You know there is a mosquito in the house somewhere. You want to find it and kill it. But how to attract mosquitoes indoors? What strategy is the most effective, do we set lures? Do we burn the house down to the ground? Do we call pest control to get rid of the little bloodsuckers? I’ve been in your position before, many times actually. And I’d like to share some of my best strategies to attract and kill mosquitoes. Let’s dive right into the battle plans, because this is a declaration of war. Die, mosquitoes!
Now before choosing your favorite method, do read the action steps right below that will increase your odds of taking out your target. These are the baseline steps you need to effectively deploy your lure. Please note some methods can work faster than others, but all of these strategies have some amount of scientific reasoning behind them.
How To Attract Mosquitoes (To Kill Them)
This is exactly how to find and attract mosquitoes indoors effectively:
- Switch off lights to lure the mosquito out of hiding;
- Turn on a flashlight to locate it (Tip: use this PenLight to shine light in even the smallest of spaces);
- Use your light on walls to systematically scan for mosquitoes;
- Attract mosquito with scent (e.g. breath);
- Kill mosquito with a method of choice.
This simple 5-step method to detect and kill works every single time. You can take step 4 out and apply your own creativity, or pick one of the strategies below to increase your odds of attracting the mosquito in the first place. If you’re debating about which object to use to kill: I highly recommend this specific electric mosquito zapper. Those types of bug zapper devices never failed me, I’ve tested it in and out and it is simply the quickest way to take out indoor bugs. A single insect will likely attempt to fly away at some point, making it harder to kill them mid-flight.
It’s important to note that mosquitoes are not attracted to any type of light, so don’t attempt to use UV-lightor an excessively bright flashlight. They like to fly around in relatively dark spaces, but a single small lightbulb won’t scare them away. Then all you need is a lure, and that’s what the remainder of this article is all about. Let’s check out which strategies we can deploy to end this battle in victory.
How To Lure A Mosquito Out Of Hiding
Luring a mosquito out of hiding can be done with a multitude of strategies. Some of the most effective methods to lure a mosquito include:
- Using particular scents mosquitoes love;
- Lure them with your body heat;
- Dimming lights and confining the space;
- Getting the timing just right.
In order to increase your odds, I’ve compiled a massive list of effective lure methods in the remainder of this article. They all fit into the points made above, and I’ve tested most of them at least once (and they worked). I’ll admit, perhaps I did not try number 8. But that one involves way bigger problems than just some annoying mosquitoes. Okay, let’s dive into the strategies for luring the mosquitoes now.
1: Use Yeast To Attract Mosquitoes
Yeast is a great source of carbon dioxide (CO2), which mosquitoes absolutely love. Making a mosquito trap with yeast is an effective method of attracting mosquitoes and dealing with these pests effectively. The sugar in the yeast is not the primary attractive part of what makes yeast such an effective lure.
If you want to make yourself a good DIY mosquito trap, I’d recommend checking out method 4 (the beer trap), which practically works the same. It’s all about making sure your mosquitoes stay inside the trap. Take the steps in method 4 and replace beer with yeast, place the trap indoors and simply play the waiting game.
2: Deploy The Ultimate Mosquito Magnet
If you want to go gun’s blazing and nuke your local mosquitoes from orbit, there is only one real (and badass) solution: Deploying the DynaTrap DT 2000XL. That’s a monster of a mosquito magnet trap that sounds as impressive as it does its job. It quickly sucks in and kills mosquitoes by the thousands.
3: Attracting A Mosquito With Flowers
If you love flowers, it’s a great idea to buy yourself a lovely bouquet and place it indoors where you think the mosquitoes hang out. These insects will love to feed on the nectar: flowers are a natural attracting factor that also smells and looks great inside your house!
Please note that this method might work for a mosquito, but will probably also attract other people into the room. The smells indoors can be amazing and the decoration makes the room more pleasant overall to be in. It can be a waiting game and a relatively slow method, but eventually, you’ll see some insects flying around your bouquet at night. That’s when you take out the zapper and send them to the eternal flowerbeds.
4:The Beer Trap
I’ve talked about the beer trap multiple times on this blog, but that’s just because it works so damn well for catching insects (or even snails), both indoors and outdoors. You only need some trash and patience for this thing to work:
- Empty soda bottle;
- Some scissors;
- Some tape;
- Half a can of beer;
Cut the soda bottle in half, flip the top side upside down into the bottom half. Tape it shut, so no mosquito is able to wiggle itself out the wrong way. Finally, pour some leftover beer in the bottle to get that little bugger drunk. Put it in the room where you think the mosquitoes are, and then you play the waiting game. I’ll almost guarantee you that you’ll find some insects in there (if they are any inside your home).
