How To Find And Kill That Single Mosquito Buzzing Around Your Room

Photo by Katja Shulz.

You're in bed, cosy and comfortable and ready to sleep — then you hear it. A high-pitched buzzing. You swat it away and turn on your lamp, but it's too late. You've been bitten by a smooth mosquito. Here's how you find the bastard.

After scouring methods posted by users on StackExchange, Reddit, and Quora, I found two methods that seem to be the most common and effective. The first is the "flashlight hunting method":

  1. Grab a flashlight and turn off all the lights if they're not already off.

  2. Turn on a single, small light source — a lamp, phone, tablet. Keep your flashlight off for now.

  3. Roam the room slowly and listen for the buzzing. After a few minutes, the mosquito will likely make its way toward the light source and land on the wall nearby.

  4. Turn on your flashlight and hold it flat against the wall, then move the beam along the wall.

  5. Eventually, the light will hit the mosquito and create a large shadow so you can find it and smash it.

The other method I came across, which we'll call the "technology trap method," involves a tablet or phone. You don't even have to get out of bed to do it. Here's how it works:

  1. You lay in bed on your back and place your tablet or phone on your chest with the screen on and set to be very bright (tablets work best here).

  2. If you have light-coloured or white sheets, bend your knees and poke them up so the sheet is visible when look straight ahead. This will make the mosquito more visible. Think of your tablet as the stage and your propped up sheets as the backdrop.

  3. Now take big deep breaths and exhale in the direction of the tablet on your chest. The carbon dioxide from your breath, in addition to the light, will draw the mosquito in.

  4. Play the waiting game. The mosquito will make its way to you, and might even land right on the tablet. Smash away.

Both of these methods seem pretty effective, but I'd suggest you have something nearby to smash the mosquito with. Otherwise you'll end up with a handful of bug guts and you'll have to go wash your hands. Enjoy your buzz-free sleep.


    Gonna give these a try. This article might make my top five most useful Lifehacker posts along with such classics as the 'squeeze your gooch to stop piss dribbles' and' don't use the kettle in hotel rooms'.

    I'll let you know :-)

      The goosh trick is still my number one hack. Especially as I get older.

        Agreed - it's the gold standard against which all others should be measured.

    A quick spray of mortein will drop him, that stuff disperses well.

    You mean torch not flashlight

    Mozzies always seem to come to me right when I’m about to fall asleep. My theory is they’re attracted to the CO2 and breathing so I breathe deeply to draw them in. Works quite a lot of the time.

    A step up from mozzies - had wasps invading my bedroom. Mortein killed them eventually, but they got aggressive before they died. Black Flag, plus a cigarette lighter, put them down fast (mortein didn't seem to burn so well, probably different propellant)

    For mozzies, my favorite is a high voltage bug zapper, built into a tennis racket:

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