The “Easy Mosquito Trap” that Doesn’t Work – Plus one that does

Want to trap tons of mosquitoes? Click here to jump directly to the mosquito trap that actually works!

Within the past month, this picture with its accompanying tutorial exploded all over the internet. Allegedly, all you needed to make an ultra effective mosquito trap is a 2 liter bottle, cut in half with one half inverted, some brown sugar and some yeast. This concoction would bring the mosquitoes in from miles around to happily dive into the sugar water and die.


Here in central Alberta, mosquitoes are the most common form of winged life under the sun. Going outside in summer is a real risk – because you might go faint from all the blood loss. This mosquito trap looked to be the perfect solution to this insect overload.

Only problem is – the trap doesn’t work. My version of the trap has caught exactly two flies and a small curled up leaf. Not a single mosquito.


I’m not alone either in my dissapointment. Rooting through the comment sections of sites that have published this mosquito trap unearths numerous reports of the same thing. (Example 1, 2, 3, 4) One commenter shares his struggle with this frustrating trap.

I believe that I have read at least 200 comments about this type of soda bottle mosquito trap. I have NOT FOUND A SINGLE ONE THAT SAYS THAT IT WORKS.

I think this trap is a dud, but I’m not giving up the search for a good mosquito trap. If you’ve created your own effective mosquito trap, or even used a commercial mosquito trap, let us know in the comments.

The High Velocity Fan Method

One of our readers gave a glowing recommendation on a method that works similar to a spiderweb. If that spiderweb were powered by rocket fuel. This pile of mosquitoes was captured by Andy Ross from GreenPowerScience in a single night with one mosquito trap.

mosquito-trap-fan-method_0000_Layer 5

The trap works by moving an enormous quantity of air through a fine wire mesh. The mesh is impregnated with isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) to make sure the mosquitoes are good n dead.

ultimate mosquito trap high velocity fan method

You can try the mosquito catcher out using a normal home box fan, but to really have an effective trap you should go for a high velocity fan. The top recommended fan for these types of traps is the MaxxAir 24″ portable. It will move 4,000 cubic feet per minute. That’s compared to your ordinary Lasko box fans which move about 2,000.


The mesh is harder to find, it needs to be fine enough that mosquitos can’t fit through it. Ordinary hardware cloth won’t work. In a pinch you can just secure ordinary mosquito netting which is cheap and easy to find.

Here is the full video from Green Power Science that the above clip of mosquitoes was taken from. I recommend watching at least the first few minutes for some ideas about which fans you can use, how to attach the mesh, and how to properly use the isopropyl alcohol.

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103 thoughts on “The “Easy Mosquito Trap” that Doesn’t Work – Plus one that does

  1. In Minnesota, I have a fool proof trap. I walk out in short sleeves, admittedly, a lot do get away and the black and red blood smears on my arms after about 1 minute are somewhat off-putting…..come to think of it, that’s less of a trap and more like bait….I wonder why my family wants me to do that just before we all run to the car to go somewhere….hmmmmm…

    • For the mosquito trap that doesn’t work… I had that exact same trouble.. What I did though is to cut the bottom off of the bottle drill a hole through the cap of it then cut the top off of a second bottle.. then take the top of the second bottle and put it up the bottom of the first one with the bottom cut off.. if you want you can put a small amount of silicone along the edge of the top going into the bottom.. then put your sugar water and yeast in the bottom hand an octinol tablet off of the bottom and hand at least twenty feet away.. it works really have to empty it about every two weeks

    • I can vouch that the skeeterbag will catch mosquitoes, moths, and some other bugs that used to be leaf miners. You need a box fan and an electrical outlet. Some mammal (you?) is the bait for the mosquitoes. If you don’t want to leave the fan on all the time, you need to squish what is caught in there. The skeeterbags breakdown over time.

  2. I built these hoping to catch mosquitoes and found out it is a GREAT cockroach trap. Built it just like the instructions minus the yeast. No need to make CO2 the sugar water will drag them in well.
    I also made some smaller ones using 1qu gatorade bottles with a 1/4″ hole in the cap and they made great fly traps.
    This summer I caught and killed everything except what I needed to. :)

  3. I am one of those people that mosquitoes love, and have never found a trap that works. But have found the best mosquito deterrent is a drop of oil of oragano every day, works far better than deet.
    It tastes terrible so i take it in a shot of lemonade.