This DIY strategy might not work as well as a that DynaTrap solution mentioned before, but it sure as hell is a lot cheaper ánd more creative. Whereas the DynaTrap means pulling out the big guns to catch thousands upon thousands of mosquitoes, a DIY beer trap will certainly catch one of two inside your home. Moving on, because there are more scents these creatures enjoy.
5: Scented Perfume
Fragrances are known to attract mosquitoes, so do try out some perfumes to get those intruders out of hiding. Make sure you don’t choose the wrong fragrance though, because there are also perfumes that will actually repel mosquitoes. That’ll give you some temporary relief from them,but will not remove a mosquito from your home.
Our primary target is to lure and kill, so we choose to perfume ourselves to be a voluntary target. From my experience, this particular perfume is the most effective in making those little bloodsuckers go wild. It’s for girls, so if you’d like to volunteer, try it out yourself!
6: Systematic Searching, Then Zap Them!
You don’t have to get fancy and bring out all sorts of products. All you really need is a strategy and some determination. Systematic searching inside a confined indoor space (such as a small bedroom) will work just as fine as all these other methods. Do get your kill weapon ready in time though, because you need to be a quick hunter for this one.
Here’s basically how the systematic searching for indoor insects goes (at least, this is how I like to do it):
- Determine the rough location of the mosquito;
- Confine the space as much as possible;
- Dim the lights and close all doors and windows;
- Get a flashlight and scan all the walls and ceilings;
- Continue with the nooks and corners, blow slightly to get things moving;
- Take your time and breathe, they’ll be attracted to you eventually;
- Once you spot them, don’t lose vision on them;
- Zap, zap, zap them to death! Or slap them, your choice.
7: Salt, Potassium, Sweets
Some of the substances excreted from the pores of our skin are the cherry on the applesauce for most female mosquitoes looking for blood. Specifically substances such as salt and potassium, but also lactic acid. We’ve already discussed on this blog that mosquitoes are attracted to bananas, but you can also eat other foods to attract them more:
- Crisps: Salty potato snacks will get your salt levels in your body up quickly;
- Soups: Usually soup is very salt-rich, making them work wonders for attracting mosquitoes too;
- Sweets: Sugary things work well for all insects, as the regular mosquito will live off of nectar usually;
- Avocado: This is both sweet and rich in potassium, just like a banana basically. But even healthier;
- Beer: As discussed at the beer trap option, alcohol and especially beer works great for an attractive scent.
There’s a lot of foods and drinks you can take in that’ll make you more attractive for insects to bite you. Just try some of them out if you want to be the center of attention in a house full of hungry female mosquitoes. It’s a slower process than just heating your body up, but it does work. You know what else has high body heat? Pregnant women. The human variety is what I’m targeting here.
8: Become Pregnant
Okay, it’s kind of a stretch (literally), but pregnant women are more likely to attract mosquitoes than others. So if you happen to know someone that’s pregnant, call them in to attract that mosquito! It’s absolutely true that a pregnant woman will be much more likely to get bitten due to the many changes in the body.
The real reason pregnant ladies will be more attractive for a bite of blood, is the fact that they will emit slightly more heat during pregnancy. Furthermore, the study claiming that pregnant women are more likely to be bitten, is also certain that the extra body weight during pregnancy will cause a more intense breathing pattern, which allows pregnant ladies to exhale more CO2. This is of course also an important element of attraction (to biting).
9: Get Cozy By The Fireplace (Or Take A Shower)
Taking a quick shower in very hot water will make your body stand out from the rest like a flashlight in a dark forest. That’s the quickest way to get warm, but you can also hang out underneath a warm blanket for a while, sit by the fireplace, or simply snuggle up to your significant other.
Whatever works the fastest for you, heat up that body and be a flaming hot burrito in the middle of all these frozen ice popsicles around you. That’ll get those mosquito wings flying over to you with the snap of a finger. But please do this in the evening or night, otherwise, it will likely not work out.
Another added benefit of heating up your body is the extra body sweat it produces. Don’t deodorant yourself! You’ll only scare away the insects. They love your sweaty armpits. They truly love you for who you are… Isn’t that romantic? Aren’t you going to make them a candle-lit dinner for them? No of course not, this is war. Crush ’em, soldier!
