Organic Mosquito Control: Build A Mosquito Trap That Actually Works
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- Organic Mosquito Control: Build A Mosquito Trap That Actually Works
Clear your deck and backyard of annoying mosquitoes with this easy-to-make Mosquito Trap. Made from a plastic bottle, this trap entices those annoying biting bugs to enter, yet the narrow opening makes it difficult for the insects to escape.
The bait is purely organic and safe for use indoors or outside in the garden. The mosquito trap is inexpensive, takes just a few minutes to make, and it is reusable. And when you’re done with the trap, the plastic bottle is recyclable.
The shady woods and wetlands surrounding our property are the perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes. As the summer sun begins to set, hordes of hungry mosquitoes turn an enjoyable evening on the deck or sitting around the fire pit into a slaphappy session of trying to swat the bloodthirsty bugs.
To combat the aerial insect attacks, we light the citronella candles and spray on some insect repellent to lessen their impact, and we place several mosquito traps strategically around the yard.
The carbon dioxide (CO2) that we exhale through normal breathing attracts mosquitoes, and this simple mosquito trap produces CO2 to lure and capture the bugs. Once inside the trap and unable to find a tasty meal, the mosquitoes look for the exit and fly up along the insides of the bottle.
With their escape route blocked, the bugs eventually tire out and fall to the bottom of the trap to die.
Cutting The Plastic Bottle
This homemade mosquito trap is easy to make from an empty 2-liter soda bottle, juice bottle or similar sized container. For this project, I used an empty 46-oz plastic juice bottle.
Start by using the razor knife or other sharp cutting tool to slice off the top section of the bottle, just below the area where the neck of the bottle flares out to meet the main section of the bottle. Be careful|: the razor knife is very sharp and can easily cut through the plastic and into a finger, so use caution while cutting off the top of the bottle.
After cutting off the top of the bottle, you now have the two pieces that will rearranged to make the trap: the bottom cylinder and the bottleneck.
When inverted, the removed neck section of the bottle now resembles a funnel.
Assemble The Trap
Flip the removed neck section over so that the neck of the funnel points downward, remove the cap and insert the neck section into the body of the bottle.
Do not push the funnel all of the way down to the bottom of the bottle. Leave enough space between the bottle neck and bottom of the bottle for adding a cup or so of liquid, plus an air space between the surface of the liquid and the lowest point of the funnel. For my bottle, the distance between the end of the funnel to the bottom of the bottle is about 2″.
Seal Off The Escape Route
Use the duct tape to secure the funnel. The duct tape not only holds the funnel in place, it also seals the edges of the funnel against the edges of the bottle, making it harder for any bugs that enter the mosquito trap to escape.
Wrap a piece of black construction paper around the base of the mosquito trap, or use black spray paint to cover the outside of the trap. The dark covering blocks out the sunlight, keeping the trap cooler and helping to extend the active life of the yeast and sugar water bait.
Mix The Mosquito Bait
Mosquito Bait Recipe
Mosquitoes are attracted by carbon dioxide. As we exhale, we expel carbon dioxide vapor. Mosquitoes follow vapor trails of CO2, knowing that a fresh meal of warm blood is at the other end. So to attract mosquitoes and to entice them to enter our trap, we need a source of carbon dioxide.
Here’s where the yeast and the brown sugar comes into play. Activating the yeast and giving it a food source (the brown sugar water mixture) stimulates the yeast to grow and multiple — giving off carbon dioxide in the process. It’s kind of like the Listerine traps you see all over on the internet. Does Listerine Work? I have no idea, I never tried that as this recipe has been working for me.
Hungry mosquitoes follow the CO2 trail into the bottle and down through the funnel. But when their tiny insect minds realize that there’s no food to be found, they typically fly along the surface of the brown sugar mixture until they reach the sides of the bottle.
The bugs then fly up the side of the bottle but their escape is blocked by the inverted funnel (the reason for sealing the edges with duct tape).
Eventually, the mosquitoes tire and fall down into the liquid to drown. Sure, some lucky mosquitoes may find their way back up through the narrow entrance of the funnel to freedom (and to bite again another day) but the majority of bugs that enter the trap will perish there.
- 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1 Cup Hot Water
- 1 Tsp Dry Active Yeast
To mix the mosquito bait: Add 1/4 cup of brown sugar to 1 cup of boiling water and mix thoroughly until the sugar is dissolved completely. Allow the mixture to cool until you can comfortably stick your finger into the mixture; ideally, the temperature of the sugar water should be between 120 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit ( degrees Celsius). Too hot, and the high temperature will kill the yeast. Too cool, and the yeast will not fully activate.
When the sugar mixture reaches the correct temperature, gently mix in the yeast.
Pour the yeast and sugar mixture into the bottle (the inverted funnel makes this easy) and the mosquito trap is ready to go.
Setting Out The Mosquito Traps
Place the homemade mosquito trap in a shady area. Since the goal of the trap is to entice mosquitoes into the areas and into the trap, do not place the bottle too close to your sitting and deck areas. For example, we placed several mosquito traps around the outer perimeter of our fire pit. As evening approaches, mosquitoes come out from the surrounding woods and wetlands in search of their victims.
Before reaching the sitting areas around the fire pit, a good number of bugs are attracted by the carbon dioxide trail emanating from the yeast mixture inside the mosquito traps, and follow the trail to their doom.
We place a few other bottle traps around the perimeter of our deck, just beyond the sitting and dining areas, to draw the mosquitoes away from the gathering area and towards the traps. Every week or so throughout the summer months, we empty the traps by pouring out the contents and then refill the mosquito traps with a fresh batch of the yeast and sugar water mixture.
At the end of the season, we dump the contents one final time and then toss the traps into the recycling bin.
Sure, this simple homemade mosquito trap will not capture all of the mosquitoes in your yard or completely eliminate the risk of being bitten.
But the mosquito trap is effective and offers several benefits over other bug killing methods:
- The homemade mosquito trap works 24 hours a day, for up to two weeks.
- The trap is easy to make from inexpensive materials and ingredients. No special tools are needed.
- No electricity, extension cords or timers needed.
- Does not require expensive propane to operate.
- Maintenance is easy, and there are no fans or other moving parts that can break down.
- The mosquito bait is completely organic and can be used safely around pets and children.
- To increase the effectiveness of controlling mosquitoes in your yard, use the homemade mosquito traps in conjunction with other methods of mosquito control including insect zappers and mosquito magnets.