Effective Techniques to Find and Eliminate a Mosquito in Your Room

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Having a bug loose in the room is not only a risk to your sanity, it can also be a health risk. But while the incessant buzzing of a fly, the bonking of a stinkbug, or the swarming of fruit flies can all be visibly annoying, mosquitoes can be both harder to spot and a more dangerous health risk.

 Let’s look at some ways to locate a suspected mosquito within your home using several tried-and-true techniques.

Note
Note: As female mosquitoes are a disease risk, the following methods all involve both locating and killing the bug. Males don't drink blood (they're pollinators).

Read Also: How to Find a Spider in Your Room

Easy Tricks

mosquito closeup

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These tricks can take a little extra time, but they use things you have around your home and are surprisingly effective.

Fan Trap

This curious trick takes advantage of the summer heat by turning your fan into a bug catcher. You will need some screen material like the type used in windows and a fan. Attach the screen to the front of that fan using strong tape or zip ties. Bugs flying too close to the fan will be sucked in and trapped against the screen.

When you spot trapped bugs, turn off the fan and spray the screen with an equal mixture of rubbing alcohol and water. Make sure to angle the spray so it doesn’t hit the fan’s motor. This will kill the bugs.

To clean, place a towel or paper towels dampened with your alcohol mixture below the fan. Carefully remove the screen, then tap the outside to knock the bugs onto your towel where any survivors will get another dose of alcohol. Then replace the screen so you can do it all again. Note that higher-powered fans will suck in more bugs.

Light Trap

mosquito in dark

For this little trick, you will need a flashlight, a small light source (such as a phone or small shaded lamp) and a bit of patience.

Close the doors and shut off all lights in the room. If there’s a window, you may wish to draw the curtains or put a blanket over it temporarily. Place your small light source near a wall and turn it on. It might take a little while, but any mosquitoes in the room will be drawn to the light.

Now you can sneak up and kill the mosquito with a newspaper or flyswatter. If you’re worried about casting a shadow (and thus scaring the mosquito off), use the flashlight to create a second light angle hitting the bug. This ensures the mosquito stays in the light while also creating a shadow of the mosquito itself to help you zero in.

See Also: 14 Bugs That Look Like Mosquitoes (But Aren’t)

Advanced Tricks

The term “advanced” might be be little misleading, as there isn’t a huge amount of skill needed for these tricks. However, they do require more time and material investment. The great news is that you’ll be able to catch a wide range of bugs using these methods, not just mosquitoes.

Bottle Trap

You’ve probably already used this on fruit flies, but the humble bottle trap can also catch mosquitoes. You’ll want to use a larger bottle and more potent bait in this case, however.

  • You’ll need:
  • Two-liter plastic soda bottle
  • Knife or similar cutting tool
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 oz active dry yeast
  • Tape

To make the bait, bring your water to a boil and dissolve the sugar in it. Then allow it to cool to around room temperature and add in the yeast, gently stirring until fully blended.

For the trap, cut your bottle just below where the sides start curving inward to form the neck. Add your bait and tape the neck portion back on (remember to remove the cap first!) upside down so the top becomes a funnel.

As the yeast feeds on the sugar, it’ll release carbon dioxide, which draws in the mosquito (the smell will also draw in flies). These pests will crawl down the funnel and become trapped, eventually drowning.

Covering the outside with construction paper or another light blocker can extend the yeast’s lifespan. However, you’ll still need to replace the bait approximately every two weeks.

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Here’s a video from wikiHow showing a variation of the trap:

Bug Zapper

These aren’t as popular as they used to be, and they’re probably not something you want in your bedroom. However, a good bug zapper works amazingly well against everything from moths to horseflies and  plenty of flying bugs between.

Recommended:

    1. DynaTrap Indoor Insect Trap
    2. Katchy Indoor Insect Trap

 

When active, the zapper emits a low hum which can be a little annoying at first. Bugs are attracted to the bars of light, which are usually kept behind a protective cage to reduce the risk of kids touching the lights.

When a bug makes contact with the light, it’s instantly electrocuted. The bodies fall into a removable tray. Simply dump this tray in the trash or feed the corpses to your carnivorous plant as needed.

Commercial Mosquito Trap

Whether dealing with a single mosquito or several, these traps are surprisingly easy to use. Simply follow the package instructions and the combination of heat, light, carbon dioxide, and sticky surface will do the rest.

Why is Finding a Mosquito Important?

mosquito bite in bed

While male adult mosquitoes are harmless, the females require a blood mean to lay their eggs. Not only does this cause itchiness or even pain, but some people can have an allergic reaction.

Even worse, though, is the risk of disease transmission. West Nile virus is perhaps the most infamous risk, but these nasty pests can also transmit dengue, chikungunya, filarial worms, malaria, Zika virus, and other nasty ailments.

It’s possible for both sexes to sneak into your home when the window’s open, but males are less likely to stick around. Meanwhile, the female will often hide in a quiet spot and wait for a potential victim to be at rest so there’s less risk of getting swatted.

Some Additional Tips Regarding Light Traps

The biggest reason light traps fail for people is a simple misunderstanding of how these pests respond to different aspects of light. The following three factors should be considered to ensure the best success.

Color

When working with LEDs, the “warmth” of the light plays a large role. These insects have very little interest in warm tones such as red or yellow but cooler colors such as blue are far more attractive.

One theory is that the warmer tones simply don’t show up in a mosquito’s visible light spectrum. Unfortunately, scientists haven’t been able to get an answer out of these pests, so the true reason is anyone’s guess.

When possible, use incandescent bulbs, which provide light in a much wider spectrum.

Reflection

It’s often easier to catch a mosquito at night using reflected light. When light bounces off of a surface at night, the mosquito mistakes it for moonlight reflecting on standing water.  This will encourage these insects to try and land on a lit surface. Making a light shine on standing water (like a bottle trap) will attract them even faster.

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Temperature

There’s a reason the mosquito will land on a lit surface as opposed to the light itself (although it may hover around a bulb), and that comes down to temperature. Water is generally cool, so the illuminated surface more closely resembles a potential breeding ground.

Related: What Temperature Kills Mosquitoes?

Morgan

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