    • Also,to make a natural, effective, Bob toxic bug repellent, take 1-2 tbsp of grapeseed oil (or another carrier oil) and add 20 drops of Lemon Eucalyptus, 10 drops of Peppermint and 5 drops each of Eucalyptus, Tea Tree and Oregano. Smoothe it all over exposed areas. You’ll not only have luxuriously smooth skin, but you’ll kind of smell like a citronella candle, which is more appealing than OFF or something with Deet. It works, you just have to reapply every couple of hours.

      If you do get a bug bite, make a paste of salt with a few drops of water and 1-2 drops of Lavendar oil, and the itch is GONE! 😁

    • Also, to make a natural and effective non toxic, Chemical Free bug repellent, take:
      1-2 tbsp of grapeseed oil (or another carrier oil)
      and add 20 drops of Lemon Eucalyptus, 10 drops of Peppermint
      and 5 drops each of
      Eucalyptus, Tea Tree and Oregano.

      Smoothe it all over exposed areas.

      You’ll not only have luxuriously smooth skin, but you’ll kind of smell like a citronella candle, which is more appealing of a scent than OFF or something with Deet. It works, you just have to reapply every couple of hours.

      If you do get a bug bite, make:
      a paste of salt with a few drops of water
      and 1-2 drops of Lavendar oil,
      and the itch is GONE! 😁

  4. For the first time ever I had no mosquitoes! I did a search on plants that repel bugs and I grew in pots every plant that repelled mosquitoes, flies and gnats.. and it worked! Plus I got to eat all those plants which were mostly herbs, if you can imagine, lol. Fruit flies in the house does work with apple cider vinegar in cut off water bottle and inverted. I use it also in my closed in porch where I grow just about anything.

  5. I had modest results catching fruit flies last summer in my house.

    It was an eyesore, and I almost knocked it off the counter, so i probably won’t repeat the experiment this year.

    • I use a wine glass about half full of wine. Add a few drops of dish soap. It keep a few around my house where they wont be knocked over. Main problem areas are the bathroom and near the trash can in my kitchen.

      • Better yet, put a little wine in a glass, put some clear plastic wrap over the glass, secure it with a rubber band, and use a toothpick to poke some holes in the plastic wrap. They go in, but they don’t come back out. Clears up the fruit flies or drain flies in a day or two.

        Don’t know anything about mosquito repellents or traps.

  6. I made some thing like this to trap the killer bees in the CA desert. We used Mt. Dew or yellow Gatorade and it worked perfectly – about 300- 400 bees a day and only 2 stings for 30 people… Not bad.
    For the NC sketters – I built and maintain about 6 different bat houses.. The kicker, I harvest the bat poo and add it to my compost.

    • Please stop killing the bees. We need the bees. Call someone to come out and get the bees. They will take them away and everyone stays safe.

      • He said Killer Bees. We don’t need Killer bees. They are an invasive species. And they are extremely dangerous here in AZ. Especially for older folks who can’t run away and are more likely to die from the stings.

        • My understanding is that the so-called “killer bees” have interbred with all honeybee populations by now. I don’t know how this person is identifying the bees; but it would be much better to call a professional, than to be killing hundreds of bees – which are in grave danger, and essential to our food supply.

          • That’s wrong. They do interbreed, but the African traits that earned them the name “killer bee” tends to dominate, and you have an aggressive hive that will sting hundreds of times and pursue up to a quarter mile.

  7. Frogs and bats….make sure you collect tadpoles from run off basins and vernal pools…they may just be dying out before getting large enough to control your problem. The bat house is a classic, and works at night (of course) but my frogs (and my kids chasing them) are proven winners.

    • I’m all for frogs & bats, but what about dragonflies? Supposedly they are a natural enemy of mosquitoes and eat the mosquito larvae while they swim. I checked into this a few years ago but never did it. You can purchase dragonfly larvae in bulk. I personally would rather see 1000’s of dragonflies than 1 mosquito.

