Mosquitoes are the deadliest animal in the world. Every year, they kill more than a hundred thousand people around the globe through the various serious diseases they carry. If you live in a place with many mosquitoes, the best way to keep yourself safe is to prevent yourself from getting bitten. Even when bites don’t spread disease, they are itchy nuisances.
The question is how. There are hundreds of different mosquito-killing products on the market. What are the differences between them, and which is best? The right product for you will vary depending on your needs, so we’ve put together an explanation of different mosquito killers along with some helpful recommendations.
Types of Mosquito Traps
One of the cleanest and easiest mosquito traps to manage is a zapper. Zappers are powered by electricity. They use UV light to attract insects, and then they electrocute them. The bodies fall to the bottom of the unit, where they can later be removed. Some zappers can be used both indoors and outdoors.
Zappers don’t use harsh chemical attractants, and they don’t require a lot of maintenance and upkeep. With that said, they do need to be plugged in to work, so they aren’t as portable as some other options.
Light attractant traps use UV bulbs to draw flying insects in. They trap mosquitoes, flies, moths, and other pests. In addition to electric zappers, traps with other methods of killing sometimes use light as an attractant. Light can draw bugs from further distances than other attractants, though the exact range depends on the strength of the bulb.
Glue and Water
If the trap doesn’t use electricity, the most common methods of killing are glue or water. With water traps, the mosquito drowns; with glue, they become pinned to a glue board. Traps with glue boards will need to replace their glue boards when they become full, which is an ongoing maintenance cost to factor into your purchase.
Most glue and water traps use non-toxic chemicals. They’re ideal for use in areas of your home like the kitchen.
When chemical attractants are used, the goal is usually to mimic a human’s breath. This draws the mosquito in as they attempt to bite. The traps are set up to exude plumes of carbon dioxide at regular intervals, which appears like breathing to the mosquito.
Some traps make carbon dioxide plumes by using a CO2 cylinder or by using propane. This is called the primary attractant. On top of that, secondary attractants like Octenol can be added to enhance the effects. Octenol causes the CO2 puff to have a more similar chemical makeup to human breath.
Octenol is an FDA-approved chemical similar to alcohol. It is non-toxic to humans. In addition to attracting mosquitoes, it also attracts no-see-ums and black flies.
The Best Mosquito Killers
Now that you have a feel for the different traps and how to pick the best one for your household, we’ve put together a list of basic recommendations.
1. Best Mosquito Trap
One of the best mosquito traps on the market is the Gardner Fly Web Fly Trap. The design uses patented technology to lure mosquitoes in and kill them easily. Rather than using potentially dangerous or harsh chemical attractants, the trap pins mosquitoes to a glue board. The glue is non-toxic and safe to use around children and pets.
Many mosquito traps are formulated with different kinds of attractants. Part of the appeal of the Gardner Fly Web is that it runs with UV light rather than other attractants. That means there’s no odor, no need to buy attractant refills, and no hassle. You will need to replace the glue paper when it gets full, but disposal and replacement are both easy.
One potential drawback, though, is that the Fly Web is only designed for use indoors. As such, if you’re looking for an outdoor form of protection, you’ll need to look into other traps. The Gardner trap kills mosquitoes and other flying pests in the home like house flies, fruit flies, moths, and gnats.
In addition to working well as a light trap, the Fly Web can function as a night light. The light trap is compact enough to be used in apartments, houses, office buildings, or any other areas that tend to be plagued by flies and mosquitoes. After the glue board becomes full, you just throw it away.
Best Mosquito Killer
When you’re picking the best mosquito killer, there are a few things to keep in mind. The biggest one is that non-toxic attractants can be added to normal traps to increase their efficacy. This is a lot safer than using insecticides that have a ton of potentially unsafe chemicals.
There’s an attractant specifically for mosquitoes called Mosquito Magnet Octenol. It can attract most species of mosquito, particularly those that live in Canada, the northern United States, and coastal areas of the US. Octenol is an affordable option that can increase your trap’s yield by more than ten times and provide maximum pest protection.
The attractant has been registered with the EPA. It works in tandem with your trap’s primary attractant, mimicking human breath to add another layer of attraction. This draws more biting insects and mosquitoes into the trap. The active chemical is structured similarly to alcohol, and it has been deemed safe for use by humans by the FDA. With that said, you should use caution if you have pets and be sure they can’t reach the trap.
The attractant is mainly compatible with the Mosquito Magnet trap. When used in tandem with it, the Octenol helps pull mosquitoes into the nets, where they become dehydrated and die. If you invest in an outdoor trap like the Mosquito Magnet, Octenol is extremely helpful in clearing the space around you.
Best Mosquito Zapper
When narrowing down the best mosquito zappers, you have to take into account where you’ll be using it, how often you’ll be using it, and how safe the construction is.
The Aspectek Upgraded 20 Watt Electronic Bug Zapper is a zapper created to kill pests indoors in apartments, houses, office buildings, and other commercial settings. You can also use the product outside provided you have an outlet to plug it into.
Like the Fly Web trap, this bug zapper uses UV light bulbs to attract mosquitoes, moths, flies, and other flying insects. The design includes a mesh screen that protects people from accidentally contacting the electrical grid. If you have pets or little ones who might put their fingers through the mesh, though, make sure you use caution with where you place the zapper.
Because the zapper uses electricity rather than insecticide, it’s free of potentially harmful chemical sprays. Installing the unit is also very simple. In homes with pets or small children, you can use the attached chain to hang the unit over a room. It can also be set down on the ground.
When in use, the zapper has an area coverage of between 20 and 120 meters squared. It can handle most porches, decks, patios, and indoor rooms, allowing you to enjoy your evenings in peace.
At the bottom of the zapper is a removable plastic tray. When the insects are electrocuted, they fall into the tray. To maintain the unit, you just remove the tray, dump out the bodies, and wash it. Meanwhile, the electric grid requires no maintenance at all due to its self-cleaning nature.
If you want to add an attractant to your trap to increase its efficacy by more than ten times, the Octenol is a good option. It mimics the moisture and movement of human breath to draw mosquitoes in.
When looking for a trap, the FlyWeb is a good place to start. It uses non-toxic glue to trap mosquitoes. They then die. Rather than using chemical attractants or other methods, the FlyWeb uses UV light to deal with flying pests in the household. It’s best optimized for use indoors rather than outdoors.
People looking for a mosquito zapper can benefit from the Aspectek bug zapper. Since the contraption uses electricity, you don’t have to worry about refilling glue traps or exposing people to potentially toxic chemicals. The zapper can attract bugs both inside and outside through the use of UV light bulbs. Cleanup is easy, as is overall maintenance and setup.