If there is one insect that has proven to be a nuisance to the human race, it is definitely the mosquito. These unwelcome health wreckers have mastered the art of vigilance like a military-trained intelligence unit. You can hear them and feel their bites, but you cannot see them. They possess the power to carry deadly diseases and pass them onto humans. If you find yourself asking, “What can I do if there is a mosquito in my room?” then you are one step ahead in protecting yourself from these suckers. (Pun intended.)
For your great adventure, you will need a golden helmet, a sword from the River Zambezi, and one of Zeus’ thunderbolts!
I’m, of course, kidding!
It is actually quite simple to kill a mosquito in your house. While the challenge lies actually in finding it, you can still obliterate the insect even in its hideouts. Below, we will explain five ways to do so.
How to kill a mosquito when you cannot find it?
1. Use a mosquito net
Several species of mosquitoes are most active when we are asleep (dusk, dawn, or during the night). So, sleeping under a TREATED mosquito net is like having a divine shield of protection from the enemy. Your mosquito net will act as a barrier and the chemical on the net will kill those mosquitoes who dare to touch it. Do this for a series of nights and voila, the mosquitoes will either die from starvation or will leave to seek greener pastures.
2. Wear long pants and long sleeves to bed
Even though it’s hot in the summer, wearing long pants and long sleeves will leave less of your skin exposed. This means fewer opportunities for mosquitoes to bite you. If you kick your covers off in the middle of the night, you will still be better protected than if you wore shorts and short sleeves.
3. Use bug repellent
So, let’s say that you find a net somewhat suffocating and too bulky for your bedroom, which you should not since malaria and yellow fever are no joke. In that case, using any bug repellent for the bedroom is a good choice, too. These are applied to the skin, clothing, bedding or other surfaces and their odor discourages insects from landing on those items.
Just remember to only apply repellent to the topmost bedding. Do not apply them to your face, pillows, beneath the covers, or under your clothing.
Unfortunately, the use of these repellents, in the long run, will make you need to bathe more and wash your clothes and bedding more frequently.
4. Use insecticides
Maybe you want your room to stay as it is. And you want to apply nothing to your skin or clothing. Using insecticides will come as a saving grace in that case.
Most insecticides are made from pyrethrins or pyrethroids, which are products that attack insects’ nervous systems, causing paralysis and death. Pyrethrins are naturally derived from chrysanthemum flowers while pyrethroids are synthetic versions of pyrethrins.
Make sure to choose a product labeled for indoor mosquito control. These can be foggers, aerosols or sprays.
Foggers and aerosols release pesticides into the air. Everyone (including pets) must leave the house if you use such devices. Once the insecticide has dried, only then you can go back home, so make sure to check the label to find out how long you’ll need to stay out.
When you use sprays, you don’t have to leave the house, but you should not remain in the room once you’ve finished spraying. Spray surfaces where mosquitoes are likely to land. They seek out cool, humid, and dark spaces, so spray in enclosed areas and behind and underneath furniture. Inhaling insecticides can be dangerous to your health. We recommend wearing a dust mask or otherwise covering your nose and mouth while spraying. Keep children and pets outside of the room while you’re spraying and until the spray has dried. Check the label for drying times. The World Health Organization recommends only spraying in emergency situations while some researchers caution against using insecticide sprays at all.
5. Use a mosquito trapping system
This option can be a bit expensive but may be quite effective.
Mosquito traps work by attracting mosquitoes with a combination of lures, often carbon dioxide, heat, and light. When a mosquito flies in for a closer look, a vacuuming fan sucks them into the trap interior. They’re either captured in a net, on a sticky surface or are electrocuted by an electric plate or grid. In tests, traps from different companies caught different species of mosquitoes at different rates. Therefore, your best bet is to research different traps to find ones that are rated for indoor control and have demonstrated effectiveness.
How to find a mosquito?
