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.
Related: DIY Natural Salve For Mosquito Bites
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.
Related: Mosquito-Repelling Weeds That you can Plant this Spring in your Backyard
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.
You may also like:
DIY Chicken Tunnel (Step-by-Step Guide)
World’s Smallest Battery Powers House For 2 Days (video)
How to Make Dandelion Bread (With Pictures)
How To Buy and Store 260 Pounds of Food for just $83
First they say to discard the top of the bottle, then they say to turn it upside down. Which is it? Also, maybe a colored 2 liter bottle would work better than a clear one.
Based on the accompanying photos, discard the bottle cap, obviously.
It clearly states to take off the top; it does not say to discard it. If you read the whole article, with pictures, you can see how simple these instructions are.
Or paint the bottle black if you just happen to have a can of black spray paint and don’t have black craft paper.
The smell of the paint might repel them.
Great idea! How long will it be effective? A day or more?
I figure it to work appox 2 week with that mixture. It’s a fermentation process.
Fermented skeeter juice. Yummm.
You could add a bit more sugar to continue the yeast growth but it odors will develop if it the added sugar is used too often.
Then gnats like it 🙂 I go in the shade, mosquitoes are all over me. Work in the sun, it’s gnats. We went thru two years+ of drought that killed cactus. Last year was wet, for here, and a lot of people are watering lawns. Next thing you know, mosquitoes are breeding in the mud. Then coming down to feed on me. Every day at sundown, I burn two sticks of incense, one at either end of the house. That drives them from the house, flies as well, or we wake up with itchy lumps. niio
Will this work on wasps and/or hornets? If not, what will?
The best thing I have found for wasps, if you can find it, is a sticky trap that’s specially colored to attract them. Its sticky surface is colored with speckles of white, green, lime green and aqua colors. We had an awful time at our cabin up at the farm with wasps, and these hanging from the porch roofs, one in front and one in back, caught a shocking number in no time, and kept the population down. I found them last summer at Tractor Supply. Can’t seem to find them this summer, although they do still carry similar ones for flies that work well too.
I found these at Kroger 😁
I USE ONE OF THESE IN THE HOUSE FOR GNATS WORKS GREAT
Please keep in mind that bee’s like sugar water too. I would suggest leaving on the cap and drill a hole smaller than 1/4 inch so may keep bees from going into your trap. We need the Bee’s!
Never caught a bee. I kept 2 going to keep the numbers under control as my neighbors yard was a breeding ground for mosquitoes, and my dog run was in the back of the yard where their yard was the worse.
Val: yes! I was pretty dry here, no rain since March till September, and I put pans of water out for the bees and wasps. they had to be dumped and refilled in the morning, but that’s when most plants need to be watered. Any mosquito eggs went into the garden for food for those that like such things. I do the same with an old fountain, filling it in the morning, then draining it over night. That water has a little extra from the birds–and I hope the remains of skeeters in that little extra 🙂 No more leaving the back door open; caught a thrasher eating sorghum heads hanging there for next year’s seed. so much for her family picnics. niio
For God’s sake Val, learn how to use an apostrophe correctly.
Could someone use a sheet of bounty fabric softner in stead of water and yeast?
Sorry about that question fabric softner is to repel.
Take a 1 guart jar that came with a plastic lid -drill/cut a hole the size of a BIG diameter straw/tube etc.- poke the tight fitting straw into hole , inserting 1-2 inches . Add 1 cup sugar yeast water into jar and screw on cap. Wrap the jar with a piece of a heavy dark trash bag using rubber bands quick and easy and reusuable.
The theory behind this is that the fermenting yeast releases CO2 and the mosquito would be attracted to the gas source. Once it stops producing CO2…its done.
just add more sugar, fermentation will start back up…
What do you have for Fire Ants
I get about one fire ant colony per year trying to move into my yard.
Sprinkle a ring of Amdro around it and they’re done for.
Cheap. Safe for pets. Won’t kill the grass. Never fails.
If you want to get rid of other types of ants that invade your house, mix sugar and borax 50-50, place a saucer of it outside your home near where the ants come in. They’ll be gone.
