Spend More Time Outdoors with This Chemical-Free Mosquito Repellent

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We tried this chemical-free flying insect trap to limit the number of irritating mosquito bites we endured. Here's what we found.

Labeled the world’s deadliest animal by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mosquitoes were out in record numbers across the U.S. this year due to increased rain and warmer weather.

In northern Minnesota, where I spend many of my weekends, I can’t remember a year when the mosquitoes were this terrible. All summer long we’ve experimented with new and different insect repellents, fogging methods and anything else to limit my family’s itchy bites. Nothing worked.

So I started scouring the internet for mosquito extermination options and found the Skeeter Hawk Fly Trap. I ordered one up and tested it to see if it could be the thing to save our summer.

What Is the Skeeter Hawk Fly Trap?

The Skeeter Hawk Large Fly Trap lures, captures and kills mosquitoes, gnats, house flies, horseflies and many other flying insects. The dual-band, bright blue LED UV light attracts them, and the ultra-quiet fan draws them to the canister where they die from dehydration.

Roughly 16 inches tall, it plugs into a conventional 110-volt outlet. A fold-down hanging hook makes it easy to keep out of the way, indoors or outdoors. And a single power button and twist-lock insect dehydration canister make it extremely user-friendly. Skeeter Hawk Large Fly Traps protect large rooms, yards, pools, patios and decks without chemicals or continuous buzzing.

How We Tested It

With the summer winding down, I packed up the family for a quiet August weekend at a small northern Minnesota cabin. Since my in-laws are also staying there, I brought the Skeeter Hawk Fly Trap to help keep the mosquitoes away during outdoor meals and patio sessions with us and our new baby, their newest grandchild.

I was eager to determine how well the the fly trap worked, whether the sound or brightness were nuisances, and how easily I could dispose of the dead insects.

Operation

First off, the Skeeter Hawk Fly Trap is really bright. I plugged the fly trap into an outlet roughly 20 feet from where we gathered. Then I noticed the power cord was only five feet long. If I placed it on one of our hanging plant hooks, I needed an extension cord to reach the outlet. So I put it on a table instead.

With the sun high in the sky, the bright blue light from the trap was only slightly noticeable. But as the sun slowly dipped below the horizon, the light became more apparent and eye-piercing. I had to move the Fly Trap to an outlet further away.

We still got chewed up a few times by the mosquitos, possibly due to the distance between the Skeeter Hawk Fly Trap and our group — almost 40 feet. Or not; the manufacturer recommends using insect repellent along with with the Fly Trap.

During the gathering, I strolled by the trap a few times and found it covered with various flying insects. The fan runs whisper quiet. Without the bright blue light, you’d never know the Skeeter Hawk Fly Trap was working.

We carried on well past sundown. After nearly six hours I turned off the trap, unplugged it and headed in with the family for the night.

Effectiveness

cleaning bugs from the bottom of the skeeter hawk fly trapFamily Handyman

The next morning when I checked the dehydration canister, I could barely believe my eyes. I found a solid, almost 1/2-inch thick patty of bugs, mostly mosquitoes. Surprised, I made the mistake of opening the canister, allowing many insects escape to freedom.

I knew I shouldn’t have done that. It states clearly in the instructions to wait two days to open the canister after use. But I was wowed by its effectiveness.

Cleanup was a breeze. I scraped out the pile of partially dead bugs with a stick and wiped it down with a wet towel. Clearly, this trap catches bugs.

Pros

  • Productive at capturing insects;
  • Whisper quiet;
  • Good for many flying pests species;
  • Easy to use:
  • No chemicals or swapping out cartridges.

Cons

  • Short power cord;
  • Bright;
  • You may still get bitten.

FAQs

Q: Can the Skeeter Hawk Fly Trap run on batteries if there’s no outlet available?

A: No, it requires a wall outlet.

Q: Do the Fly Traps come in any other sizes or colors?

A: There are two sizes of Skeeter Hawk Fly Traps: small and large. They’re only available with a gray body and blue LED lights.

What Other Reviewers Had To Say

Gina, on AceHardware.com, liked the product. “I have to empty it once or twice a week. It gets the bugs,” she writes.

But Mombudget, a Walmart.com reviewer, wasn’t enamored with it. She writes: “We bought the Area Mosquito Trap that’s suppose to catch mosquitoes and flies. It’s suppose to cover up to one acre. We are getting eaten alive by mosquitoes and still have tons of flies. The area affected is less than an acre.”

Final Verdict

I used the fly trap on consecutive nights with the same results. We still got bitten a few times, but nothing like we might have without it. Plus, there’s peace of mind knowing the canister was packed with bugs after each evening stint.

Though the bright blue LED lights aren’t ideal for creating atmosphere, they’re perfect at attracting unwanted insects and keeping them away for good.

Where to Buy

Skeeter Hawk Fly Trapvia merchant

Skeeter Hawk Fly Traps are available directly from skh.acgbrands.com. You can also get it from Walmart and other retailers.

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Ethan O'Donnell
Ethan is Family Handyman’s go-to editor for finding and testing the latest and greatest products, tools, and gear in the DIY space. Ethan has experience building custom woodwork, sets, props, and exhibits. Over the course of his career, he has completed projects for several Fortune 500 companies as well as for the United States Park Service. During his spare time, he likes to ride anything on two wheels, read, draw, or spend time with friends discussing recent Formula 1 events.