You can hear a mosquito buzzing around your ear. You find yourself thinking, “I have a mosquito in my house.” You turn on the lights. Boom. Nothing. This cycle can continue all through the night. Luckily, there is a way to find that tiny little terrorist.
Turn on a flashlight when you hear that telltale buzz. Put the flashlight directly on the wall so that the beam runs in a straight line across the wall. Watch carefully for any shadows. If the mosquito is on the wall, its shadow will be huge. (Physics come into play here.) You can also rotate the flashlight in all directions until you find the mosquito. And then obliterate that sucker with the palm of your hand or with any hard object with a large surface area.
You can also leave a single small light source on like a lamp and wait for the mosquito to approach it. It should land on the wall near the light source, where you can find it with your flashlight and kill it.
If you cannot find the mosquito use a flashlight or a cloth to disrupt its hiding areas. And then once you finally notice it, you can kill it.
The most common places where mosquitoes hide in your room are under and behind the bed or other furniture, inside your drawers, on the ceiling, or on the walls.
Or, you can also just stay up and wait. As I said, mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide, heat, and light. So, shut off all lights and use your phone or tablet to browse the internet or to read a book. Do not wear any headphones, though, because your ears will be your biggest asset here. Eventually, the mosquito won’t be able to resist the light and carbon dioxide from your breath and will approach.
If it’s still staying away, try doing some light exercise. You’ll generate more heat and you might even sweat. And since mosquitoes love the smell of sweat, the mosquito will come flying!
How to keep mosquitoes out of your room
It is futile to get rid of the mosquitoes you encounter without taking measures to prevent them from entering in the future. Here are simple things you can do to prevent them from coming back because these little pests never give up.
1. Grow some mosquito repellent plants
There are some plants that repel mosquitoes. This is also a good way to avoid using insecticides all the time as these plants produce a mild odor that mosquitoes find unappealing. Mosquito-repellent plants can also help make your house look more lively, be used as herbs, and are natural air fresheners.
Some mosquito-repelling plants include basil, lemon balm, lemongrass, lemon verbena, lemon eucalyptus, lemon thyme, peppermint, lavender, catnip, bee balm, clove, pennyroyal, citronella grass, marigolds, rosemary, garlic, and Venus flytraps (an insectivorous plant).
Aside from insectivorous plants, you can’t just plant a bunch of herbs and call it a day. They don’t repel mosquitoes just by existing. You have to get them to release their oils. This is fairly simple: just rub a few leaves between your fingers until they start to break apart.
2. Get rid of stagnant water around the house
Just getting rid of the mosquitoes in your bedroom is not enough. You must eliminate their breeding grounds as well.
Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. The pupae transform into full adults in stagnant water. So, pour out any standing water that has pooled in containers around your yard.
If you have birdbaths, rain barrels, or potted plant trays, be sure to change the water weekly. If you have large water features, such as ponds or pools, make sure they are constantly circulating and keep pools chlorinated. Keep fish in your ponds to eat mosquitoes and larvae. For larger unintentional pools, create a path for water to flow out. But if you can’t remove standing water, add the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis to it (this is easily done by placing Mosquito Dunks in the water), which kills mosquito eggs.
3. Trim the grass and bushes
Outdoors, mosquitoes usually hide in grass and bushes, especially when you chase them away from your house. So, getting rid of long grass and bushes or trimming them will take their hiding grounds away from them.
4. Keep your home clean
As with most insects, having a tidy, well-kept bedroom also prevents mosquitoes from hiding under the mess and therefore makes them more easy to spot and eliminate.
5. Don’t let them in
Finally, one of the best ways to keep mosquitoes from getting into your room is to keep them out of the house.
Make sure all windows have screens. The best screens to keep mosquitoes out have a mesh size of 1.2 mm (0.047 in).
Also, keep those screens maintained as any holes offer mosquitoes a way in. And, of course, cover or fill in gaps around doors and windows as these are also often used by mosquitoes to get inside your home.