The 5 Best Mosquito Killers: Complete Buying Guide

Mosquitoes. Just mentioning the word is enough to put a homicidal glare in the eye of any outdoors-lover and have most of us itching at phantom bites in our flesh. Perhaps more than any other critter, these small, modern-day pterodactyls have the ability to drive us nuts and make our yards all but uninhabitable. Which is why, in this article, we aim to help you rid your yard of these ne’er-do-well gatecrashers by introducing you to the five best mosquito killers currently on the market along with a detailed buyer’s guide to help you choose the best option for your yard.

There are, moreover, more serious health concerns to take into consideration. In recent years, mosquitoes have been responsible for the outbreak and spread of several life-threatening illnesses in North America alone, including Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), the Zika virus, West Nile virus, and Chikungunya virus.

In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks…

Top 5 Mosquito Killers

Best Mosquito Sprayer

1. Makita MM4 Mist Blower

Makita PM7650H 75.6 cc MM4 4-Stroke Engine Mist Blower
  • Powerful fuel efficient 756 cc (367 HP), MM4 commercial duty engine
  • L-shaped chemical tank lowers center of gravity for improved balance
  • Liquid chemical in tank is automatically mixed by intake air flow for uniform solution concentration
  • Mechanical automatic engine decompression for quick and easy start-ups
  • Single action switch to activate liquid chemical flow. Dry Weight -29.3 pounds.Sound Pressure:74 dB(A)

Last update on 2020-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

It might cost a small fortune, but if you’re serious about you mitigating your mosquito problem, there are few more effective ways of going about it than with the Makita MM4.

This sprayer sounds like an Armalite rifle and is just as ruthless in its treatment of skeeters. As an added bonus, when using the thing it is very difficult not to feel, well, just a little bit hardcore — not something that can be said of every garden appliance.

Joking aside, the MM4 is a dream to use and one of the most effective and efficient mosquito killers on the market. It requires no fuel mixing and the 4-stroke engine is a cinch get started — just a few taps on the primer switch and a yank on the throttle and you’re good to go. And when we say ‘go’, we really mean go.

This device takes more of a no-nonsense approach to assassinating skeeters than any other device we know of, with its dense, high-volume spray allowing you to cover vast areas in very little time and, essentially, blanketing said area in a mosquito-repelling solution that can seriously cull the mosquito population in your yard with regular spraying.

Sure, the pack’s 29.3-pound dry weight and 60-pound wet weight will cause many would-be buyers to balk or at least wonder if it comes with your own, personal Sherpa included. However, the pack’s ergonomic, L-shaped design and burly, padded shoulder straps make the MM4 surprisingly comfortable and less unwieldy than you’d expect (even if a 2-hour spraying session would be a bit of a workout!).

Whether you’re looking to rid the yard of skeeters before a barbecue or for a more long-term solution to disinfestation, this pack offers the most effective means of doing so of all the options on our list. All it takes is a little bit of effort, a decent bank balance, and enough strength to haul the pack’s 60-pound weight.

Things We Like:

  • It’s very easy to use
  • You can cover large areas in very little time
  • Comes with a one-year warranty
  • Oodles of power in the 4-stroke engine
  • Runs on straight gas and requires no fuel mixing
  • Comfortable thanks to heavy-duty padded shoulder straps and anti-vibration mounts

Things We Don’t Like:

  • It’s heavy, weighing in at over 60 lbs when full
  • It’s darned pricey!
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Best Mosquito Fogger

2. Burgess 1443 Fogger

Burgess 1443 Propane Insect Fogger for Fast and Effective Mosquito Control in Your Yard
  • The same effective system used by professionals to kill mosquitoes.
  • Kills and repels mosquitoes, biting flies, and flying insects for up to 6 hours
  • Dispenses 10 feet cone of odorless fog. Treats an average 5,000 square foot yard in less than 10 minutes
  • Everyone can enter the treated area as soon as the fog disperses (typically less than 5 minutes)
  • Propane powered making the fogger completely portable. Compatible with a 14.1 oz. tall style propane cylinder (sold separately)

Last update on 2020-05-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This device will appeal to those who have less time and money on their hands but want similar results to those provided by a sprayer like the MM4 featured above. There are, however, a few features that make the Burgess 1433 an even more attractive option than your average sprayer.

