many users seem quite satisfied, saying the trap takes care of their indoor mosquito problems, there are an equal number of unhappy purchasers. Many gripe that bugs can escape and the fan is on the noisy side.
The Stinger Nosquito Indoor Insect Trap MA06 is an exclusively indoor trap that uses ultraviolet light to attract the bugs and a fan to suck them in and trap them. Several users have also found it effective in an outdoor area protected from moisture. Unlike a lot of other traps, this one is designed with a removable tray to make it easier to empty -- although emptying any mosquito trap seems to be challenging for many users. This mosquito trap runs on electricity (as opposed to propane).
We like that the manufacturer recognized that mosquito traps are tough to empty and tried to make the task easier on users with the removable tray. This trap is also among the least expensive of those we researched, and users give it relatively high ratings.
Mega-Catch Alpha Mosquito Trap MCA-600 Review
Users posting Mega-Catch (starting at $69, Amazon) reviews on Amazon have mixed opinions when it comes to this trap's effectiveness. Satisfied users contend it works great when left on 24/7. They say it's convenient to use indoors and out and optional cartridges make it even more effective during prime bug season. Users who don't like it say in reviews that the trap attracts mosquitoes but doesn't capture them. A review at Picaridin.info reports that the trap seems durable and well-made.
The Mega-Catch Alpha Mosquito Trap MCA-600 uses a pulsating LED light and heat to attract mosquitoes and a fan to trap them. Additionally, the trap offers the option of a chemical cartridge, so it can be used indoors or out -- just make sure not to use a chemical lure in the house. The trap is weatherproof and has a coverage area of half an acre.
The option of using a chemical lure makes this trap appealingly versatile; it's capable of dispatching mosquitoes inside or out. The mixed user reviews kept us from including it among our picks.
Reviews indicate there is an obvious pick for anyone who wants to rid a large yard of as many mosquitoes as possible: the Flowtron BK-80D Electronic Insect Killer. This outdoor-only sibling of our pick for best cheap mosquito trap, the Flowtron BK-15D, uses two powerful 40-watt ultraviolet lights and an octenol lure to attract bugs, then zaps them with an electrified grid.
The largest mosquito trap in Flowtron’s lineup, the Flowtron BK-80D (starting at $60, Amazon) has a wide coverage area of up to 1.5 acres and is startlingly efficient at killing insects, according to reviews on Amazon. Most users say they get better results when they use the mosquito-specific octenol lure, but it’s not essential. Like the BK-15D, the BK-80D has a clog-resistant grill that encourages dead bugs to fall to the ground instead of getting stuck in the trap. Replacement bulbs are about $13 each, and the trap is weatherproof for constant outdoor use. Styled like a lantern, the BK-80D can be hung from a shepherd’s hook.
Given this trap’s incredibly low price, especially when compared with the typical range for big-name brands covering more than one acre, which easily go for more than $200, the high praise it receives is remarkable. The Flowtron BK-80D competitor that's closest in price, the Stinger BK300 (starting at $65) gets poor reviews for reliability and durability, which doesn’t seem to be an issue here. Owners of the Stinger model also complain that it simply doesn’t attract many mosquitoes, possibly because it relies on one 24-watt light versus the Flowtron’s two 40-watt lights.
The only downfall of the Flowtron BK-80D trap seems to be that the power cord is quite short, so reviewers say an outdoor extension cord must be purchased to properly place it 25 feet away from a patio, porch, or any other area where people congregate. Some also say the “zaps” of dying bugs can be startling, but they shouldn’t be too loud if the trap is far enough away.
Mosquito traps with more coverage often cost several hundred dollars, so this trap is notable for covering big yards effectively and inexpensively. As long as you’re prepared to add an outdoor extension cord and listen to the occasional “zaps” of fried insects, this is one of the best choices.
Many consumers with bigger yards to protect are fans of the Dynatrap DT2000XL Insect Trap (starting at $142, Amazon), which covers up to an acre. Although it's pricier than smaller electric units, this indoor/outdoor trap is a bargain compared with larger, propane-powered models. Like all Dynatraps, it uses ultraviolet light and carbon dioxide to attract mosquitoes, then sucks them into a killing chamber with a fan.
The largest model in Dynatrap’s extensive lineup, the Dynatrap DT2000XL gets a thumbs-up from most reviewers for killing bugs silently. Because there’s no electrified grid, there’s no constant “zap” sound to interrupt a relaxing evening outside. Others especially like this trap as a less expensive alternative to propane models, which require the added expense of refilling those fuel tanks -- that’s around $20 every few weeks. Comparatively, $15 every four months for this trap’s replacement bulbs seems like a bargain. As with most mosquito traps, users are more divided on effectiveness. While most reviewers are happy with this trap’s performance, some say it catches far more moths than mosquitoes, a common complaint against the brand, in general. On the other hand, there are those reviewing the product on Amazon who are more than a little thrilled with the machine’s ability to attack bugs both big and small while sparing the lives of other tiny creatures that wander close.
Like most Dynatraps, the DT2000XL is styled like a lantern and can be hung from a pole, hook, or tree branch. The trap is weatherproof for around-the-clock outdoor use, but it can be used indoors, as well, because it’s chemical- and pesticide-free. It also comes with a cleaning brush and screwdriver. One big annoyance, however, is that its 7-foot power cord isn’t long enough for outdoor use in many cases, so expect to pair it with an extension cord.
While the Dynatrap DT2000XL falls a bit outside the “cheap” niche, it’s still relatively inexpensive for a trap with a bigger range. It’s also a good alternative for anyone who doesn’t want to listen to electric bug zappers or pay big money to buy -- and keep refilling -- a propane-powered trap.