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Cheap Mosquito Traps

Price Range

$25 Cheapism $125
Mid-Range $400
High End ...+

Nothing ruins a warm summer night like an influx of mosquitoes. If those whining pests are keeping you from enjoying your yard, a cheap mosquito trap can help. Unfortunately even some of the lower-end traps might seem expensive to many. Mosquito traps range in price from $25 to well over $400 (seriously). But if you're sick of scratching or smelling like bug repellent, you can rid a reasonably sized yard of mosquitoes with one of the cheap mosquito traps on our list.

Cheap Mosquito Traps Buying Guide

Higher-priced mosquito traps 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 radius than cheap mosquito traps. That being said, cheap mosquito traps can be effective in small yards and homes. For between $25 and $125, you can find a trap that does a reasonable job fending off the invading hordes. Most cheap mosquito traps have coverage areas of about half an acre; for bigger yards you need to spend a little more -- or space out several traps.

All mosquito traps use some kind of attractant to lure their prey. Most traps rely on more than one method. Mosquitoes respond to scents including carbon dioxide, octenol, and lactic acid, according to Mosquito Central, which researches and recommends mosquito traps. Some traps use all three scents. Other attractants include light, moving light, and heat.

Outdoor mosquito traps often use a combination of scent, light, and heat. Other cheap mosquito traps are designed for indoor use and usually don't use scented lures. While carbon dioxide can be used indoors, octenol and lactic acid are generally reserved for outdoor use because they have strong smells and are chemical-based. Some traps can be used indoors or out. These types of traps generally have the option to use a scented lure but also work without it.

We relied on expert advice and user reviews when making our picks. User reviews of cheap mosquito traps are limited and a bit tricky to judge, as the category overall gets a lot of negative reviews from consumers who question whether even pricey mosquito traps really work. Experts point out that consumers need to use the traps properly. Mosquito Central recommends placing 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. Mosquito traps work by decimating the population, so they must be used 24/7, not just when you plan to be outside. Many traps effectively eliminate mosquitoes from an area with proper placement and the correct attractants, according to HowStuffWorks.

Our favorite cheap mosquito trap is the Dynatrap DT1000 Insect Eliminator (starting at $96). This trap uses carbon dioxide and ultraviolet light and works both indoors and out. Next on our list is the Stinger Nosquito Indoor Insect Trap MA06 (starting at $28), which is an indoor-only trap and uses UV light and heat to attract mosquitoes. The Koolatron Mosquito Trap MK05 Champion (starting at $95) seems to get the worst user reviews and uses a pricey chemical-scented attractant that lasts only about three weeks before needing to be replaced.

Outdoor and Indoor Mosquito Traps

The main thing to pay attention to when choosing a cheap mosquito trap is the attractant. Should you go with a chemical or carbon dioxide mosquito trap or one that relies on light and heat? We'll also look at outdoor vs. indoor mosquito traps, coverage areas, and the benefits of picking electric over propane mosquito traps.

Mosquito Trap Attractant.

Traps attract mosquitoes using movement, light, moisture, heat, and/or scent, in the form of carbon dioxide, octenol, or lactic acid. Mosquitoes are then drawn into the machine by a fan and trapped. The trick lies in finding a trap that uses the right attractant for the size of your space and the breed of mosquito that's bothering you. Carbon dioxide mosquito traps attract mosquitoes from farthest away -- upward of 100 feet. Carbon dioxide is a preferred attractant in higher-priced traps. Octenol and lactic acid attract mosquitoes from as far as 50 feet away 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. Some of the best mosquito traps employ all these methods to lure and trap all types of mosquitoes. They are best for covering large areas.

The Dynatrap DT1000 Insect Eliminator (starting at $96) is a carbon dioxide mosquito trap that also uses ultraviolet light and heat to attract mosquitoes. The Stinger Nosquito Indoor Insect Trap MA06 (starting at $28) uses just UV light and heat to attract the bugs and gives users the option of opening a trap door to free the mosquitoes outside. The Koolatron Mosquito Trap MK05 Champion (starting at $95) works a little differently. It uses thermal imaging and blue light, along with octenol, to attract the bugs. It's important to note that the octenol cartridges required for this trap last only 21 days and cost about $23 for a pack of two refills, an expense that should be figured into your purchasing decision. The Mega-Catch Alpha Mosquito Trap MCA-600 (starting at $69) is perhaps the best of both worlds. It uses heat and a pulsating LED light (for movement) but also gives users the option of inserting an octenol or lactic acid cartridge.

Propane vs. Electric Mosquito Traps.

Mosquito traps come in two varieties: electric mosquito traps, which plug in with a cord, and propane mosquito traps, which are cordless. Propane mosquito traps need to be refilled often -- about every three weeks -- and that can add a lot to the overall cost. Fortunately for frugal shoppers, all the budget mosquito traps on our list are electric mosquito traps. While they do use lights, the bulbs don't cost much and don't need to be replaced very often.

Outdoor vs. Indoor Mosquito Traps.

Manufacturers make mosquito traps for both indoor and outdoor use. The major difference between outdoor and indoor mosquito traps is the attractant. Outdoor mosquito traps use carbon dioxide, lactic acid, or octenol, while most indoor mosquito traps rely on movement, heat, and light rather than scent (although some use carbon dioxide). Chemical-based traps aren't usually used inside because of the smell. For the same reason, a scent-free trap may be best for outdoor spaces smaller than 30 feet; heat and light alone should do the trick. The other thing to keep in mind is that scented lures can attract mosquitoes from as far away as 100 feet or more. Using a trap with a large range in a small yard might backfire by actually drawing mosquitoes into your yard.

