How To Get Rid Of Mosquitoes

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How can you keep mosquitoes out of your garden this summer? Read on for the best home-control methods for ridding yourself of everyone’s least favorite insect this summer.

How to get rid of mosquitoes outside?

  1. Remove all possible mosquito habitats and breeding grounds.
  2. Prune any shady areas mosquitoes might use to hide out in the daytime.
  3. Use larvicides to get rid of mosquito larvae.
  4. Use mosquito traps to get rid of adult mosquitoes.
  5. Use mosquito foggers to repel mosquitoes from the yard.
  6. Use mosquito repellents for personal protection.

How to get rid of mosquitoes in the house?

  1. Close windows and doors before active mosquito hours.
  2. Use bed nets.
  3. Use door and window screens.
  4. Use air curtains on doors.
  5. Use indoor mosquito killers.

How to get rid of mosquitoes outside

Getting rid of mosquitoes in your yard can be tricky and will usually require a multi-pronged attack. You can significantly reduce mosquito numbers and avoid bites this summer by combining primary outdoor control steps with mosquito killers and personal protection products.

1. Remove all possible mosquito habitats and breeding grounds

When: You have any form of stagnant water around your backyard.

Your absolute top priority should be to get rid of any standing water in your yard, as this is where mosquitoes lay eggs and live out their larval lives. Buckets, ponds, flowerpots, ditches and bird baths all accumulate rainwater, quickly becoming stagnant. You should also try to prevent more water from accumulating wherever possible.

2. Prune any shady areas mosquitoes might use to hide out in the daytime

When: There are long grasses, unruly shrubs and rampant bushes in your yard for mosquitoes to hide.

Trimming long grasses, unruly shrubs and rampant bushes can remove the shade and reduce the mosquito population. Making sure they have no refuge from the sun is an effective way to rid your property of mosquitoes and should be a top priority for anyone battling an infestation.

3. Use larvicides to get rid of mosquito larvae

When: There are small ponds and other water features outside that you can’t drain.

Larvicides are the best way to tackle mosquitoes in their earliest developmental stages. When newly hatched, the larvae live exclusively in water until they pupate and metamorphosize into their adult forms. If you have standing water (such as a fountain, pond or birdbath) in your yard, this may be the only way to keep them from breeding there in the summertime.

Larvicides are often sold in liquid form or other products similar to mosquito dunks, which can be added to water sources as per the directions on the packaging. Once in the water, the larvicide will get to work, killing mosquito larvae as soon as they hatch. With fewer mosquitoes reaching adulthood and going on to reproduce, this is sure to effectively reduce their numbers. The relative immobility of mosquito larvae also means they are easiest to control in this stage of their lifecycle.

Learn More About Insecticides & Larvicides

4. Use mosquito traps to get rid of adult mosquitoes

When: You want to reduce the number of mosquitoes in your home without using chemical products.

Most mosquito traps lure females inside by emitting carbon dioxide. This trick will attract mosquitoes into thinking there is a human nearby, and they venture in looking for a meal. Once inside the trap, the mosquito can be killed in various ways, depending on the individual trap. Some contain a sticky surface that physically traps the mosquito. Some use a fan to suction the mosquito into a net, while others prefer bug zappers.

Although CO2 traps can significantly reduce mosquito numbers, their effectiveness depends on many different factors. Research has found that mosquito species greatly influence the capture rate, as some mosquitoes are more attracted to carbon dioxide than others.

Trap placement is also an important factor. Mosquito traps are more successful when placed in areas with high levels of mosquito activity (for example, around shrubs and grasses). They are less effective when placed in direct sunlight.

However, despite their variable results, CO2 traps could be the ideal way to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home. This natural, pesticide-free control method is easy to implement and environmentally friendly. Under the right conditions, it can also be highly effective.

Learn More About Mosquito Traps

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5. Use mosquito foggers to repel mosquitoes from yard

When: You want to eliminate large numbers of flying mosquitoes in your garden or backyard.

If your mosquito situation is out of control, investing in a mosquito fogger for your yard may be the way to go. These devices create a thick fog that can be sprayed everywhere – over surfaces, into dense grasses and shrubs, and even under floorboards. The active ingredients in your fogger insecticide will kill the flying adults on contact, quickly and effectively eradicating clouds of insects.

If you want to leave mosquitoes nowhere to hide and you have a large infestation hanging around your property, this can be the best way to reduce their numbers.