First up, this fogger is highly portable, weighing just 2.86 lbs when empty. It is also deployed “underarm” meaning there’s no strain on your arm while carrying it around the yard.

Secondly, it can cover large areas in very little time — up to 5,000 square feet in under ten minutes, claim its makers. Unlike sprayers, moreover, the fog cloud dispersed by this device works its way into hard-to-reach areas on the underside of plants, in dense vegetation, woodpiles, and other spots you can’t ‘hit’ directly with a spray.

Finally, the Burgess 1443 requires very little prep and maintenance. Once you’ve donned your safety suit and mask (recommended), you simply fill the reservoir with insecticide, carefully attach the propane cylinder, light the fogger, and after 2 minutes of pre-heat time, you’re good to go get your kill on!

But there are a few downsides…

Firstly, this fogger has the tendency to become a temporary flamethrower if you don’t take extra care to ensure the propane is screwed on correctly. This might sound like a dealbreaker, but it really just comes down to being very cautious when attaching the propane canister. (All thermal, propane-powered foggers, we might add, use a naked flame).

Secondly, the build is a touch flimsy and won’t survive too many collisions with other tools in your shed — not ideal if you’re of a clumsier nature or haven’t yet optimized your shed’s organization.

Thirdly, the fog isn’t fussy about which critters it kills, meaning you’re also likely to lose many non-target species caught in “friendly fire.”

Things We Like:

  • Reasonably priced
  • Very easy to use
  • Repels for up to 6 hours after use
  • Gets into hard-to-reach spots
  • Fast: can treat a 5,000-square-foot yard in under ten minutes

Things We Don’t Like:

  • Necessary to wear protective suit and mask while fogging
  • Occasional flames (no joke!) from propane tank
  • Also kills non-target species

To see this fogger is action, check out this video from Product Peeks.

Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Best Mosquito Zapper

3. Flowtron BK-15D

Sale
Flowtron BK-15D Electronic Insect Killer, 1/2 Acre Coverage
  • Advanced electronic insect control; non clogging killing grid; 1/2-acre killing radius, requires plug.
  • Recommended not to be used within 25-feet of area intended for human activity, should not be attached to house or deck or other structures
  • Instantaneous operation, continuous and uninterrupted service, Uses a 15-watt bulb. The cord is 9” in length
  • For best results replace the cartridge every 30 days, Please refer User manual for troubleshooting and its corrections
  • Recommended for areas up to 1/2 acre - Outdoor Use Only

Last update on 2020-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If simplicity is your thing, then the Flowtron BK-15D may well be the mosquito killer for you.

This tidy, fuss-free, set-it-and-forget-it little zapper uses a patented, non-clogging killing grid which funnels dead insects out of the unit and onto the ground below, meaning you don’t have to do any dirty work whatsoever.

It uses a single 15 watt high-intensity UV bulb in combination with a killing grid powered by a high-voltage transformer to do its zapping, and can be combined with a cartridge of USDA-tested Octenol attractant to increase its effectiveness — something we’d highly recommend for anyone keen to ensure mosquitoes make up more than 10% of the bugs zapped by their zapper.

The features that make the Flowtron a standout among its competitors are its coverage range and weatherproofing. With an effective range of half an acre and solid, waterproof construction, this device can be left outside to do its job while you reap the benefits without having to so much as lift a finger post-setup.

The only downsides to the Flowtron are the almost absurdly short power cord it’s sold with (an extension cord will be needed for most buyers hoping to place the device outside) and its limited effectiveness compared to foggers and sprayers. While it’s sure to decrease the number of skeeters in your garden, the impact isn’t quite so immediate as with fog or spray treatments and it may take a week or so before you start to see results.

Things We Like:

  • Solid weatherproofing for outdoor use
  • The half-acre range makes it suitable for most yards
  • Zero-maintenance, set-it-and-forget-it design
  • No insecticides
  • Doubles up as a security light!

