I have an insect/mosquito zapper. I want to attract the mosquitoes to this zapper to kill them. The best way to do this is by producing carbon dioxide next to it. I'm thinking that if I put a jar or bucket of some liquid (or other substance) that gives off a non-dangerous amount of carbon dioxide it will attract the mosquitoes to that area and the zapper will do the rest.

So what is the best way to produce carbon dioxide for this purpose?

  • 6
    Bug zappers kill far more beneficial insects than mosquitoes. They also attract mosquitoes from long distances, so the net result may be a whole lot of fried moths and more mosquitoes. Jun 15, 2015 at 13:52
  • I've since learned the futility of using a bug zapper and how few mosquitoes are actually zapped. I'll be making a mosquito trap and will still need the CO2 for that.
    – Guy
    Jun 16, 2015 at 13:26

7 Answers 7


Just mix baking soda with vinegar and you will get all the CO2 you want. Make sure that the jar is big enough because this reaction causes bubbles; the liquid will expand. Also, keep one more thing in mind CO2 is heavier than air meaning that you should somehow put the zapper inside the jar so it would be near CO2 and not over it; because I don't think that it would have the same effect.


Vinegar and baking soda will produce carbon dioxide very quickly; the reaction will be over in a matter of minutes. And dry ice requires special handling and going back and forth to the store many times to procure fresh ice.

A better way to continuously produce 1 to 3 humans' worth of carbon dioxide over a period of about 3 to 4 days is via (yeast) fermentation.

You will need a 5 gallon bucket with a lid. Drill a hole in the lid of the bucket and connect a length of hose long enough to reach from the bucket lid to an area adjacent to the zapper; most standard garden hoses are 5/8-inch in diameter; you will want the hole to be slightly smaller than the hose so that the hose fits snugly in the hole. Don't put the business end of hose too close to the zapper, because foam from the fermentation process might travel up and spill out of the hose (onto the zapper!). You will want to set the bucket on a piece of wood or insulation to prevent the ground from cooling it. It may be helpful to paint the outside of the bucket black to help it absorb heat from the sun. You will need 750 grams (1.65 lbs) of sugar and a pack of active yeast. Mix the sugar with 1 gallon of hot tap water. When the water has cooled to around body temperature (feels neither warm nor cool on your forearm) add the yeast and close the lid.

  • 4
    If you're going to go to all that trouble, you might as well brew a batch of beer...
    – kgutwin
    Mar 18, 2016 at 20:14
  • 2
    One could set up a drip system letting a small amount of vinegar fall into baking soda continuously. Mar 20, 2020 at 3:00

Most mosquito traps produce carbon dioxide by burning propane:



Vinegar will cause slow release of CO2 from limestone. A fist size rock will take days to dissolve. The stuff is cheap at most sand and gravel stores. Sodium Bicarb reacts much to quickly for your purpose, while keeping fermentation going long term is a pain.


Dry ice is used near traps. A block hung over the trap in a cloth bag. The vapors drift downward, so the trap should be same level or above. Blood can draw them too, so use drippings from raw steak, though that will draw flies.

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Thanks for the answer; keep 'em coming. And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know the details of contributing here. Sep 21, 2020 at 18:18

Just keeping zappers near plants at night as plants do emit co2 at nights, would that not be enough?


A chunk of dry ice in a bucket of water.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.