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The unfortunate reality of nice weather is that it means when you open a window to let in a little air, you also run the risk of letting in some decidedly less pleasant guests — bugs. To keep gnats, fruit flies, ants and other pests from completely overrunning your house, you’ll need an indoor insect trap, ideally nontoxic to keep from harming pets or children.
There are a number of different types of insect traps on the market, which are effective for different types of beasties. If you’re concentrating primarily on small insects like fruit flies that proliferate in places like the kitchen, you’ll need something small, lightweight, and ideally subtle enough in design not to look like a gnat mortuary next to the fruit bowl. Other traps are powerful enough to take down larger bugs like larger flies and mosquitoes. Depending on your situation, you may want to pick up both types of traps.
Things to Look for In an Indoor Insect Trap
Here are a few things we took into consideration when putting together our list of best indoor insect traps.
Type of Lure: Insect traps often use fans, UV lights, and heat to attract insects, all of which are effective. In general, we like UV lights, which are non-toxic and relatively quiet. They work best when left on during the night, and turned off during the day, which is also more convenient for daily life. Sometimes, on the other hand, low-tech works just as well, and you might find a simple sticky trap most useful for your immediate needs.
Type of Trap: While many insect traps use electricity to zap the flying insects, these can be noisy, slightly painful to humans when touched, and a little gruesome to be honest if you think too hard about it. We like sticky traps instead, where the insects simply fly into the flypaper and live out their final days in relative peace.
1. KATCHY Indoor Insect Trap
We want to be clear: this insect trap does not promise to completely eliminate any and all bugs you might find in your house. What we can say is that if you leave this trap on for three consecutive nights with the house lights off, you will be amazed at how much you can reduce your small pest population.
The way this device works is to combine the power of UV light with a fan to attract bugs, which then make their way to the sticky disc and stay there. There are no toxins and no zaps, which means no danger to curious pets or baby fingers.
This lamp isn’t for large houseflies or mosquitos, so don’t expect miracles if those particular pests are your major problem.
Pros: Highly effective for small pests.
Cons: Doesn’t attract larger flies and bugs.
2. FLASHVIN Fruit Fly Trap Bug Zapper
This trap also uses a combination suction fan and UV light to attract small pests like fruit flies and gnats, which become trapped by the sticky disc within.
But it also includes a couple extras which we appreciate, including the intelligent light control feature, which turns on or off automatically according to the external light intensity. Translation: it turns on automatically at night when the lights are off and turns off when the sun (or light) comes up.
People are especially into how lightweight and easy to clean this model is, a big plus whenever it comes to bug control. Like all of our picks, it’s non-toxic and zap-free, which is safer for pets and kids.
Pros: Automatic light features turns trap on or off according to brightness.
Cons: Not recommended for large flying bugs.
3. RESCUE! Non-Toxic TrapStik for Flies
For the, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” crowd, the TrapStik is a no-brainer.
One feature of this trap that does set it slightly apart is the bright color. While other, similar sticky traps do nothing to attract flies beyond waiting for some unfortunate bug to run into it, this one uses “VisiLure technology” (basically a flashy neon pattern) to attract flies right to it.
This trap is long-lasting, it holds up, and catches large houseflies, which the other UV traps are not large enough to do. On the downside, you will eventually find yourself with a sticky trap covered in dead flies hanging in your house, so we’d recommend tucking it in an inconspicuous corner.
Pros: Low-tech, time-tested, with a bright pattern to attract bugs, and capable of catching flies.
Cons: Doesn’t hide the bugs it catches, which can be unsightly.