7 Best Mosquito Traps for Conquering Bugs on a Budget

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Mosquitoes are a backyard nuisance every year, but headlines about the mosquito-borne Zika virus may have more people than usual scrambling for ways to keep these pests in check. If your typical mosquito-prevention plan consists of hand slaps and smelly insect repellant, consider adding a mosquito trap to the mix. Consumers who have only a small area to cover can find quality traps starting at less than $40. Cheapism.com's top picks include inexpensive indoor, outdoor, and portable traps, plus one pricier choice for bigger yards.
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In online reviews, users who have declared war on an indoor mosquito problem say the Aspectek 20-Watt Electronic Indoor Insect Killer (starting at $41) is worth a close look. It covers an impressive 6,000 square feet. Mosquitoes have a hard time resisting this trap's two 10-watt ultraviolet lights, reviewers say, and many users like that the trap doesn't require chemical lures. The electrified grid quickly kills any bugs that wander too close, although users warn that the resulting "zaps" make it best for people who don't mind hearing mosquitoes meet their maker.
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The Stinger Nosquito Indoor Insect Trap MA06 is a well-liked standby that has been discontinued but remains available at a bargain from the likes of Amazon and Walmart (starting at $22). Instead of zapping insects with electricity, the Stinger MA06 attracts them with heat and ultraviolet light (no chemicals in the house) and sucks them into the trap with a fan. Consumers interested in this end-of-the-line product may want to stock up on replacement bulbs, or look for alternatives. It was refreshing to see reports that the Stinger MA06 has lasted multiple years; durability isn't a strong suit for most cheap mosquito traps.
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One of the most annoying limitations of electric insect traps is being tethered to a power cord. That's not the case with the Stinger BKC90 Cordless Rechargeable Insect Zapper (starting at $30), which has a battery that can be charged for more than three hours of off-the-grid use. Reviewers appreciate that this indoor/outdoor trap can go anywhere, saying it's ideal for camping, a quick dinner on the patio, or standing guard in a corner of the kitchen. Like many other mosquito traps, it uses ultraviolet light and a chemical lure to attract insects, then kills them with an electrified grid. It's not best for large areas, as coverage tops out at a modest 625 square feet.
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Enthusiastic reviewers say this outdoor-only bug zapper proves consumers don't have to overspend for a mosquito trap that delivers. The Flowtron BK-15D Electronic Insect Killer (starting at $31) combines a 15-watt ultraviolet light and a chemical lure to attract mosquitoes and finishes the job with an electrified grid. Even better, users say the clog-resistant grill makes cleaning out dead bugs a slightly less grisly job than usual. The trap's weatherproof polycarbonate is meant to withstand long periods outdoors. For bigger yards, Flowtron offers similar traps that cover an acre or an acre and a half.
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Cheap options are limited for consumers with larger yards, but the outdoor-only Flowtron BK-80D Electronic Insect Killer (starting at $60) manages to be effective and extremely budget-friendly. This trap uses two 40-watt ultraviolet lights and an optional chemical lure to draw mosquitoes and other insects in yards as big as an acre and a half. It has the same weatherproof, lantern-like styling and clog-resistant grill of its smaller sibling, the Flowtron BK-15D. Reviewers warn that a long outdoor power cord is necessary to place it far enough away from a patio or porch, but that means the "zaps" of the electrified grid aren't quite so startling.
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Not everyone wants to hear the sound of mosquitoes dying during a leisurely evening meal on the deck. The Dynatrap DT1050 Half Acre Insect Trap (starting at $109) doesn't use an electrified grid to kill its quarry. Instead, mosquitoes are lured with ultraviolet light and carbon dioxide, then sucked into a chamber where they die on their own. Gardeners and other gentle souls even have the option to release "good" bugs. This all-weather trap can also be used indoors, where its lack of a chemical lure and electrical "zaps" might make it a safer pick for shoppers with curious kids or pets. It comes with a hanging chain and cleaning brush.
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It's a good deal more expensive than our other picks, but the Dynatrap DT2000XL One-Acre Insect Trap (starting at $142) quietly kills mosquitoes and other flying pests in sizeable yards up to an acre. It's also roughly half the price of many other big-name mosquito traps for larger areas, most of which require propane tanks -- and costly refills -- to run. The trap uses ultraviolet light and carbon dioxide to lure mosquitoes and a fan to suck them into a holding chamber, making this another "zap-free" option. This is a weatherproof trap, but it's also chemical free and suitable for indoor use – a major convenience over other brands whose mosquito-fighting powers stop at your doorstep.