Best Cheap Mosquito Traps
Nothing ruins a warm summer night like mosquitoes. If these whining pests are keeping you from enjoying your yard, a cheap mosquito trap can help. Mosquito traps range from small $20 electric models that can sit on a patio to propane-powered behemoths that cost upward of $300 and must be wheeled from place to place. More expensive traps often fare as well -- or poorly -- in reviews as their budget-friendly counterparts, so this is one product category where the cheap brands may, in fact, be among the best bets. We looked over thousands of consumer reviews as well as expert sources to figure out which cheap mosquito traps are most effective at keeping those pesky, and sometimes disease-bearing, bugs away.
Our Top Pick
Flowtron BK-15D Electronic Insect Killer Review
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.
Aspectek 20-Watt Electronic Indoor Insect Killer Review
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.
Stinger BKC90 Cordless Rechargeable Insect Zapper Review
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.
Dynatrap DT1050 Half-Acre Insect Trap Review
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.
Viatek Mini Mosquito Trap Review
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.
Koolatron Bite Shield MK05 Champion Mosquito Trap Review
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.