AMDRO has stopped working for us (Alabama). Bayer has a white powder that is pretty effective, but after killing a bunch, the colony moves. I’ve tried just about everything: boiling water, diatomaceous earth, club soda, nothing seems to work well. I look from time to time at agricultural colleges that are doing research on this, such as in Texas- nothing really good on the horizon, it seems! >:(
They way I have been told works but never tried it is to use some sweetened yeast bread to get rid of ants. Mix a little sugar water into the floor while making it and before it rises make it into very small balls less then the size of a bb put the balls of it near the ant bed. The ants will carry this down to the queen and she will eat it then it expands or rises and kills her if she dies the whole colony dies off. I was told this when I was younger but never really had a problem with ants around my home so I never tried it to see if it works.
Ants are smart. If the queen sees that ants are dying, she will split the colony up.
dry grits kills fire ants the ants take it into the nest and force feed it to the queen and then give her water and it swellls up and kills the queen and the rest of the hive dies off
What do you have for Fire Ants This is. My first time to respond!
Try diatomaceous earth for starters. Use a dust mask when applying it because it will affect your lungs. If the ants are in an area where I don’t like to use insecticide, I use boiling water. That isn’t a permanent solution but sure sets the colony back. diatomaceous earth is supposed to be a permanent solution as it rubs the protective coating off the little suckers and they die of exposure. This year I am experimenting with coffee grounds around my fruit trees. Ants are supposed to not like coffee. No results to report yet as the fruit is just starting to develop. Will post results later in the year. Due to all the rain we had this winter looks like we will have a good fruit crop.
Just remember that coffee grounds can hurt your pets. If dogs ingest even a tiny amount of coffee grounds they can get really sick and could even die. https://www.vetary.com/dog/condition/caffeine-poisoning
Tango has been used here where we live on the Big Island and has been very effective in getting rid of the Little Fire Ants. Tango is a bait with peanut butter in it and a substance that the LFA’s workers carry back to the queen. She ingests it and it renders her sterile. Then the workers gradually die off and the ants are controlled …..non toxic.
We have been treated for two years. We had a terrible problem and could not spend more than then minutes on the grounds without getting bitten. Within 3 months of treatment, we literally “took back our yard”. I fell in love with working in the yard again thanks to this wonderful non toxic agent called Tango.
Japan has recently had an invasion of fire ants from China. I will follow what they are doing about it closer on NHK. It has been on the news recently. Apparently the fire ants got a good start in Japan before anyone noticed. I haven’t been following that news closely, but will from here on. Will report what the Japanese are doing if it looks like it will be successful.
Sorry to say folks but this does not work. I have a creek behind my house so mosquitoes are awful. I have made several of these, put them around the back and front yarn and not one caught a mosquito. Tried it again the next year and still not one mosquito.
I did it last week and caught flies – but no mosquitoes. And ,my yeast was bubbly and fresh!
I had the same outcome. Caught 1 fly and that was all. The yeast was new and became bubbly with the water and sugar – but did not work in the 3 I made..
try 1 cup sugar, banana peels and 1 cup vinegar plus 2 cups water
Might I suggest a Fire Ant Sculpture? A bit of a pain to heat maybe 3 pounds plus of aluminum to liquid, but the results can be stunning art.
Get a bat house and get some bats in your yard. They eat lots of mosquitos.
On a dry day try putting rice out they eat it and explode
I tried that. They took all the rice into the nest. The next day, the ground around the nest was covered in rice. they tossed it. 1 tablespoon borax, 2-3 of sugar. A week later, half a cup of corn flour (or grits) and the nest dies off. I didn’t use it on the red fire ants because the horned toads like them, and I like to watch the toads hunting 🙂 niio
sprinkle grits out over the ant mounds and around the yard will kill ants
for ground nesting insects including yellowjackets,pour wood ash over top of opening.When it is carried into the nest,the moisture releases lye[NaOH] nd kills the critters.Cement dust mixed with flour works on rodents-they can’t vomit it out.