  8. Ken, you blew up autocorrect! What did you mean about “hand an octinol tablet??” Can you clear up what you meant?!

    • Frank, I think what Ken meant was “have an octinol tablet on hand”…but he misspelled the word. Octanol is a type of mushroom alcohol which mimics the human body sweat odor that attracts mosquitoes. When made into tablet form it’s effect can last up to 30 days and when combined with carbon dioxide (yeast and the brown sugar water) extracted by the trap, the efficiency of the trap is increased significantly.
      The problem is that I was only able to find one location that sold these tablets outside of the U.S. in a three pack from Estonia (
      Some more interesting information about Octanol:
      Octanol is a chemical substance called a fatty alcohol that is a natural ingredient in certain essential oils, but can also be synthesized. It is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States as a food additive. This liquid alcohol has no color, but does have a very strong and penetrating smell. It is used to make foam-control agents, and also commonly used to manufacture chemical compounds called esters that are used to make fragrances in the perfumery industry and to make various types of artificial flavors. There is some experimental medical testing being done using octanol to treat conditions involving involuntary neurological tremors, such as those caused by the disorder essential tremor (ET) (
      While I’m not sure about mushrooms themselves repelling mosquitoes, there still are natural and cheaper ways to do the trick…here are some tips I discovered through further research:
      A mosquito infestation on a lawn can make your time spent outdoors unbearable. Keep them away from grassy areas with 1 cup each of lemon-scented dish soap and lemon-scented ammonia in a 20-gallon hose sprayer, filling the rest of the vessel with water. Spray the yard every few days. Mosquitoes do not care for lemon fragrance. Spray in evenings when mosquitoes are most active (
      Use container plants such as rosemary, horsemint, marigold, lemon balm, ageratum, citronella, catnip, basil, lemon thyme, and lavender to do the trick.
      Whichever method you use, please share which one works best for you.

  9. When outside if you mix vinger and water in a spray bottle and spritz were your gonna be it keeps the mosquito’s and gnats, Flies away. Plus a oscillator fan as they don’t like the breeze

  10. I am trying to find something that will attract and kill the misquitoes flying around INSIDE my house. After having what seems like months of problems with pipes leaking, which is finally fixed, a drain fly infestation, also fixed, my husband then found the breeding ground of the mosquitoes we have had while replacing a floor yesterday. so now that is taken care of but i still have all the survivors flying EVERYWHERE! Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

  11. Our creepy solution to mosquitoes in our house is the small gecko that also got into the house. I don’t like geckos but he has won my admiration for the sheer amount of mosquitoes he eats. He stays on one wall (behind the TV), and only comes out at night when the mosquitoes are in the house. I have found that putting a small lamp by the gecko attracts the mosquitoes and keeps the gecko happy. The gecko stays in his place, NEVER comes near us and is a mosquito eating champion.

    • That is the most awesome thing I’ve read today. Eat up, little lizard friend! Do you find poop on your walls? We have outdoor lizards here and are thinking the funky bird-like poop stuff on the walls must be lizard poop.

    • Geckos eating mosquitoes?!?!! Here, in Hawaii, Geckos are a dime a dozen and EVERY house has many, going in and out all the time, BUT our Geckos must vegetarians, as unfortunately, mosquitos rule here, inside and out!
      We have these HUGE, zebra stripe ones that are super loud too and make it hard to sleep. I have tried EVERYTHING on this good earth, to keep them at least at bay, but even in the so called ‘dry season’ we are plagued. And I happen to be the Blue Plate Special, for them and suffer seriously from the bad skin irritation.
      Yes, Lizards and Geckos do poop like everything else, and Gecko poop can be a problem here. Geckos can carry certain diseases, so their poo can make some people sick. Wash it off as soon as you notice the little dropping. LIke mini bird poop!

    • Be careful with geckos they can do damage to electrical equipment we have had our motherboard for the air con damaged $700 to replace the tradesman said he has to repair a lot of gecko damage

  12. The best DIY remedy I’ve ever found for mosquitoes: Apply a drop of pure vanilla extract (not imitation) behind your ears, and at the elbows, knees and ankles. I thought it sounded ridiculous when I read it, but figured it was worth a shot… I swear, it works better than any store-bought repellent I’ve ever used, and it certainly smells better! I was afraid it might attract bees and flies, but I haven’t found that to be the case. If you’re out and about in the woods, this would not be an effective substitute for products that repel a variety of pests, but for enjoying an evening in your backyard without being eaten alive, it works great!

  13. Years ago, I had someone tell me that they would eat the sulfur from half a dozen match sticks every day, and that the skeeters wouldn’t bother them, because of the sulfur content. I’ve never tried it, but wanted to mention it here. Maybe someone else has tried it……

  14. I live in the forest in Hawaii and mosquitoes are a constant issue. I found out by chance that a spray bottle of isopropyl alcohol will knock them to the ground… then you just smash them. It works great when you have a swarm.

  15. i use the 2 litre bottle with the sugar water and yeast and have had nothing but amazing results. I only had one bite last summer here in nz.