10: Wait For A Full Moon
Now you might have to be patient for this one, but if it happens to be a full moon out, you’ll increase the odds of finding your target quicker. Mosquitoes are not werewolves, but a full moon will make them more active than usual. The biting activity is likely to significantly increase during a full moon, and it’s not understood very well what exactly causes this behavior change.
It’s known that some species will inhibit a very clear pattern within their activity and behavior, such as this study has shown. There’s little doubt that the reported 500% increase in overall mosquito activity will also have some sort of pattern to it. High tides won’t turn these little vampires into werewolves, but it sure does something to them. And we can take advantage of that when hunting one.
11: Increasing Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
This works, but can be very dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s no secret that mosquitoes are attracted to human breathing. The reason for this attraction mainly stems from the carbon dioxide (CO2) exhaled. If you wish to lure mosquitoes, this could potentially be done using a resemblance of this human breathing, specifically the exhaling part of the equation.
Logically, you can deduct from this that a can of CO2 like this bike inflator, is able to attract mosquitoes as well. Spraying some CO2 will, in fact, change the local atmosphere temporarily, and it somewhat resembles human breath. However, a safety warning is required in this regard.
Safety warning: Please pay attention to the following when using CO2. Ventilate as much as possible after use, and don’t use in confined spaces. High CO2 levels in the air might result in headaches, dizziness, a tingling sensation, faster heart rate, sweating (avoid even if it helps to attract them), dizziness, higher blood pressure and in extreme cases eventually a coma or even death.
12: The Mosquito Smartphone Method
Here’s one of those super-effective low budget strategies, but it’s kind of a struggle to kill them this way. All you’ll need is a small confined space with a bed (I’d say a small bedroom), as well as knowing for sure that the insect is somewhere in that room. Here’s what you do next:
- Close all doors and windows;
- Dim or turn off all the lights around you;
- Get under the blanket;
- Open up your smartphone;
- Just chill for a bit, but breathe out purposefully;
- Have your killing device ready;
- Wait for the mosquito to get into your face, they will do it because they love your breath;
- Time to be a ninja, slap them quickly!
A great reflex test for sure, but not the most effective one if you’re being slow about it. The real struggle is not the luring part of it, but more the killing at the end. Getting them in the right angle is just tough. You need something to kill them very quickly mid-air, without slapping yourself in the face. I propose to keep it simple and get that electronic zapper ready. It will giveyou some good mid-air fireworks too. Don’t breathe the killed mosquito smoke, that’s bad for you.
13: Do A Workout
By now you probably know that sweat and body heat attracts a mosquito like no other thing in the world. The odors, the human heat and breath, it is simply irresistible to these little bloodsuckers. So it will certainly help to do a quick little workout before going hunting. I propose doing pushups until it hurts your arms.
After your workout, your body will be red hot to mosquitoes, which is something irresistible to them. And if you really did your best, the sweat and odors belonging to that will get the lure going just as much as that bit of body heat. If you’ve taken the necessary preparations (the steps at the start of this article), that insect will come flying towards you in no time!
Attracting Mosquitoes Indoors
By now you should have learned plenty of ways to lure mosquitoes out of hiding effectively and quickly. Attracting mosquitoes indoors is a creative process more than anything. Hopefully, this list has given you some inspiration to get going. You now know what they love, so use that knowledge to your advantage!
If you have already been bitten or want to take them out with some more of those big guns (such as the mosquito trap mentioned before), I do have a recommended products page that will help you on your way. There I categorize all anti-mosquito products out there that I’ve tested, reviewed and I know will work for anyone. So if you’ll want to beat them once and for all, do check out some of those reviews as well. Good luck hunting them!
All you do is add some bait (honey, fruit, juice, sugar water, or some nectar-containing flowers) and place in a dark corner of the room. It works because mosquitoes seek out sugar, which they require to fuel themselves. Once inside the bottle they can't get out.
Use an indoor insect fogger or indoor insect spray to kill mosquitoes and treat areas where they rest. These products work immediately, and may need to be reapplied. When using insecticides, always follow label directions. Only using insecticide will not keep your home free of mosquitoes.
The first method is what Lifehacker calls the “flashlight hunting method”. Grab a torch and turn off all of the lights in your room except for one small light source, like your phone or a small lamp. Eventually, the mosquito will make its way to the light, hopefully landing on the wall or surface near it.
Stand still until the mosquito lands on a nearby wall close to the light source. Then hold your flashlight close up to the wall and turn it on. The mosquito will cast a disproportionately large shadow on the wall, so it will be easier for you to smash it at once.