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Best insect traps

How to choose an insect trap


Insect traps are a useful way of monitoring and keeping pests down, whether inside or out. Traps range in effectiveness based on a few factors, including the type of trap and where you place it. Some can kill flying insects, such as mosquitoes or biting flies. Others are better for crawling critters, including ants and roaches. If you want to prevent and kill unwanted visitors to your home or yard, choosing the right trap type is essential.

Insect trap types

There are four common types of insect traps:

  • Vacuum traps are best for handling flying insects, especially those that aren’t attracted to light. These traps use a vacuum fan that sucks in nearby pests and confines them in an internal chamber. Due to the design, the captured bugs can’t escape. Some vacuum traps have a removable tray or canister where the dead insects collect.
  • Light traps often use ultraviolet, fluorescent or black light to attract insects. Some use electricity to zap and kill pests, while others have an inner chamber that keeps them until they dehydrate and die. Light traps don’t work on certain insects, such as cockroaches or beetles, because these pests prefer dark spaces. However, they work well on mosquitoes, moths, flies and gnats.

  • Chemical traps often use artificial pheromones, attractants or stimulants to draw in insects. Some emit carbon dioxide, which is especially effective against biting pests such as mosquitoes and horseflies. Most chemical traps are fast-acting but can be mildly harmful to humans or pets with direct exposure.

  • Natural traps are often homemade, nontoxic and a great solution for house pests. They typically use fragrances or ingredients such as vinegar or honey to attract or repel insects. Those that draw in bugs can also trap them in sticky paper or a sealed container they can’t escape.

Outdoor vs. indoor traps

Some insect traps are specifically for indoor or outdoor use.

  • Indoor traps aren’t very durable when it comes to the elements, which is why they’re best for indoor placement. Some can hang, such as sticky tape. Others have a stand or are small enough to fit under the sink, behind kitchen appliances or other problem areas.
  • Outdoor traps are resistant to moisture, meaning they can go outside. These include hanging traps, light traps and bug zappers.

Targeted insects

Some insect traps target only adult pests, while others attract and kill larvae. The most common types of bugs these traps can work against are mosquitoes, biting flies, cockroaches, spiders, beetles, mites and ants.


Larger traps can attract bugs from a wide distance. This can be beneficial if you’re trying to manage a minor pest problem inside. However, if the trap is too big, it could draw in insects from further away. This could lead to more insects than you had before.

Smaller traps effectively handle enclosed spaces, such as under the bathroom cupboard or in the kitchen. They usually have a limited range, though, meaning they don’t help with other areas inside or outside the home.

If you’re trying to keep bugs away from your patio, driveway or backyard, larger traps can cover around 1,000 square feet. For smaller areas, go with one that has a range of 300 to 800 square feet instead.


Some insect traps start working immediately. Others take several days or weeks to start attracting and killing pests.

Power source

Most insect traps have one of the following power sources:

  • Electricity: More powerful traps rely on electricity to function. These usually have a cord. Newer designs have a USB port you can plug into a computer, tablet or other USB outlet.
  • Battery: Some traps run on a battery, either replaceable or rechargeable. These aren’t limited by a cord, but they’re not always as powerful as electric options.

Some traps, such as sticky traps and glue traps, don’t have a power source at all.

Best insect traps to buy

Gardner FlyWeb Insect Magnet

This futuristic-looking indoor trap uses electricity and ultraviolet light to attract insects. It’s quiet and has easy-to-replace glue boards.

Sold by Amazon

Fvoai Fly Trap

Designed specifically for mosquitoes and small flies, this trap uses ultraviolet light to draw in, capture and kill pests. It’s quiet, easy to use and free of toxic chemicals.

Sold by Amazon

DynaTrap Flying Insect 1-Acre Trap

This outdoor trap uses ultraviolet light to attract bugs. It's capable of killing flying insects such as biting flies, wasps, gnats and mosquitoes. It has an internal compartment that captures and contains pests until you dispose of them. It doesn’t rely on chemicals or pesticides.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Katchy Electric Insect Trap

Ideal for indoor use and smaller areas, this energy-efficient trap uses a fan, ultraviolet light and glue board to capture pests. It has a USB port, making it convenient for use away from power outlets.

Sold by Amazon

Sewanta Victor M380 Reusable Outdoor Fly Trap

This outdoor fly trap contains a long-lasting fly attractant. It comes with a handy hanging chain, starts working nearly immediately and is easy to use.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Ninetails Bug Zapper

Great for indoor and outdoor use, this hanging insect trap is durable and resistant to moisture. It has a maximum range of 2,000 square feet. It uses a bright light and a high-voltage zapper to attract and kill pests.

Sold by Amazon

Neatmaster Ultrasonic Pest Repeller

This indoor trap plugs into any outlet and uses ultrasonic frequencies to repel pests up to 1,200 square feet. It has three main settings for minor to major pest problems.

Sold by Amazon

Safer Brand Safer Home Indoor Insect Trap

This set of 12 small traps are for indoor use and can be easily placed around furniture, kitchen appliances and under the sink. They lure in and kill ants, cockroaches, spiders and other crawling bugs. They’re also non-toxic, making them safe for pets and children.

Sold by Amazon

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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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