  16. We live in Australia and have had some bad mozzie problems lately, because of the humid weather.

    I got an old floor fan and stuck a sheet of window fly mesh on the back of the fan, took it out into the back yard and left it running for a few days and nights. it catches dozens of mozzies which get sucked onto the fly screen mesh and can’t get off. I spray a mixture of watered down metho onto the mozzies once per day to kill any live ones. It works perfectly. Cheap to run… and cost me nothing.

  17. Taking vitamin B complex also works when you are trying to avoid being eaten alive.

    And for the trap, I’ve heard that the yeast doesn’t work if the temperature is under 25C(77F) in that case a little bit of vinegar is supposed to do the trick.

    Last year I didn’t have a problem, but this year the bugs came out early and are swarming outside my bedroom window,

  18. geckos roaming in & out of the house?? where do yall live? I don’t think I’ve ever seen one other than the pet store.

  19. Taking full care of my Mom who is contracted and non-ambulatory/non-verbal, I have finally had the opportunity to experience my beautiful south Florida yard. It is important for me to protect Mom from mosquitoes that may enter the house because she cannot defend herself. I have been researching and implementing many of the ideas shared about homemade traps. You know what? I constructed the 500ml water bottle inverted trap with white sugar and yeast, covering the bottle in black gift paper, and caught many flies. Amazingly, my wife’s sandals that she got caught in the rain with and that were outside next to the trap drying were attracting all the mosquitoes. They were black and it made sense these bugs wanted the human scent and the color right next to the trap. Since the trap was catching mostly flies (for which I am grateful) and not the m’s, I tried a variance. Two inverted water bottles covered black with the same ingredients side by side with about 5 inches of space between them. A Victor Indoor fly trap model M507 bridged next to the bottles on anything that will support the very light sticky material cuboid (shape of M507 – look up the image on internet). And finally, my wife’s seemingly irresistible sandle beside these resulted in mosquitoes buzzing the trap and the sandle and bumping into the M507. Finally, they weren’t entering the house as they were too interested in the baits and enough were ending stuck on the M507. Flies were even more effectively caught with some still climbint into the bottles. I want to try the vanilla treatment mentioned above for personal protection. Mom says hi!

  20. I read somewhere that you had to wrap the bottle in something black (like use black tape around it)…something about the color black attracting mosquitoes. (just repeating what i read…not advocating it’s accuracy)

  21. A simple DYI mosquito catcher for ones flying around inside your house. Spray or spread around some oil on a large plate. Hold and swing the plate at flying mosquitoes that will hit and stick to the plate. A little messy but it works!

  22. I made a video that confirm the easy mosquito trap works.
    And i had translated some contents written by the original developers on my blog.
    As far as i know, most people put the trap at wrong position and that’s why that doesn’t work. It should be placed at a corner without people around. Although it’s truth that the trap doesn’t always work, please give it a try. At least it solves my mosquito problem.

    • That video is ridiculously long. Really, 26 minutes? This could be edited down to 3, if you want people to actually WATCH it. Redo it.

      • Sorry for the long video. I was tried to show how the results are affected by the placement positions so i sorted them from bad to good. It’s not easy to edit it down to 3 minutes because i tried to count the dead bodies of mosquitoes which takes too much time. I would like to redo the experiments and make a short video if i could, but there are only a few mosquitoes lives here now…

  23. The fan and alcohol idea is just to over the top and hardly eco friendly.

    Think about it…
    You’re asked to pick up a high velocity fan. One, they’re expensive as far as fans go especially the commercial variety shown. Two, they use too much energy. Three, Alcohol dries quickly especially with air flow.

    If you have that many mosquitos, you need to find the breeding area and start there to cure the problem.

    I currently reside in the south east, a high humidity, almost daily rainfall, with water ways abound. And I’m in the woods. I don’t have near that many mosquitos. And even less mosquitos than my neighbors. Why?

    I fogged my surroundings with a natural pesticide (lemon grass extract) for three weeks daily at dusk. If I have half a dozen mosquitos that show up on a given night, that’s a crowd. I fog once or twice weekly to maintain my surroundings.

    That said, I’m glad you showed that the bottle mosquito catcher doesn’t work. It may be the formula inside.? I’ve read of other liquid concoctions used in the same trap. I was going to make one to catch the few mosquitos I do have coming around. Now… I’m not so into making one. So thanks for sharing your findings.