Mosquito foggers work by spraying out insecticides (called adulticides for killing adult mosquitoes). These pesticides can be sprayed around grasses, shrubs and any other mosquito hideout in your garden to effectively kill the insects.  Adulticides can be applied as ultra-low volume (ULV) sprays or using a thermal fogger. These create a very fine mist of tiny droplets that stay aloft for a long time, killing flying mosquitoes on contact. When used this way, adulticides can quickly and effectively reduce the number of insects around your property.

You can read more about liquids used in fogging machines here and remember that some of the insecticides can be harmful to other wildlife species and toxic to your pets and yourself. So make sure to read the instructions beforehand.

Learn More About Mosquito Foggers

6. Use mosquito repellents for personal protection

Bug and Mosquito Repellent

When: You need to protect yourself from mosquito bites for multiple hours

Keeping mosquitoes off your skin when you’re out is the best way to prevent bites. Long, loose-fitting clothing can help to keep insects away, but sometimes it’s simply not enough!

So, what are the most effective mosquito repellents for personal protection?

Chemical mosquito repellents are the most effective way to stop mosquitoes from landing on you over several hours. Sprays and lotions containing DEET are widely considered to be the most effective and long-lasting of these. Repellents containing picaridin also have a fantastic success rate for keeping mosquitoes at bay, and permethrin products are great for treating camping equipment and clothes.

Learn More About Mosquito Repellents

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DEET repellents

When: You need the most effective mosquito repellent. A must-have for travelers visiting tropical and subtropical regions for better disease control.

DEET (AKA N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) is one of the market’s most effective and widely-used mosquito repellents. This chemical is often incorporated in sprays, but it can also be found in lotion form. Once applied to the skin, DEET effectively repels mosquitoes for up to 8 hours, leaving you to enjoy your evening without fear of attack from pesky mosquitoes!

Picaridin repellents

When: You need a repellent for children and adults whose skin may be sensitive to DEET products.

If you can’t deal with the smell of DEET, picaridin is an effective alternative. This colorless, odorless chemical is just as effective as DEET when it comes to repelling mosquitoes, but with none of the stink! A 20% solution can effectively repel mosquitoes (and all sorts of other biting insects) for up to 8 hours.

Permethrin repellents for clothing

When: You need to keep mosquitoes off you and your gear during camping and hiking expeditions.

Permethrin is a product that can be applied to fabrics, such as clothing, hammocks, mosquito nets and tents. For lovers of the great outdoors, it’s the perfect product for keeping mosquitoes away when hiking or camping. Once sprayed, it will provide protection from mosquitoes for up to 6 weeks.

Lemon eucalyptus oil repellents (natural MOSQUITO repellent)

When: You are looking for a natural alternative to DEET and for use on children.

Lemon eucalyptus oil is one of the most effective plant-based mosquito repellents you can use. It strongly repels mosquitoes and other biting insects for several hours, keeping you bite-free throughout your evening. The main advantage of lemon eucalyptus oil over other plant-based mosquito repellents is that it’s long-lasting and natural. The active ingredient in lemon eucalyptus oil keeps mosquitoes off your skin for several hours. Alternatively, you can try out thyme, citronella and lavender oil.

How to get rid of mosquitoes in the house

How to get rid of mosquitoes indoors

Your house should provide some respite from evening mosquitoes, but if the insects find their way indoors, you may find it tough to escape them. Keeping mosquitoes out of your house requires a combination of primary control methods (such as installing mosquito screens) and the use of sprays and traps to take down flying insects.

1. Close windows and doors before active mosquito hours

When: You know the mosquito specie you are dealing with.

The most common way mosquitoes get in is – surprise, surprise – through open doors and windows. However, this doesn’t mean you have to permanently seal your home. Knowing what type of mosquito you are dealing with can help you to pinpoint their active time, so you can act accordingly. Many mosquito species feed in the two hours around sunset, so tightly shutting your doors and windows around this time of day can be a big help.

2. Use bed nets

Mosquito nets

When: You need to protect yourself from mosquito bites while you sleep.

Nighttime is when you are most likely to be attacked by mosquitoes. Not only are many species of these insects most active after dark, but your sleeping form also presents an easy target.

A mosquito net around your bed is a must-have during the summer months. This is the no.1 most effective way of keeping the insects off you as you sleep, as it creates a physical barrier around your body that they cannot get past.

Learn More About Mosquito Nets

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3. Use door and window screens

When: You want to keep mosquitoes out of your home long-term.

Mosquitoes can enter homes through tiny gaps around doors and windows. Several mosquito species will enter homes after sunset in search of a meal, so keeping your house properly sealed is the best way to stop them from biting you indoors.