Things We Don’t Like:

  • Short power cord
  • Takes a while to produce noticeable results
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Best Mosquito Trap

4. DynaTrap Mosquito Trap

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DynaTrap DT160-DEC2 Outdoor/Indoor Insect Trap with UV Light Mosquito Repellent, 1/4 Acre, Stone
  • Outdoor insect trap delivers 3-way protection against mosquitoes and other flying insects
  • Powerful, whisper-quiet fan and UV light captures insects without zapping or buzzing
  • Lightweight, stylish design; suitable for indoor or outdoor use
  • Protects up to 1/4 acre; durable all-weather construction
  • Requires no attractant or propane

Last update on 2020-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

For those who want the efficiency and discreetness of a zapper without any of that potentially annoying buzzing and zapping, a mosquito trap may well be the way to go. And in the Dynatrap Insect and Mosquito Trap, we find an option well worth its place on any shortlist of potential purchases.

This stylish little device is a true ticker of boxes. It has a respectable coverage range of a quarter acre, is non-toxic, highly effective, and boasts the kind of aesthetics that would have it look perfectly at home on the terrace of Georgian Manor or in a swanky restaurant.

The device works by drawing skeeters in with a warm UV light and carbon dioxide combo, and then sucks the mosquitoes into a chamber trap to dehydrate (and, alas, die) using a nearly, but not a quite silent vacuum.

And the downsides?

First up, for the more compassionate-minded buyer, the quieter kill provided by this trap is sure to represent an upgrade. Buyers used to zappers, however, may miss that ever-so-slightly satisfying bzzzz when a skeeter meets its end upon the grill.

Secondly, as the manufacturer states, the device “needs at least 3 weeks to trap enough mosquitoes to make an impact, and 6 weeks to break the breeding cycle.” As such, if you’re in a hurry to cure your mosquito woes, you might be better opting for a more proactive solution, such as a fogger or sprayer.

Finally, DynaTrap recommends placing the trap 20-30 feet away from seating areas in your yard — something that may be hard to achieve without an extension cord or if you have a smaller garden.

Things We Like:

  • Non-toxic: uses no chemicals or pesticides and requires no attractant or propane to operate
  • Stylish design!
  • Effective UV-light-and-C02 combo
  • Decent coverage range (a quarter of an acre)
  • Weatherproof

Things We Don’t Like:

  • Slow to make an impact in areas with high mosquito populations
  • Quiet, but not silent
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Honorable Mention

5. Elucto Large Electric Bug Zapper Fly Swatter

Sale
Elucto Large Electric Bug Zapper Fly Swatter Zap Mosquito Best for Indoor and Outdoor Pest Control (2 DURACELL AA Batteries Included)
  • ZAP Bugs with just ONE SWAT − The ELUCTO Electric Fly Swatter is a highly reliable and powerful tool everyone should have because it will zap insects or flies in ONE SWAT only. There is no need to swing it several times in a row like it happens in the case of the 3-layered Bug Zapper Rackets.
  • Immediately Use without waiting it to Charge - Place inside 2 DURACELL AA batteries (included in the package) and this Bug Zapper Racket will start working on the spot, with no delays. There is no need to wait for it to charge each time you need to use it. You should also stop worrying about issues created by a defect battery or charger, as you can always replace the AA on your own, fast and easy. Just take and use this mosquito zapper on the stop, stopping these pesky bugs to bother you again.
  • Extremely Easy to Clean − This One Layer Bug Zapper is easy to clean after you are done using it. Due to its single-layer design, the flying insects will not be caught inside, so you won′t have to do the dirty job of cleaning them off.
  • No Environmental Safety Concerns − Forget about toxic bug sprays that are filled with chemicals and completely inappropriate to use during a barbecue or when eating outside, because they can contaminate your food or get inhaled. The mosquito zapper does not present any risks to your safety and it is environmental-friendly as well. The device is entirely made out of new ABS plastic and not recycled ones.
  • You can enjoy a 1-Year Full Warranty and even more than this − If you encounter any issues with the Electronic Fly Swatter, we will replace it or offer a refund if we cannot provide 100% customer satisfaction. Even if the 1-year warranty expired, don't hesitate to contact us if there is something wrong with your Bug Zapper and we will offer a solution for you. Choose to Eliminate PESKY BUGS for good. Forget all about bug bites and GET YOURS TODAY!

