The 6 Best Mosquito Traps That Don't Zap of 2021

Stop swatting and let these traps do the work for you

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The Rundown
A USB-powered fan sucks in insects attracted to the UV light, pushing them onto a non-toxic odor-free glue trap.
This light is discrete, effective, and easy to use.
An inconspicuous sconce that earns its keep.
Shaped like a butterfly, this bright trap is an attractive but affordable option.
This trap is easy to clean, and a dog and kid-safe solution for small outdoor spaces.
Essential oils repel mosquitoes without repelling you.

Nothing can ruin time spent in nature quite like mosquitoes. That high-pitched buzz in your ear can be maddening, especially when you’re trying to sleep. So can the itchy, red welts the following day. These little blood-suckers are also known to spread diseases like West Nile, dengue and Zika viruses.

Mosquitoes effect us all a little differently. Some of us are mosquito magnets. Research has shown that mosquitoes are drawn to body heat and odors, the carbon dioxide (CO2) in our breath, dark clothing and even certain blood types. Even swatting at them may only work for so long, so many people turn to mosquito traps, particularly for use around the house and yard.

Electric zappers work without chemicals, but they are also known to kill beneficial insects including vitally important pollinators like bees. Unattended zappers are also potentially dangerous to young children and curious pets. A few have sparked fires or ignited flammable gasses like gasoline fumes.  

So how do we deal with mosquitoes safely? First, focus on outsmarting them by addressing the source of the problem. That might include removing water sources that serve as breeding grounds or planting mosquito-repellant plants. You can also try a range of natural remedies, do-it-yourself solutions and homemade traps (including this one made from old tires). If you just need to repel insects from your body, consider a DEET-free or natural bug spray.

If none of these solutions is right for you, consider buying one of these top-rated, no-zap, DEET-free mosquito traps.

Best Overall: Katchy Indoor Insect Trap with UV Light

Katchy Trap

The compact Katchy Indoor Insect Trap grabbed our top spot because of its affordable and effective three-way technology and excellent customer ratings. A USB-powered fan sucks in insects attracted to the UV light, pushing them onto a non-toxic odor-free glue trap.

This unit works best when run in the dark and at night for three consecutive days. It is rated for indoor use only, but customers report that it also works well in covered porches, decks, and patio areas when protected from the elements. It also works well for fruit flies and gnats but is underpowered enough to spare larger flying insects like bees.

The Katchy weighs just 1.5 pounds and has a sleek design that comes as either as two-speed option in black or white, or an automatic sensor option in black. It works inconspicuously in your kitchen, home, or office.

The glue is long lasting, so as long as it doesn’t fill up, each board can last up to four weeks. When needed, the glue board refills can be found reliably for under $1 each.

Best Indoor: Gardner FlyWeb Fly Light Indoor UV Insect Trap

Keep your indoor spaces mosquito-free with this clever plug-in. Top rated for indoor only-use, the Gardner FlyWeb Classic Fly Light combines the warming attraction of a 9-watt UV light with a non-toxic glue board. Easy to use, you simply remove the protective layer from the glue board and plug it into a standard AC wall outlet. Customers report it effectively and silently captures flying insects without attracting bees.

Each unit covers about 600 square-feet or 20 linear-feet. After the initial investment, you can leave it plugged in year-round for about $10 per year (you can calculate the cost based on your local electricity rate here). A 10-pack of replacement glue boards costs around $10. How often you need to replace them varies widely depending on where you live and the density of your insect population. Rated for up to one year of continuous use, the UV replacement bulb costs a little over $10.

Available in compact, discrete off-white plastic, this moderately-priced trap earns consistently works better than its cheaper competitors. This unit is UL- and cUL-certified, meaning that it meets or exceeds standards in the US and Canada for electrical engineering, fire prevention, and protection from injury.

Best Wall-Mounted: Faicuk WS108 Wall Sconce Fly Light Trap

Faicuk Wall Mosquito Trap

Many insect traps employ UV light to attract their prey. That’s because many insects exhibit phototaxis, meaning they move toward (positive), or away from (negative), light. Mosquitoes use their vision to find their victims. They are drawn to light, especially green and blue light. Blue light is at the end of the visible spectrum—the light we can see—right next to the ultraviolet or UV spectrum.

The Faicuk Wall Sconce Light Trap not only takes advantage of this fact, it uses a reflective coating to triple the light from its 8-watt bulb. That magnification makes it effective even in the day time, covering up to 900 square-feet or 25 lineal-feet.

Unlike other light-based traps, this one is a wall-mounted sconce that is easy to install. It works best at a height of about 6 feet and provides some ambient light to the room. Once the mosquitoes are lured in by the light, they are trapped by a replaceable glue board. Customers report that the boards maintain their stickiness for many months. Some buyers have even gotten complements on its modern look and moon-like glow. It comes in white, black and wood grain.

It is limited to indoor use and comes with a two-year warranty. Its UV bulb is a common Philips brand, and easy to replace.

