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.

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Our Top Pick

080316 Flowtron BK-15D Electronic Insect Killer
Our Picks
080316 Flowtron BK-15D Electronic Insect Killer

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.

080316 Aspectek 20-Watt Electronic Indoor Insect Killer

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.

080316 Stinger BKC90 Cordless Rechargeable Insect Zapper

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.

080316 Dynatrap DT1050 Half Acre Insect Trap

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, 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.

080316 Koolatron MK05 Champion Mosquito Trap

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.

Buying Guide

Cheap Mosquito Traps Buying Guide

Higher-priced mosquito traps from brands such as Mega-Catch, Mosquito Magnet, and Blue Rhino generally come with bells and whistles such as adjustable fans, adjustable light and heat settings, and timers. They also tend to cover a much larger area than cheap mosquito traps, and may be powered by a propane tank instead of electricity. That said, cheap mosquito traps can still work well in smaller yards and homes. For between $25 and $125, most cheap mosquito traps have coverage areas of half an acre or less; for bigger yards, you may need to spend a little more or space out several traps.

Our top picks include an outdoor-only mosquito trap, the Flowtron BK-15D Electronic Insect Killer (starting at $31), and the indoor-only Aspectek 20-Watt Electronic Indoor Insect Killer (starting at $41). We also recommend two traps from big-name brands in the bug-killing business that can be used both indoors and outdoors: the Stinger BKC90 Cordless Rechargeable Insect Zapper (starting at $30) and the Dynatrap DT1050 Half-Acre Insect Trap (starting at $109). With the exception of the Aspectek model, which is primarily available through Amazon and the manufacturer's website, you should be able to find most of these on the shelves at local Walmarts, Home Depots, and even big-box stores.

Two insect snares we'd recommend leaving on the shelf are the indoor/outdoor Viatek Mini Mosquito Trap (starting at $23) and the outdoor-only Koolatron Bite Shield MK05 Champion Mosquito Trap (starting at $96). Too many reviewers say these traps just aren't effective at killing mosquitoes.

Keep in mind that for any of these devices to be of service at all, they need to be used properly, following manufacturer's guidelines for placement. In fact, improper placement may end up luring more insects to your yard. For instance, experts at Mosquito Central, who research and recommend mosquito traps suggest placing outdoor carbon dioxide traps in shaded areas at least 30 feet away from humans and upwind from mosquito breeding grounds -- i.e., areas of standing water. Also, these mosquito traps work by eliminating enough of the biting, egg-laying female mosquitoes to collapse the population in the area, so they should be in operation at all times, not just when you plan to be outside.

Experts also caution that, regardless of trap type, consumers should keep their expectations in check. According to the American Mosquito Control Association, traps' effectiveness varies based on a number of factors beyond users' control, including mosquito population size, breeding ground, species type, location, wind and more. Anyone who is investing in mosquito traps because of fears regarding Zika or other mosquito-borne diseases should note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends personal insect repellant as the first and best line of protection.

What We Considered

Indoor vs. Outdoor Mosquito Traps

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.

Coverage Area

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.

Range of Attractants

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.

Killing Methods

Once mosquitoes are lured to the trap, they're typically killed one of two ways. Some traps use an electrified grid to zap and kill mosquitoes. Others use a fan to suck bugs into a holding chamber, leaving them to die of dehydration. While the first method is arguably more efficient, it's also louder -- you'll listen to the “zap” of dying insects all evening. The second method, while much quieter, requires users to wait a long time after turning off the fan to make sure bugs are dead before cleaning out the holding chamber. The traps we recommend employ both methods, so it's up to consumers to decide which best suits their sensibilities.

Power Source

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.

Ongoing Costs

No one likes to pay ongoing costs after buying a cheap product, but most mosquito traps require upkeep. Replacing the ultraviolet bulbs in our two top picks, the Flowtron BK-15D and Aspectek Electronic Indoor Insect Killer, costs about $17. Fortunately, this shouldn't need to happen more than about once a year. The 7-watt bulbs used in the Dynatrap DT1050 are less pricey upfront, at about $10 apiece, but given that the manufacturer recommends they be replaced after every four months of continuous usage, the costs can definitely add up. Replacing octenol lures can also be expensive, because they generally last just one month. Lures for the Stinger BKC90 are about $7 each, meaning users spend more on lures in just four months than they paid for the trap itself. Considering that a typical year's supply of octenol lures for the Flowtron BK-15D runs about $70, along with the cost of bulb replacement, it's actually not that much less expensive than the pricier Dynatrap model, all things considered. The LED bulbs in the Viatek Mini Trap can't be replaced, so users are stuck buying an entirely new trap once the bulbs no longer work.

What We Ignored


Generally, cheap mosquito traps don't offer much in the way of extras. The Aspectek Electronic Indoor Insect Killer comes with a chain for easier hanging, and the Dynatrap DT1050 comes with a cleaning brush. The Stinger BKC90 doubles as an LED-powered lantern. While these features are nice, there's no need to pay more for anything that doesn't directly affect a mosquito trap's performance.