Last update on 2020-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

We couldn’t end our review without including a tennis-racket swatter, could we?

Far from being a pure novelty item, however, this slay-by-swinging device is remarkably effective — if, that is, you have fairly quick reflexes, good aim, and fancy yourself a bit of a Serena Williams or Roger Federer.

But why this particular swatter over all the other options out there?

The Elucto wins our vote on account of a few appealing features. These include its sizeable “strike-zone,” its robust construction, and a handy one-year warranty. Compared to many other models that use three layers of mesh grid, the Elucto’s single-layer design saves you the problem of extracting the bug from the middle of those layers when cleaning.

The bottom line? It’s fun, fast, and fairly effective…even if you only manage to get a few kills, you’ll have plenty of fun trying!

Things We Like:

  • Interacting with mosquitoes has never been so much fun!
  • Surprisingly effective
  • More robust than other swatter-zappers
  • The single grid-layer design makes it easy to clean

Things We Don’t Like:

  • Ineffective if your forehand isn’t up to scratch!
Check Price and Reviews on Amazon

Things to Look for in Mosquito Killers

Killing Method: Sprayer, Fogger, Trap, or Zapper?

There are multiple ways in which you can slay a skeeter. Below, we provide a short overview of each method:

Mosquito Sprayer

Mosquito sprayers use insecticides such as bifenthrin, pyrethrin, piperonyl butoxide to target the nervous systems of mosquitoes and eradicate or reduce mosquito populations in large areas.

They take two forms: pump sprayers and backpack sprayers:

Pump Sprayers

This type of sprayer works with the use of a manually operated pump that builds up pressure inside a reservoir. Once you’ve done enough pumping, the sprayer then dispurses the chemical solution stored in the reservoir through a wand and nozzle.

In most cases, these sprayers have a more limited capacity (around 2 gallons) than backpack sprayers, are far less durable, and typically only spray distances of around 8 feet.

While prone to breakage and requiring a bit of effort to operate, this type of sprayer is still a decent option for those with solid forearms (for all that pumping!), smaller gardens, and those who may be working on a tighter budget.

Backpack Sprayers

Backpack sprayers are usually the choice of professional pest control teams. Most models use gas-powered blowers or misters that are capable of disbursing large quantities (usually up to 4 gallons) of insecticides for up to three hours and over distances of up to thirty feet, making them a better choice for anyone needing to cover larger areas.

In terms of effectiveness, sprayers are winners, too, with many solutions sticking to leaves, shrubbery, and undergrowth and remaining effective for multiple weeks post-spraying.

To see a sprayer in action and learn how to spray your yard effectively, check out this video from Silver Cymbal.

Mosquito Fogger

Mosquito foggers are devices that transform insecticide solution into a very fine mist that can be disbursed around your yard to repel or kill skeeters in the fogged area. Most models use heat from propane gas or an electrical motor to produce the fog. In most cases, gas models are cordless but require a propane canister to be mounted to the fogger; electrical models, on the other hand, must be plugged into an electrical outlet.

One of the main benefits of a fogger is that they can reach areas of your yard many sprayers will miss as the fog envelops features in your yard, with its tiny particles reaching underneath plants, into thick shrubbery, cracks in walls and paving, and many other potential nesting or hiding places for skeeters.

While ideal for spraying a few hours before a barbecue, yard party, wedding, or game day (most will clear your yard of mosquitoes for at least 6 hours), foggers can also provide a more long-term solution if you create a fogging schedule to follow over a period of a few weeks or until the skeeter population in your yard has noticeably declined.

Mosquito Trap

Mosquito traps use varying types of attractants to lure mosquitoes into a chamber or container from which they cannot escape. As such, this is very much a passive form of mosquito control and relies on the mosquitoes “taking the bait,” so to speak, rather than actively eliminating them through more direct means.

Many mosquito traps lure mosquitoes by mimicking human breath, using plumes of CO2, heat, and moisture. The most effective models, however, typically use other forms of chemical attractants, such as Lurex, Octenol, or R-Octenol.

