Background: Most odour baits designed to attract host-seeking mosquitoes contain carbon dioxide (CO2), which enhances trap catches, given its role as a mosquito flight activator. However, the use of CO2 is expensive and logistically demanding for prolonged area-wide use. Methods: This study explored the possibility of replacing organically-produced CO2 with 2-butanone in odour blends targeting host-seeking malaria mosquitoes. During semi-field and field experiments MM-X traps were baited with a human odour mimic (MB5 blend) plus CO2 or 2-butanone at varying concentrations. Unbaited traps formed a control. The attraction of Anopheles gambiae s.s., Anopheles arabiensis and Anopheles funestus to these differently baited traps was measured and mean catch sizes were compared to determine whether 2-butanone could form a viable replacement for CO2 for these target species. Results: Under semi-field conditions significantly more female An. gambiae mosquitoes were attracted to a reference attractant blend (MB5 + CO2) compared to MB5 without CO2 (P < 0.001), CO2 alone (P < 0.001), or a trap without a bait (P < 0.001). Whereas MB5 + CO2 attracted significantly more mosquitoes than its variants containing MB5 plus different dilutions of 2-butanone (P = 0.001), the pure form (99.5%) and the 1.0% dilution of 2-butanone gave promising results. In the field mean indoor catches of wild female An. gambiae s.l. in traps containing MB5 + CO2 (5.07 ± 1.01) and MB5 + 99.5% 2-butanone (3.10 ± 0.65) did not differ significantly (P = 0.09). The mean indoor catches of wild female An. funestus attracted to traps containing MB5 + CO2 (3.87 ± 0.79) and MB5 + 99.5% 2-butanone (3.37 ± 0.70) were also similar (P = 0.635). Likewise, the mean outdoor catches of An. gambiae and An. funestus associated with MB5 + CO2 (1.63 ± 0.38 and 0.53 ± 0.17, respectively) and MB5 + 99.5% 2-butanone (1.33 ± 0.32 and 0.40 ± 0.14, respectively) were not significantly different (P = 0.544 and P = 0.533, respectively). Conclusion: These results demonstrate that 2-butanone can serve as a good replacement for CO2 in synthetic blends of attractants designed to attract host-seeking An. gambiae s.l. and An. funestus mosquitoes. This development underscores the possibility of using odour-baited traps (OBTs) for monitoring and surveillance as well as control of malaria vectors and potentially other mosquito species.