The Stinger Nosquito MA06 trap is strictly an indoor mosquito trap, while the Koolatron Mosquito Trap MK05 Champion is an outdoor trap. Both the Dynatrap DT1000 Insect Eliminator and the Mega-Catch Alpha Mosquito Trap MCA-600 can be used either indoors or out, although the Dynatrap is recommended for outside use.

Mosquito Trap Coverage Area.

As described previously, the coverage area depends greatly on the attractant used in the trap. Both the Dynatrap DT1000 Insect Eliminator and the Koolatron Mosquito Trap MK05 Champion cover areas up to half an acre, while Stinger doesn't state a coverage area for the Nosquito Indoor Insect Trap MA06. If we had to guess, we would say the coverage area is far smaller -- probably around 30 feet, given that the trap uses light and heat instead of a scented attractant.

Mosquito Trap Extras.

Cheap mosquito traps don't offer much in the way of extras. The Dynatrap DT1000 Insect Eliminator comes with a cleaning brush and a chain to hang it from to make installation easy. A tray in the Stinger Nosquito Indoor Insect Trap MA06 comes out to make cleaning easier.

Mosquito Trap Reviews

Mosquito trap reviews are few and far between. Those we did find were generally somewhat negative; users seem skeptical that any trap actually works 100 percent. Most complaints in mosquito trap reviews have to do with effectiveness, durability, and how easy the trap is to clean.

Mosquito Trap Effectiveness.

Users are generally critical of how well budget mosquito traps work. However, it's important to note that traps work best if used all the time, not just when an outdoor event is going on. That's because mosquito traps work by eliminating enough of the biting, egg-laying female mosquitoes to collapse the population in the area.

The Dynatrap DT1000 Insect Eliminator gets many more positive comments on its effectiveness than most other models. On the website of retailer NorthlineExpress, users posting mosquito trap reviews are impressed and somewhat surprised that the trap works as well as it does. Users posting mosquito trap reviews at Picaridin.info indicate that the Dynatrap DT1000 Insect Eliminator may even work better than its pricier counterparts. The Stinger Nosquito Indoor Insect Trap MA06, by far the cheapest mosquito trap on our list, seems to impress most users posting mosquito trap reviews on Amazon, although many gripe that the fan is loud and some report that mosquitoes aren't attracted to the unit (again, a common gripe in this category). One user who posted a mosquito trap review on Amazon seems blown away by the effectiveness of this unit. Another user on Amazon suggests that the trap may work best at night, away from competing light.

The Mega-Catch Alpha Mosquito Trap MCA-600 gets mixed reviews from users on Amazon. While some say the trap doesn't work very well, one satisfied user posting a mosquito trap review on Amazon reports that it works very well. The user notes that during particularly buggy times of year you can add the chemically scented lure. Many consumers seem disappointed in the ability of the Koolatron Mosquito Trap MK05 Champion to trap mosquitoes. In mosquito trap reviews at Home Depot, consumers say the trap attracts mosquitoes but doesn't actually trap them. Users posting mosquito trap reviews on Amazon seem to agree.

Ease of Use.

When consumers talk about ease of use in mosquito catcher reviews, they are generally referring to cleaning or emptying the unit. This can be a tricky task because all of the budget mosquito traps we reviewed simply trap mosquitoes rather than zapping them as well. If the trap is running, it's still catching mosquitoes, so some of them probably will still be alive when you go to empty it. Typically users don't like the task of cleaning any trap and don't have a lot of positive things to say about ease of use. The model that gets perhaps the best reviews in this area is the Stinger Nosquito Indoor Insect Trap MA06. In a mosquito trap review at NorthlineExpress.com, one user remarks that, in addition to being effective, the Stinger model is also relatively easy to use. Likewise, several users posting mosquito catcher reviews at the website of retailer J&R Electronics cite ease of use as a pro. One user does recommend emptying the trap outside, given that some bugs will still be alive and you don't want to release them back into your house. In mosquito catcher reviews of the Dynatrap DT1000 Insect Eliminator on Amazon, users say cleaning is tough because there are bound to be live mosquitoes. One user observes that the live insects in the trap are weak and not in a biting mood, while another user puts the trap in a sealed trash bag overnight to ensure that all the bugs are dead before he cleans out the trap. Consumers don't comment on ease of use in reviews of the Koolatron Mosquito Trap MK05 Champion. But that could be because, according to mosquito catcher reviews at Home Depot, the trap doesn't seem to capture many of the mosquitoes it attracts.

Mosquito Trap Durability.

For the price they're paying, users expect budget mosquito traps to last much longer than one season. A user posting a mosquito trap review on Amazon says the Dynatrap DT1000 Insect Eliminator lasted three years before it was dropped on concrete and had to be replaced. The review also notes that the Dynatrap outperformed many other mosquito traps the user tried. A user posting a mosquito trap review at NorthlineExpress.com reports that the Stinger Nosquito Indoor Insect Trap MA06 has lasted six years. We didn't find any comments in mosquito catcher reviews on the durability of the Koolatron Mosquito Trap MK05 Champion.

Raechel Conover

Raechel Conover is a freelance writer whose work has appeared on Yahoo, blogs, and other websites. She's a self-confessed shopaholic and frugal mom, always scouring the sale and clearance racks for deals and taking full advantage of free community activities and events with her husband and young sons.

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