Anyone who’s ever sat outside for a few hours, only to get up covered in itchy, red mosquito bites knows how frustrating these flying pests can be. Friends and relatives will tell you, “Oh, they’re just attracted to you because you’re so sweet!” but are mosquitoes really attracted to sweet things? And if so, could we use this attraction to construct mosquito traps that eliminate these pests entirely?
In reality, it’s not necessarily the “sweetness” of your blood that attracts mosquitoes - it’s often the carbon dioxide you’re exhaling that draws them in. However, mosquitoes can also be attracted to strong smells, like those found in perfumes, shampoos and body lotions. They may also be attracted to the smell of foods you’ve eaten - bananas, in particular, seem to have an attracting effect, while eating garlic acts like a natural repellent.
But if simply avoiding bananas and eating more garlic doesn’t seem to do the trick, why not build your own mosquito trap to help keep these buzzing bugs at bay? Here’s how to do it…
What You’ll Need:
Empty 2 liter soda bottle
2 cups of water
4 tablespoons of brown sugar
1 pinch of yeast
Black construction paper
Empty a two liter soda bottle and cut the top few inches off (cut right where the bottle begins to curve into the cylindrical bases). Set the top of the bottle aside, as you’ll need this in a later step.
Next, heat one cup of water on the stove until it’s nearly boiling. Mix in four tablespoons of brown sugar until they dissolve and then add the remaining water to bring the temperature of the mixture down. Once the mixture is cool enough to place in the bottle, mix in a pinch of yeast, which will generate the carbon dioxide that mimics human breathing, and pour the liquid into the bottom cylinder you created when you cut the top off the soda bottle.
Now, grab the top part of the bottle and invert it so that the narrow bottle neck is pointing down. Press the top part into the bottom cylinder with the liquid inside so that it forms a tight seal. The bottle neck shouldn’t touch the liquid in the base, but it should come close enough that any mosquitoes flying into the trap will drown in the liquid.
Finally, wrap your trap in black construction paper to help disguise it and lure in unsuspecting mosquitoes. Place your finished trap near standing water sources or near any other area with a heavy mosquito infestation. Be sure to check your trap at least every two weeks, as you’ll need to empty and replace the mixture to prevent mosquitoes from laying their eggs in it.
Congratulations - for a few dollars and just a little bit of effort, you’ve built a mosquito trap that you can reuse over and over again in your ongoing fight against these irritating invaders. Hopefully, when you go back to check your trap, you’ll find plenty of dead mosquitoes inside, leaving your lawn, garden and other outdoor spaces pest-free!