Best Budget: Trappify Sticky Fruit Fly and Gnat Trap

Most non-zapping traps rely on a glue board to dispatch annoying flying insects. The most affordable traps are not complex. They’re just a very sticky glue board that can be hung in areas where the insects congregate. The main drawback of glue-based traps is that some beneficial insects will also be captured by accident. We don't recommend using them in areas where you have a lot of bees or other beneficial insects.

You’ll find lots of choices on the market in this type of trap. We like the well-rated Trappify Indoor Outdoor Small Insect Trap. Made by a veteran-owned business based in the US, this trap is a double-sided sticky card that comes in packs of 12, 25 and 50. They contain no chemicals beyond the non-toxic adhesive. But these are safe, affordable and effective. The recyclable paper packaging is bonus.

Not just for mosquitoes, they’re also effective for plant pests and around the kitchen, capturing white and fruit flies, fungus gnats, leaf miners and aphids. They’re designed to be shoved like a stake into houseplants, or hung from a hook in problem areas. These butterfly-shaped disposable traps are bright yellow because plant pests are drawn to the color of pollen. Although mosquitoes are not drawn to yellow, customers say they are still quite practical and long lasting.

Best for Decks and Patio: Hoont Indoor and Outdoor 3-Way Mosquito and Fly Trap Killer with Stand

Hoont Indoor and Outdoor 3-Way Mosquito and Fly Trap Killer with Stand

Killing mosquitoes outdoors is more of a challenge when you exclude zappers and pesticides. That’s because outdoor units need to be weather-proof, and they have to attract mosquitoes from a distance and capture them. That’s usually done with a method similar to the Katchy brand above, with UV and/or blue light, with a fan that sucks the insects into an escape-proof compartment.

For decks, patios, and other outdoor areas, the Hoont Indoor Outdoor 3-Way Mosquito and Fly Trap is a popular choice because it’s affordable and covers and area up to 1,000 square feet. Unlike many similar units, this one has a compartment where you can add your favorite homemade attractant. There are no sticky glue boards to deal with, and customers report that this unit is easy to clean. Quiet and safe for pets and children, the diffuse blue glow is all that you’ll notice. 

Best Repellant Candle: Murphy's Naturals Murphy’s Mosquito Candle

Murphy's Naturals Mosquito Repellent Candle

The market is full of sprays, dunks and pellets for controlling mosquitoes in outdoor spaces. Each focuses on disrupting some portion of the mosquito life cycle with chemical pesticides or biological agents. Few are safe for children or pets. Similarly, the market is flooded with citronella-based mosquito repellent candles despite the fact that the natural plant oil only works in spaces with limited air movement.

On calm days, a mosquito repellent candle could do the trick. Murphy’s Naturals combines plant-based oils of rosemary, peppermint, lemongrass, cedarwood, and citronella in a soy/beeswax blend candle with up to 30 hours of burn time. You’ll enjoy the refreshing fragrance without the DEET or petroleum products of other candles. Poured in the US, this candle comes with a cotton wick in a recyclable metal tin. Murphy’s Naturals also offers a mosquito repellant balm and incense kit.

You can also feel good about your purchase because Murphy’s is a certified B Corporation. That means they’ve met the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.

Final Verdict

Our top pick for a mosquito trap that doesn't zap is the Katchy Indoor Insect and Flying Bugs Trap (view at Amazon), but it's only intended for indoor use. If you're looking for something that can be used outdoors, check out the Hoont Indoor and Outdoor 3-Way Mosquito and Fly Trap (view at Walmart).

What to Avoid in a Mosquito Trap

Some top brands use harmless carbon dioxide to simulate animal breath as a mosquito attractant. But to generate CO2, they use titanium dioxide nanoparticles and UV light or electricity. Although the amounts are small, titanium dioxide is considered a possible human carcinogen (cancer-causing). For this reason, it is common for those that contain titanium dioxide to recommend placement away from high traffic areas.

Similarly, octenol is an organic chemical found in human breath and sweat in small quantities. Some glue board traps use octenol (also known as 1-octen-3-ol) as a mosquito attractant. Although approved by the US Food and Drug Administration as a food additive, octenol is considered moderately toxic and animal studies have shown that it disrupts the balance of the brain chemical dopamine, the neurotransmitter most closely connected to Parkinson’s disease. While the cause of Parkinson’s is still unknown, environmental toxins are currently being studied as a possible culprit.

Because of these unknowns, traps that use titanium dioxide or octenol were excluded from this list.

You’ll also see a number of ultrasonic devices on the market—devices that emit high frequency sounds that are too high for humans to hear but claim to drive pests, including mosquitoes, away. Unfortunately, despite positive customer reviews, there is still little evidence that they actually work and some may actually attract mosquitoes.

Why Trust Treehugger?

Lorraine Wilde grew up swatting and itching a range of biting insects in rural Michigan. She also holds a Master’s degree in environmental science and is a firm believer that consumers can make informed, environmentally-conscious choices to protect our planet.