Mosquito Trap Reviews

We relied on a mix of expert advice and user reports to make our picks. We factored in some notable expert tests on the independent review site and surveyed several reviews and roundups from general consumer sites and specialized industry sites. User commentary on cheap mosquito traps can be tricky to judge, as most traps get a lot of negative feedback from consumers who question whether even pricey mosquito traps really work at all. That said, nearly all reviewers, consumer and professional, discuss lifestyle factors such as ease of cleaning, durability, and noise, in addition to the bottom line: Does the trap kill enough mosquitoes to stop the biting?


The Flowtron BK-15D and Aspectek Electronic Indoor Insect Killer, our two top picks, get many more positive comments on effectiveness than most other models. Reviewers posting about these traps on Amazon say they kill lots of mosquitoes, especially given their budget-friendly prices. Both traps also earn kudos from BestReviews, which places them on its “5 Best Bug Zappers” list right alongside a $300 model. Our other two picks receive much more mixed reviews. Despite a limited range of only 625 square feet, the Stinger BKC90 impresses many reviewers with its bug-killing abilities, but that's only when the machine is actually functioning, which apparently can be a hit or miss proposition. More than a few reviews on Amazon suggest that the Dynatrap DT1050 catches lots of bugs, but users might find it filled with more moths than mosquitoes. An expert review at is more complimentary, although its hands-on testing was conducted with a slightly different model that adds water and a pole mount.

When it comes to the Viatek Mini Mosquito Trap and Koolatron MK05 Champion, reviews are decidedly dubious. For every consumer post that claims these traps do a good job of catching mosquitoes, there's another saying the opposite. In a 12-hour test by, the Viatek managed to catch less than a dozen mosquitoes -- not enough for anyone faced with more than a handful of annoying bugs. Ratings for the Koolatron on the Home Depot site and Amazon are even more dismal.

Ease of Use

When consumers talk about ease of use in mosquito trap reviews, they are often referring to cleaning or emptying the machines. This can be tricky. Units that use electricity to zap mosquitoes can become clogged with dead bugs, and those that simply trap their prey with a fan may let survivors escape when it's time to empty the catch bin. Either way, users don't like the task of cleaning traps and don't have a lot of positive things to say about the process.

The Aspectek Electronic Indoor Insect Killer earns much praise for a pull-out collection tray that makes it easier to clean. The Stinger BKC90 also has a tray that can be removed and emptied, but many reviewers complain that the grid can become grimy with insect remains and make for messy and frequent cleaning. The Flowtron BK-15D has a clog-resistant grill that reviewers like, but this means that users should expect to find bug bits below the machine; many also recommend weekly cleanings with a leaf blower or air compressor to keep the inner bulb area clear of excess debris. And while users say the Dynatrap DT1050 is easy to clean, the trap does not automatically kill the bugs inside, so some users suggest setting it aside to make sure all bugs are dead before emptying -- about 12 to 24 hours. On the plus side for some, “friendly bugs” such as ladybugs that are caught inside can be released.


Most users expect some noise from traps that use electrified grids to kill mosquitoes. While some relish every “zap,” others say it's not very appetizing during a cookout on the patio.

Those who love listening to mosquitoes meet their maker rave about the Aspectek Electronic Indoor Insect Killer. On Amazon, one reviewer reports hearing it from four rooms away, even with doors closed. Others agree that the “zap” of bugs getting killed is startlingly loud. Owners say the Flowtron BK15-D is similarly cacophonous during a kill but don't seem as rattled by it, probably because it's an outdoor trap.

On the other hand, the Dynatrap DT1050, Viatek Mini Mosquito Trap, and Koolatron MK05 Champion do their jobs quietly, reviewers say. While there may be some noise from these traps' fans, it's minimal. A purchaser on Amazon reports barely being able to hear the Koolatron's fan just 3 feet away.


Even for the lower prices they're paying, users expect budget mosquito traps to last much longer than one season. Happily, some do. Many reviewers report on Amazon that the Flowtron BK15-D withstands weather of all kinds, and they leave it outside for summers at time. One even claims that the trap was still functioning like new after six years of extended use. While there may be some who dispute the Dynatrap DT1050's ability to actually catch mosquitoes, its durability doesn't appear to be in question -- we found no complaints of units breaking.

The Aspectek Electronic Indoor Insect Killer gets a decent amount of praise for seemingly sturdy construction, and there are a few reports of the unit withstanding fairly major drops. On the other hand, there are many gripes about the lifespan of the bulbs and some grumbling about defective units, as well. The Stinger BKC90 scores poorly for durability overall. According to numerous purchasers from Amazon, Home Depot, and Walmart, the trap suddenly stopped working after only a few months, either because of a shorted-out bulb or a battery that could no longer hold a charge. Finally, although the model is billed as suitable for indoor/outdoor use, exposure to rain can result in an early demise, and some users complain of having to remember to bring the trap inside whenever showers threaten.