Make sure that all windows and doors in your home are fitted with mesh screens. This is a simple and effective way to stop bloodsuckers from getting into your house in the evening. Screens should be fitted properly and securely, leaving no gaps for the insects to sneak in through. If you already have screens on your windows and doors, inspect them carefully for holes. Damaged screens should be repaired or replaced immediately to ensure their effectiveness.

4. Use air curtains on doors

When: You want to keep the doors open but prevent mosquitoes from entering your house via open doors.

Air curtains (AKA ‘fly fans’) are units that can be mounted above doorways, where they produce a powerful, invisible airstream. The airstream is narrow (usually 5 – 12 cm wide) but with a high-velocity force that insects can’t fly through. Not only does this keep mosquitoes out of your house, but it also keeps other flying insects (like flies or moths) from getting in as well.

If you live in an area where night-biting mosquitoes are common, it’s a must-have, as many species will try to enter homes after sunset in search of blood.

Air curtains are an effective, long-term solution. Once fitted, they can be used indefinitely and require less maintenance than flimsy screens. However, they can be costly to install if you need to use many of them.

5. Use indoor mosquito killers

When: There are mosquitoes already in your house.

Sometimes the best way to avoid mosquitoes is to retreat indoors until their activity levels subside and they disappear for another day. However, if they find their way into your house, there’s no escape!

So, what can you do when your nets and screens fail to keep your home a mosquito-free zone?

Learn More About Indoor Mosquito Killers

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Indoor insect killer aerosols

When: You must kill large numbers of flying mosquitoes in your house.

If you have many mosquitoes flying around your house, shooting them down with an aerosol spray is a great way to reduce their numbers. Sprays that are formulated specifically for indoor use can be used to safely clear large numbers of insects with ease. These kill-on-contact sprays are a fast way to kill a wide range of flying insects and are particularly useful during the evening when many mosquito species are the most active.

Indoor mosquito traps

When: You want to reduce the number of mosquitoes in your house without using chemicals or sprays.

Indoor mosquito traps work by attracting and killing mosquitoes in a variety of ways. Some have a sticky paper that the insects get stuck to, others have fans that trap them, and some contain electrified meshes to zap them dead. The benefit of using a mosquito trap like this is that it uses no harmful chemicals whatsoever, efficiently killing insects and bugs with no need for insecticides.

Mosquito zappers

When: You are dealing with not only mosquitoes but other flying insects as well.

Mosquito zappers are electronic devices that work by attracting mosquitoes using ULV light and electrocuting them when they land. These can be installed in your house or yard to clear away some of the insects and bugs but won’t have a significant impact on reducing the number of mosquitoes flying around outdoors.

Although this can help to control mosquitoes, it won’t completely eliminate them, nor will it prevent more from arriving. Therefore, zappers are best used alongside primary control measures, as well as another method of killing mosquitoes both indoors and outdoors.

Insecticide solutions for indoors

When: You are dealing with a large indoor infestation.

If your indoor mosquitoes are getting out of hand, it may be time to take more serious measures. Indoor insecticide formulations for mosquitoes are usually distributed using a hand-pump spray or with a ULV fogger. Both can create a thick mist of mosquito-killing vapor that will disperse throughout your house, killing all insects within. Once dispersed, the insecticides will settle over exposed surfaces, effectively treating areas where mosquitoes rest and killing them on contact when they land.

Products that don’t work – Ultrasonic Devices

Ultrasonic, or ultrasound, devices may seem like a perfect solution to your mosquito woes. According to the advertising, these devices emit a high-frequency tone that mosquitoes can’t stand. Anywhere with an ultrasonic device plugged in and running will be given a wide berth by the insects and bugs. This could eliminate all need for sprays, chemicals, foggers, nets, and traps – if only they worked!

According to scientists, these ultrasonic emissions have no repellent effect on mosquitoes whatsoever. Therefore, they cannot be recommended as a mosquito control method, save your money and stick to primary control methods alongside mosquito-killing products and repellent sprays.

Word of caution – Why is it difficult to battle mosquitoes alone?

Knowing the basics of mosquito biology is a fundamental part of their control. By familiarizing yourself with their lifecycle, feeding and breeding habits, you can work out the most effective way of getting rid of them.

Unfortunately, eliminating mosquitoes is never simple. This is primarily down to the way these insects reproduce, as all they need is a source of standing water (breeding ground). For urban mosquitoes this can be found in every yard in one form or another – disused flower pots, poorly-maintained water features and clogged drains all make ideal breeding grounds.

