Cheap And Effective Mosquito Trap Looks Like A Disco

Words cannot quite articulate the collective loathing humankind has for mosquitoes, and rightfully so! These parasite peddling, blood sucking little critters are responsible for a great deal of human suffering. Mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria still account for a significant proportion of human mortality, especially in under-developed parts of the world . So it’s no wonder that people try to reduce their numbers; see this latest $40 mosquito trap by [jacobsk]. (Video, embedded below.)

The idea is critically simple, opening up the potential for widespread deployment. The base and body of the trap are made out of three five-gallon buckets with a mini desk fan sandwiched in between, providing suction into the main trap bin. An opening is cut in the top bucket as a point of entry, and an old school incandescent blacklight is mounted in the centre, with just enough IR and UV output to entice these little vermin, who will definitely regret mistaking it for a black-light rave.

[jacobsk] also does a very good job of showing every step of its construction in his videos. Whilst this solution is purposefully low tech, check out this admittedly overcooked way of killing mosquitoes, with a laser turret.

34 thoughts on “Cheap And Effective Mosquito Trap Looks Like A Disco

  1. Fun fact, mosquitoes are not attracted to UV or IR, they are attracted by CO2 and heat. Most of the bugs inside this trap are probably harmless insects like moths, beetles and others. There might be a minimal amount of mosquitoes from the heat of the lamp, not the light itself.

    A more effective mosquito trap might be to cut the top of a plastic water bottle, paste it upside down on the top to form a funnel into the chamber. Fill the chamber with water, sugar and yeast. This will continuously generate CO2 and extremely small amount of heat which will attract the mosquitoes. The mosquitoes being the smartassess they are, will enter the funnel but will be unable to exit.

    A single hot, humid summer is all it takes to turn a man into a mosquito expert.

    1. How do they detect heat other than IR? As for UV – they are attracted, but poorly, probaby more to the heat emitted by uv lamps (as IR). I know because I had UV lamp for mosquotoes in room. It was effective but only a little. If I was in room, mosquitoes chose me over lamp. From what I’ve seen they use CO2+scent to locate in long range (they trace over stream of CO2 like over river), then IR to locate target and try to lock on veins. If they used only CO2, they would try to fly into your mouth.

    2. I had an indoor fruit fly problem a few months ago. I found some traps for sale at the grocery store, and after about a minute of reading their boxes, I went home and made one of my own. I took an old single-use plastic food container, made some holes in the lid with a hole punch, then put some water and red wine vinegar in it. It took a while, but they did get stuck in it and eventually died.

  2. No. No. No. Depends on species. Many mosquitoes are attracted to various chemical AND various light wavelengths AND various physical environmental parameters. Reduce the conjecture and read this

    I will guess that he is collecting bugs, to include mosquitoes, that are attracted to IR (from the heat emitted by the UV bulb) and/or CO2 and/or blue/UV. You would have to determine the ‘attractants’ empirically, unless you are an etymologist that can ID these little vermin.

    Noted that both lamp fixture and fan are Class II construction, and the spacing from 120V to touchable surfaces appears adequate, so the only safety concern is that the fixture should never exceed 90C (assuming HDPE). And HDPE is typically UV-resistant.

  3. The usual “chindogu” alternative is to take a regular standing fan and pull a pantyhose leg over the front side. Works just as well and you don’t need to destroy the fan. Mosquitoes fly into it randomly more than anything, but over time it will clear a yard.

  4. Get the bacillus bacteria dunks and pellets for mosquito control. Don’t let them grow to biting size. I put them in all the standing water around my house and even the neighbor said there is less mosquitos this year. My 2.5 yo has a bad reaction to the tiger mosquito, he got tore up last year and wasn’t letting it happen again. Regular pesticide last year only worked for so long and didn’t kill the larvae.
    If someone could hack a way to growing the bacteria that would be awesome, supposedly a hard to grow species.

    1. The Propane powered CO2 fan traps at ball parks work really well, but removing sources of standing water is better.
      Adding Gerridae and stocking small native species of fish in local ponds is also good.

      Heat also breaks down mosquitoes venom fast, as people who are allergic tend to figure out rather quickly. There are various gadgets around for treating bites with heat… YMMV.

    2. If your standing water is kind of pond-ish, go collect some frogspawn and put some in each. Tadpoles are ravenous little buggers. Then when they grow up, they’ll come back and spawn there next year.

  5. There are two highly effective, and much cheaper, methods to control mosquitoes.

    1) Mosquitoes actually feed on nectar, fruit juice, etc, only the females need a blood meal, to develop her eggs. Place some small pots of fruit juice around the house, laced with boric acid. This kills the mosquitoes themselves.

    2) Mosquitoes lay their eggs in shallow clean stagnant water. But they leave a pheromone when they do so, which attracts other mosquitoes to lay. Put out a pot of 2″ of clean water and leave for a couple of weeks. Keep checking for mosquito larvae. Once there are some of reasonable size, filter them out through an old sock etc, but keep the water, and put it back in the pot. Repeat every few days and top up the water if necessary.

    Both these methods are documented in scientific studies, and proven to be highly effective, but I don’t have the links to hand.

      1. Yes. A lighter oil like diesel and kerosene would work better, and you only really need a tiny drop to break the surface tension.

        Spraying kerosene became a common tactic in Africa and India after the ban of DDT.

    1. If I left poisoned juice around the yard I’d be worried about collateral damage to other nectar feeding insects and birds, but that water trap idea sounds great, and I’ll definitely give it a go this (southern hemisphere) summer. Thanks for the tip!

  6. few years ago there was this laser bug zapper made from printer parts by some mit students they said they could even recognize speies of a bug and only kill harmful ones like mosquitos. Where is my lazor?

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