Each type of attractant is efficient in different regions and using the correct type for your area can vastly improve your ‘catch rate’:

  • Lurex: Southern states (most effective with Asian tiger mosquitoes)
  • R-Octenol: East Coast and Midwest
  • Octenol: Northern states and Canada

Zapper

Also known as “electronic insect-control systems,” zappers work by luring mosquitoes in with the aid of different attractants and then killing them with an electric charge.

While most bug zappers use UV light to attract bugs, several studies have demonstrated that mosquitoes are not attracted to ultraviolet light alone. As such, the most effective zappers use attractants like the non-toxic pheromone Octenol and/or carbon dioxide emissions.

The only real downsides to zappers are that certain models can be very loud and their overall effectiveness might be unimpressive. Two studies at the University of Notre Dame showed that mosquitoes comprised merely 4.1% and 6.4% respectively of the daily “kill” by zappers over an entire season, while Mosquito.org claims that an estimated 71 billion to 350 billion beneficial, non-target insects are killed annually in the United States by mosquito zappers.

Effectiveness

Gauging the effectiveness of mosquito killers before trying them out at home or in your garden can be a tricky business, but there are a few ways to go about it.

The most obvious is to do a little detective work by reading a wide selection of user reviews to get an idea of how the product performs in practice. While reading these reviews, it’s also well worth noting the context in which the mosquito killers were used — indoors or out, small coverage area or larger coverage area, and also the location of the reviewer, as some mosquito killers will be more effective against certain strains of mosquito than others.

Secondly, a few more measurable metrics can be used to determine just how effective your would-be mosquito killers will be. For traps and zappers, the two most important of these are the coverage range and the lure used by the device to attract mosquitoes.

While the ideal coverage range will be determined by the size of your yard (always shoot for a size up to be safe), the most effective lure is usually a combo of C02 and attractants like Octenol, R-Octenol and Lurex.

Portability

While not an issue for zappers or traps, if you plan on buying a mosquito fogger or sprayer then how easy the device is to carry could be an issue, particularly if you plan on fogging or spraying a large area.

When weighing up the options, pay attention to the following:

  • The weight of the product when empty
  • The weight of the product when filled with insecticide solution
  • The dimensions of the product
  • The inclusion or absence of user-friendly carry handles or straps

Coverage Range

Different mosquito killers offer different ranges of coverage. These typically range from a quarter of an acre up to a full acre for zappers and traps. When choosing your device, we recommend opting for a model with a wider coverage range than the actual size of your yard as this is more likely to diminish the mosquito population in both your yard and the surrounding area by eliminating resident mosquitoes and potential newcomers.

Maintenance

While your yard or patio is never going to resemble a killing field from Fortnite on account of your mosquito killer’s productivity, with certain models of killers things can get quite messy and others, sadly, require a bit of upkeep.

At the low end of the maintenance scale, there are several models of zapper that simply let the dead mosquitoes fall to the ground. Somewhere in the middle are models that use removable trays that act as miniature coffins for the mosquitoes and require emptying every so often. At the high end of the scale are devices that use cartridges of attractants or propane canisters that need replacing at regular intervals.

Which type of device is best for you will ultimately depend on how much effort you’re willing to put into maintaining it. However, as a general rule, those that require the most maintenance — whether zappers or traps with attractant cartridges, propane-powered foggers, or gas-guzzling sprayers —also tend to be the most effective.

Toxicity

As mentioned above, certain mosquito killers use toxins that can be damaging to humans, pets, and non-target insects or animals if inhaled, eaten, or if they come into direct contact with the skin.

For us, that means a degree of caution is required whenever we choose to do our mosquito control.

