Instructables

Plastic Bottle Mosquito Trap

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Hello dear friends!

As some of my followers already know, I live in Bologna (Italy), in the heart of Po river Valley.

This area is known as the wettest one of Italy. This is due to terrain, level (a lot of areas are UNDER sea level) and weather.

These factors result in very hot temperatures in summer, very cold ones in winter, an incredibly thick fog but, mostly, giant and aggressive mosquitoes.

There is a city, Comacchio (only 55 miles from Bologna), that is known as the "Mosquitoes Town". XD

Obviously is nothing tropical, but it's very annoying!

It's really difficult to enjoy summer evenings without using pesticides, sprays or other stinky poisons. Or, you can always avoid using anything and... be eaten alive by these little vampires.

While mosquitoes are useful for the ecosystem (did you know that mosquitoes are the main cocoa plants pollinators? No mosquitoes means no chocolate!!!), we don't want them to fly around our garden and bite everything that's alive, pets included.

In this Instructable, I want to show you an all natural and potentially free way to create an efficent mosquito trap with little more than a plastic bottle!

Why potentially free? Because we will use materials that are always present in our home!

Ready?

Let's start with our shopping list.

 
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jolshefsky made it!24 days ago

Although the camping trip didn't happen, I did make this trap. I set it out indoors for some time (although I don't have a mosquito problem indoors, in general) and it didn't catch anything. Then I put it out overnight near the garage: it has been quite damp, and mosquitoes frequent the area. Today I emptied the contents onto a paper towel to see what was caught. Alas, it was just a couple flies. The odor was very yeast-like, and I wonder if that contributed to the mosquitoes avoiding it. Has anyone had a proven success?

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JohannW26 days ago

Thank you sir, for taking the time to post. Good info!

Darthorso (author)  JohannW25 days ago

My pleasure dear friend! :)

adillbeck1 month ago

I'm trying to think if we have bottles with this style (the grip part) in the US. The easiest 2 liter bottles to get a hold of is soda bottles, which (around here) are straight up and down.

Darthorso (author)  adillbeck1 month ago

I've travelled in the US a lot of years ago, and I remember to drank from a bottle like this... if you can't find this kind, simply help yourself with some extra tape! :)

Propel bottles might do.

Try maybe water or juice bottles.

chancefour1 month ago

I understand how the tape holds the upside-down top you cut off the bottle in place inside the larger portion of plastic bottle as a funnel to confuse any attempted escaping mosquitoes. I see tape around the top of the Baileys can. For the life of me, I can't understand why that is there. Is the Baileys can sharp there and you are protecting yourself from it? Does the tape help keep the plastic bottle in place inside the Baileys can? For what reason does it exist?

Oh, never mind. I see now that the plastic bottle doesn't fit fully inside the Baileys can as the tape makes it too large to slide down all the way.

I also just noticed that the top part that you cut off is inverted when you tape it back and I don't think that was mentioned on the instructions and if you did I missed it. Is that why you use the tape? .Thanks anyways. AL.

Darthorso (author)  alsports20001 month ago

I mentioned in step 3: "Now that the mixture is ready, put the top part of the bottle inside the big one, face down, to create a funnel (the picture shows it well)."

It's used to make the funnel effect :) Also, we use black tape for 2 reasons: hold evrything in place and seal the bottle to avoid too much CO2 to go away ^_^

In addition to which I just read that skeets are particularly attracted to black, navy and red so the bailey's red is right on for an added attractant; however I also read that bats are NOT that interested in skeets as a first choice, they prefer other insects. Right now after wearing 2 layers in my gardening, I have 16 very itchy bites on my upper arm, shoulders and hands. They bite right through 2 layers, with lots of herbal spray and a net hat with veil over face. North Central FL has been raining for weeks and they are the worst ever. I tried this with chopped meat in it for yellow flies who are way worse than skeets and the rain kept filling up the jug and not one fly. So I gave up but will try again. I think someone here gave an ible for herbal mosquito spray with witch hazel and several essential oils. About to make that. Very frustrating.

For the bites you did receive, toothache pain reliever like orajel works to stop the itch and it does not return. I have also read that a warm metal spoon will relieve the itch and stop the reaction from the bite, however, I have not tried that method.

Best mosquito bite remedy... Hairdryer treatment. This works EVERYTIME. I am one of those people that gets bit when no-one else is, so I know this works. Take a hairdryer and blow the hot air on the bite/s for as long as you can stand it w/o burning yourself. That's it! The hot air destroys the proteins that cause the redness, swelling and itching. My bites disappear and never get itchy anymore :)

THANKS

Darthorso (author)  alsports20001 month ago

No prob! :)

wow!! 300k visits in one month! record!! :-)

Darthorso (author)  andrea biffi1 month ago

Yes, I can not believe it myself! D:

HerNation1 month ago

This same type of trap is great at ridding an area of fruit flies. The only difference is the mixture in the bottle is substituted with red wine! Fruit flies in, drink, and become too drunk to find their way back out. They eventually drown...

Darthorso (author)  HerNation1 month ago

Wow! Red wine? Cool! I'll try that!

Thanks! :D

bedwere1 month ago

You could use distilled water instead of boiled tap water.

mole11 month ago

Years ago I read that the mosquitoes were attracted to warmth (like body temperature) + humidity. Perhaps that is why they seem to whine around ears. (would I notice them if they were whining anywhere else ?) Adding yeast for CO2 makes sense. Thanks for posting!