  24. Do you have Avon cosmetics in the States? Their ‘Skin-so-soft’ (pink version) beats any other repellent I know. The Forestry Commission buys it in bulk for their workers.

  25. I don’t use 2 liter soda bottles I use regular water bottles. Higher concentration of gas from a smaller object. Since using these, about 4 in my home, I have had many dead mosquitos, and not one bite. Keep in mind I live in a rain forest, and we have no shortage of them. In fact we have a dengue fever epidemic right now that we are fighting. I’d say your trap didn’t work, because you didn’t make a proper trap. Mine work great!

  26. As for me, the best traps are CO2 traps, like here They are works better than naturals. But it’s more expensive and more harmful for the health.

  27. The trap isn’t for adult mosquitos. They are attracted to the rotting water to lay their eggs. Use these in your area to have much much less mosquitos the next generation. Long term results. Maybe some.are also drawn by the co2 and get trapped.

  28. I use Tiger Balm to repel mosquitoes, and having tested it out in the tropics last week I’m actually amazed at how well it worked! I mean it already smells pretty strong to us so imagine how it would repel mosquitos! :D

    I am usually a mosquito magnet so trust me on this one….

    PS: Red balm is better than white.

  29. Guys! We have a world record that is under process for capturing more than 100 million mosquitoes in 90 days at a total operating cost of 15 us cents. Please visit our website http://www.mozziquit com
    Lockheed Martin has awarded us a Gold medal for our patented Mosquito trap and it is currently sold via our website. I’m the Director of Marketing for Mozziquit, which is manufactured by us at our factory in India. Anyone interested in taking up distribution for USA, can contact me.
    Joel Nelson Dsouza
    Director of Marketing,
    Leowin Solutions pvt ltd

  30. There are a variety of mosquito species and they are individually attracted to different things. Some heat, some darkness, some CO2, etc. I live in Cambodia where there are a lot of mosquitos and unfortunately the yeast traps don’t seem to function here. They go for anything black, so I’m going to try wrapping the CO2 traps in black tape/clothe. So far i’m still working with an electric tennis racket. :)

  31. Add another field test to my list for review this summer when the mosquitoes come out in full force. Thanks for sharing, I look forward to giving this one a go.

  32. The man in the photo is Dan Rojos and not Andy Ross. Also, saturating the mesh with alcohol would accomplish nothing as it would all evaporate as soon as the fan were turned on. You spray the insects that have been collected with the alcohol before turning off the fan. That desicates them.

  33. Anti mozzie app on your phone! Also turmeric golden paste apparently stops them, but you have to take it regularly.

  34. Pennyroyal, a plant in the mint family works great. I grow it and when I’m outside I just pull off some leaves and rub them on the exposed skin. I also make a ‘crown’ with the herb, crush the leaves a bit so the smell is released, and it keeps mosquitoes off my head! Don’t eat this herb though. I remember reading somewhere years ago it can make you sick. I should do more research on that. But it does work. Also take a high vitamin B complex. It works for some people to keep the skeeters away. I’m almost 70 years old and have used natural bug repellents for the last 50 years. Pennyroyal is my favorite.Peace, love and Woodstock!

  35. I just made that bottle/sugar trap. I had not sealed the edges so you can see the fruit fly gathering because of the co2 released. will let you know if it actually works – i’m pessimistic. 1. though sugar is sticky, when you add the mix of water+yeast that surface is not sticky and floats on top (something missing from most images). 2. there’s no reason why mosquitos should stick to the walls of the trap.

  36. It works great/ you just have to make sure to buy the active/cold yeast that is in the refrigerated section of supermarket. I tried it with regular yeast and it doesn’t work- but worked the second time when I bought the right yeast.

  37. But there are so many species of ants, each forming a different kind of threat that it’s best to get professional pest control in Frisco TX when you see them.
    Thee space doesn’t have to be big enouyh for a roach to get through for it to possibly be a problem.
    Today many of us are immersed in a poisonous environment.

  38. Its 1:21am and these little bustards are at their peak. I’m in SA near the boarder of Mozambique and Swaziland. We r just getting to spring :-(. I’m think of reducing the scale of the 2 litre trap to about a 500ml container and reduce the ingredients pro rata. I am will to try anything for that matter even combining viniger, brown sugar,baking sosa and yeast.

    As for the geckos/lizards, I’ve plenty of small white geckos/lizards. The only thing they are good at is popping their eyes out and raising their tales and watch a couple when having sex..

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