Foggers, sprayers, and the formulas used in both devices usually come with user’s manuals which will include information regarding the locations in which you can safely spray and fog, and where you cannot. If not, the following list identifies the steps to take to stay safe when fogging or spraying:

  1. Suit up and wear a mask.
  2. Keep a safe distance (5-6 feet) from the area you are treating.
  3. Remove any flammable materials from the area you are fogging before doing so — propane foggers use heat and can be prone to disbursing intermittent flames.
  4. If fogging or spraying a patio or under a gazebo, make sure it is well ventilated and warn others not to use the area for at least 20 minutes after spraying.
  5. Do not fog/spray in areas where children or pets are present.
  6. Never use a propane fogger indoors — no only do almost all models use an open flame, but the coil can also heat up to a very high temperature and, of course, the risk of intoxication is far higher if insecticides are used in an enclosed, unventilated space.
  7. Do not use a fogger/sprayer near food — the insecticides used in both can be harmful if eaten (and taste, we might add, downright awful!)

Mosquito Killers: The Best Brands

Flowtron: This Massachusetts-based, family-run brand has been on the go since the 1920s and making electronic insect-killing devices for residential and commercial use since 1974. All of its products are manufactured in the USA in facilities in Malden, MA, and Ft. Wayne, IN.

Makita: Founded in 1915 as an electric motor sales and repair company, these days Makita makes everything from power tools to motorized sprayers and is a global brand with operating facilities in over 40 countries, including multiple locations around the USA.

DynaTrap: Since 2006, this Milwaukee-based brand has been on a mission to rid you of your mosquito problem without the noise or visual imposition of zappers, creating several aesthetically oriented traps that are highly effective and zap-free.

Aspectek: This Vancouver-based brand specializes in humane, environment-friendly, and ultrasonic pest control products and their current range boast a wide variety of traps and zappers for use in different environments.

Mosquito Killers FAQs

Q: How do mosquito zappers work?

A: Mosquito zappers typically use UV light and/or emit CO2 to draw mosquitoes toward a high-voltage electrical wire mesh grid inside the device housing, where the bugs are then electrocuted.

Contrary to popular belief, mosquitoes are not attracted by UV light alone (though other bugs are), so zappers that don’t use CO2 or another attractant are unlikely to be very effective.

Q: How does a mosquito fogger work?

A: Most mosquito foggers are propane-powered. The propane is used to heat up the chemical mixture as it is disbursed, transforming it into a very fine fog of tiny particles instead of a stream of liquid. Electric power foggers function similarly but use electricity to heat the insecticide.

The disbursed fog both kills mosquitoes on contact and typically repels any newcomers to the spraying area for 6 to 12 hours after fogging.

Q: Are mosquito foggers dangerous?

A: The chemical content in the solutions used in most foggers is so low as to not present a hazard to adults, kids, or even pets. That said, the solutions still contain varying forms of insecticide which can cause an allergic reaction if inhaled or if they come into contact with your skin. This being so, we recommend wearing protective gear while fogging and making sure the area is clear of others during fogging and for at least ten minutes after fogging.

Q: Are mosquito sprayers effective?

A: A study by the University of Kentucky revealed that total numbers of mosquito species from all three major genera — Culex, Aedes, and Ochlerotatus — were significantly reduced for up to six weeks in yards treated with pyrethroid products. Within the first week following pyrethroid treatment, Aedes and Ochlerotatus species were reduced by 87% and by 61% after six weeks.

As a result, fifty percent of respondents who received a single pyrethroid treatment said it allowed them to spend more time in their backyards than they used to.

While not all domestic sprayers will be quite so effective, with a regular spraying routine you can seriously impact the mosquito population in and around your yard.

Conclusion – The Best Mosquito Killers on the Market

Several variables impact upon the best way to deal with your mosquito problem. These include the size of your yard, the density, and type of mosquito populations in your region, and your personal preferences regarding the amount of effort required to make the desired dent in your yard’s mosquito population.

Given the above, identifying just one method as the best out there is a tricky business and runs the risk of generalizing what shouldn’t be generalized. If pushed, however, we’d have to allow ourselves two top picks:

For those with a bit more money to burn and keen to have the most efficient mosquito control system available, we simply can’t see past the Makita MM4 Mist Blower. This device is not only highly effective but also lets you tackle large areas with ease.

For those working on a tighter budget or who prefer a more set-it-and-forget-it kind of solution to their mosquito problem, the Flowtron BK 15D, when used in combination with Octenol cartridges, is the device most likely to bring you a skeeter-free yard.