Darthorso (author)  mole11 month ago

My pleasure dear friend! :)

zappenfusen1 month ago

I once purchased an excellent "Fly Trap". It worked so well not one of my neighbors had a single fly! They were all at my house. Needless to say it wasn't the perfect solution. Good luck and beware the West Nile virus.

Zapp

SnazzyBot made it!1 month ago

I used baker's yeast because I had it on hand. I set it outside for a couple of days, and I caught a bunch of flies! :O

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paqrat1 month ago

Looks like a good idea and well executed. Have you tried adding just a little dish washing detergent to the water? I don't know if it would affect the attraction but if it didn't harm the c02 production it would certainly help in killing the mosquitos. The detergent lowers the surface tension of the water and theoretically the mosquitos should sink in the water like stones. I have made several successful flea traps using just a small open container (currently using clean cat food cans) . I fill the can about half full and add a drop or two of dishwashing detergeant. The fleas apparently are attracted to the scent of water and they willingly throw themselves into the can where they sink.

You know, mosquitos breed in stagnant water, I wonder if using this same trick on a home-made stagnant water pool would do the same for mosquitos?

I've used this trick to reduce the water tension for drowning all sorts of bug pests. Never thought of it this way for some reason.

I think it would be worth a try. One needn't spend much money or use anything too large. Many years ago I kept tropical fish. In order to augment their diet (and decrease cost), I started my own mosquito breeding containers. I used a plastic trash can. I took some dead leaves and placed it in the bottom of the can then added water. Only other thing I had to do was make sure the trash can was positioned in plenty of shade because I found if I placed it where it got too much sun I didn't get any mosquito larvae. I think it probably got too hot and the water couldn't support those organisms the larvae needed to feed on. I waited about a week or two and started netting out the mosquito larvae. So long as I positioned myself so that my shadow didn't fall over the surface of the water the mosquito larva were very obliging, swimming to the surface to breathe. After I got a net full I would rinse them under the hose and take them inside to feed my fish. I continued to keep an eye on the maturing larvae and when a number reached the comma stage I would make one more net capture then turn the whole can over and next day start over with more dead leaves and water. Should be easy enough to try the wastebasket and add a couple of drops of detergent to the water. I am not certain that adding the detergent would affect the larvae. I would think that a lack of surface tension would just make it easier on the larvae but the detergent might make it more difficult for the female to lay eggs and it might affect the buoyancy of the egg raft. I'd really like to hear how it comes out.

Right, well I'll start small and use a 1 gal (~ 4 l) bottle & the above mix with soapy water & see what happens that way.

Also, once the mosquitos are trapped in the bottle with the regular mixture one could then add a little soap & shake the bottle to get all the pests wet & in the water & they won't be able to get back out of it.

Darthorso (author)  paqrat1 month ago

Wow! Thank you for this great advice! :D

You guys are giving me a lot of useful suggestions to upgrade this trap.

Thanks! :)

paqrat1 month ago
I was thinking about the trap the other day and a question occurred to me, I wonder if the problems that some have had with it might be a matter of temperature. Too cold and I would imagine the co2 production would be slowed or even stopped. I think too that the source would need some sort of heat signature itself. Otherwise, after dark, the hungry mosquito would waste all its calories trying to get sustenance from plants which, after the photosynthesis stops starts to release co2 into the air. Since we still have mosquitos I think there is something stopping them from wasting their time and energies attempting to find food from plants. Only one I can think of is heat but I'm certainly no expert. If the temperatures get too cold or if there needs to be a heat source to also attract the hungry mosquito perhaps something like a flashlight bulb attached to a battery would provide enough heat without damaging the container or disrupting the co2 production.
Darthorso (author)  paqrat1 month ago

Mmm, good evaluation indeed!

Maybe, during daylight with a good covering from UV rays, you can expose the trap to sun to heat up everything.

while, during night, a timer with a battery lightbulb or similar can provide the heat you're talking about.

nice idea, thanks! :D

I think that was a good evaluation paqrat!

PhilKE3FL1 month ago

I'll have to give this a try! Thanks!

I think you may have mis-stated your advice about not mixing the yeast in with the sugar solution. It should probably be, "Don't mix the Yeast! If you do so. the reaction that attracts mosquitoes will NOT last as long."

If the yeast is mixed in then all the yeast will have an easier time getting to the sugar thus reducing the time the CO2 is generated. Not mixing the yeast causes the yeast to take time to spread out and get to the sugar thus extending the time the CO2 is generated.

Darthorso (author)  PhilKE3FL1 month ago

Oh yeah you're right! thanks for the correction my good friend :)

Drac01 month ago

A cost saving tip: don't buy brewers yeast for this. If you have bread yeast around, use that instead. It's much less expensive than brewers yeast and will ferment the sugar (the carbon dioxide is a byproduct of the yeast fermenting the sugar) at the same rate, it just doesn't have the flavor profiles that people want for beer, wines or mead. You can buy a 1 lb brick at Sam's Club or Costco for the same price that some homebrew stores sell a small packet of certain strains of brewing yeast.

I've made these in the past, living in Florida, we have a mosquito problem here. I've met very limited success with this though.

Darthorso (author)  Drac01 month ago

Thanks for your advice, Drac0! :)

Didn't know that cost difference, here in Italy brewers and bread yeast have the same price! :)

You can also place lemon grass around your yard too. The scent they give off repels mosquitoes, and they smell like pine needles.

Darthorso (author)  JesusGeek1 month ago

I've got some lemongrass torches in my yard. Great smell and look! ^_^

pankajsoft1 month ago

Amazing g8

Darthorso (author)  pankajsoft1 month ago

Thank you! :D

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