Successful control must, therefore, be a neighborhood-wide effort. If everyone in the vicinity takes the time to dump out standing water around their home and make efforts to prevent more water accumulating, mosquito numbers can be dramatically reduced. However, this must be a group effort!

Learn More About Mosquitoes

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When to hire a professional mosquito control company?

Mosquitoes can be a nightmare to get rid of, especially as doing so effectively requires effort from you and your neighbors. Unless primary control measures (especially dumping out standing water) are rigorously enforced up and down your street, mosquitoes will often persist throughout the summer. In most cases, this can be managed using repellent sprays and insect-killing products such as larvicides and insecticides. However, if you have a large and persistent infestation of mosquitoes, you may find you are getting bitten day after day, whatever you try.

This can be a significant health risk, as the more you are bitten, the greater your chances of contracting a mosquito-borne disease. Even if you don’t, constantly battling these bloodsuckers can seriously take the shine off your summer!

If your best efforts aren’t working and your yard and house are overrun by mosquitoes, it may be time to call in professional help. A pest control expert will be able to quickly and accurately assess your situation and will be able to implement the most effective treatment for your needs. Usually, they will create an integrated pest management action plan that may include getting rid of all mosquito breeding areas and using a ULV fogger or another device for spraying large quantities of insecticide through your house and garden. These treatments are intensive and often highly effective but should only be performed by a professional!

Mosquito-borne diseases

Mosquitoes have a well-established reputation for carrying diseases, particularly malaria. So many people die from mosquito-related illnesses yearly that these insects are widely considered the deadliest creatures on earth.

Many of the more serious illnesses transmitted by mosquitoes are rarely seen in the states; however, travelers can easily encounter disease-carrying mosquitoes abroad. Viruses such as Zika, West Nile virus and yellow fever are all carried by mosquitoes found in North America and, though your chances of contracting them are low, all three illnesses can have serious complications.

Learn More About Mosquito Diseases

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Mosquito biology

When it comes to successful mosquito control, knowing your enemy is the first step!

Familiarizing yourself with the breeding habits, lifecycle and behavior of mosquitoes will help you to optimize your control efforts for the best possible results. Here is a list of articles that will help you understand more about mosquitoes – their breeding habits, life stages, how they find us, and what are the most common mosquito species you might be dealing with.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How to permanently get rid of all mosquitoes?

Although it’s not entirely possible to eliminate all mosquitoes, you can choose to take actions that may keep them away from you permanently. The following tips include:

  1. Mosquito repellent usage or some citronella oil.
  2. Screens on doors, windows, or netting around the bed.
  3. Standing water removal from flower pots, birdbaths, etc.
  4. Mosquito zappers for camping trips.
  5. Regularly maintain your yard to avoid nesting spots, and consider yard spray for insects and bugs.

2. How to get rid of mosquitoes in my house naturally?

From our experience, DIY or ready-to-use mosquito traps, essential oils such as citronella, eucalyptus, and natural repellents work the best. 

3. How to avoid mosquito bites at night?

Depending on the place you stay for the night, we suggest mosquito zappers and repellents for outdoor overnights. 

However, you can combine the natural methods mentioned in the previous answer above for indoor overnights. Additionally, you can add a mosquito net canopy for your bed and screens on windows. 

Summary

Mosquitoes are one of the world’s least favorite pests. Not only are these bloodsuckers irritating, but they can also transmit nasty diseases to those they feed on.

Fighting mosquitoes can be a summer-long task, as these biting insects are notoriously difficult to control. Unless your whole neighborhood engages in primary control measures, such as dumping out stagnant water and treating ponds and pools with larvicides and/or other chemicals, you’re unlikely to be free of the insects until winter rolls around again.

However, you can take steps to keep mosquito numbers in your yard and home to a minimum.

Repellent sprays containing DEET or picaridin are highly effective for keeping mosquitoes off your skin. When camping, a permethrin spray can be the most effective way to create a mosquito-free zone around your campsite.

Insecticide treatment with mosquito foggers, hand pumps, and misting systems will kill most adult mosquitoes, while larvicides will eliminate mosquito larvae. Traps can also help in reducing mosquito numbers in your backyard.

Clearing clutter from your yard and sealing gaps around windows and doors can help to keep the insects out of your home. Aerosol sprays and indoor traps can also be used to reduce the number of flying mosquitoes in your house.

If all else fails, call in a pest control company to deal with the problem for you. Professionally made integrated pest management plan and intensive insecticide treatments can provide lasting protection from mosquitoes outdoors and indoors, so you can get through the summer with as few bites as possible.