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The Best Ways to Get Rid of Mosquitoes

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Author Icon Written by Brenda Woods Updated 04/16/2024

Mosquitos are a nuisance in most parts of the country, but they’re also carriers of disease. To make your home and yard more comfortable places to be, you can use a combination of prevention techniques and repellents to keep mosquitoes away. If the infestation gets out of hand, you’re best off calling a professional pest control company to use insecticide products.

There are many ways to get rid of mosquitoes, but they aren’t all equally effective. We’ve rounded up the most effective ways to keep mosquitoes from bothering you. In this guide, you’ll find tips on repelling them from your house and your yard, your options for DIY mosquito control, and the best professional pest control options.


Watch the video below to learn about using a propane mosquito trap:


Dangers of Mosquitoes

There are over 3,000 species of mosquitoes around the world, with roughly 200 species in the U.S. alone. Unfortunately, these flying pests can carry and spread malaria, West Nile virus, dengue, yellow fever, Zika virus, and more. This danger to humans occurs when mosquitoes ingest the disease, carry it in their bloodstream and then transfer it to the next person they bite.

While not all mosquito species feed on blood, many types of female mosquitoes require blood so they can lay and hatch healthy eggs. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), mosquitoes can lay 100 eggs at a time, so populations of this pest can get out of control quickly. When eliminating mosquitoes, it’s key to use multiple methods to kill mosquitoes at every stage of the life cycle. If you only kill the adults, the eggs, larvae, and pupae will continue the infestation.

It’s also important to note that repelling and killing mosquitoes aren’t the same thing. Repelling mosquitoes will keep them away from you by making you less attractive to them. They’re attracted to the carbon dioxide from your breath and elements of your sweat. Mosquitoes are also attracted to standing water, laying eggs in areas such as birdbaths, damp potting soil, standing water in kitchens, puddles, and more. Getting rid of things that attract mosquitoes is often more effective than trying to eliminate mosquitoes.

QUICK Tip
Killing mosquitoes en masse with pesticide may seem like a tempting option, but it’s not always in our—or the environment’s—best interest. That’s because mosquitoes can become resistant to pesticides, making them harder to kill over time. Try prevention and repellent methods first if your infestation is minor, or turn to the pros if you’re dealing with serious mosquito problems.
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How To Get Rid of Indoor Mosquitoes

You’re more likely to have a mosquito issue in your yard than in your home itself, but having even a few mosquitoes buzzing around indoors can be frustrating.

Mosquitoes are easier to spot during the day than at night. If it’s getting late and you want to track them down, turn on a lamp, flashlight, or your smartphone and wait for them to be attracted to the light. Then you can attempt to swat them.

While you shouldn’t use mosquito insecticides indoors, there are some steps you can take to repel mosquitoes that have already entered your home. These methods won’t eliminate infestations, but they will help take care of a few bothersome adult insects.

  • Bug zappers: Make sure to get a model that’s safe for indoor use and always supervise children and pets when it’s in use. These indoor bug zappers usually use a lower voltage and feature an easy-to-clean tray.
  • Candles: Most citronella and other mosquito-repellent candles are intended for outdoor use, but some can be burned indoors. Some sources also claim scents like lavender, lemongrass, and eucalyptus repel mosquitoes, but a scented candle will only have a modest effect on mosquitoes, if any at all.
  • Chemical repellents: Applying traditional chemical mosquito repellent spray will keep these pests from biting you. You can put skin-safe bug repellent spray on indoors, just make sure you do it in a well-ventilated area. You should purchase products that contain 30% to 50% DEET. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found that DEET continues to meet safety standards when used properly.
  • Essential oils: Most so-called natural mosquito repellents contain essential oils in the form of sprays, soaps, and lotions. They won’t be as effective as synthetic repellents, and mixing your own spray can cause skin and lung irritation if the oil isn’t properly diluted. Be sure to consult with a medical professional if you have questions.
  • Mosquito traps: You can purchase UV light traps or glue traps. The more complex and expensive traps combine a fan to suck mosquitoes in with a sticky surface to trap them.
    Our mosquito trap recommendations include the Katchy Duo Insect Trap, Zevo Flying Insect Trap, and GreenKeeper Stick Traps.You can also make your own trap out of a 2-liter bottle, sugar water, and yeast.
  • Oscillating fans: Mosquitoes can’t fly well against the wind. Use a fan where you’re sitting to keep the mosquitoes off you.

Of course, the most effective way to avoid mosquitoes indoors is to keep them from entering in the first place. To prevent mosquitoes from getting in, patch any holes, tears, or gaps in screens and doors. If you can see sunlight in the space around your door or window, that means it isn’t properly sealed. Fix this with weatherstripping.


Steps to follow

The Best Ways to Get Rid of Mosquitoes in Your Yard

The best strategy to keep mosquitoes away from outdoor areas is a combination of prevention and repellents. You’ll typically need to use more than one of these tactics:

Applying a chemical insect repellent designed for the outdoors is a solid way to get rid of mosquitoes. The best mosquito repellents will protect the perimeters of lawns, backyards, and gardens for up to eight weeks. You can also spray a traditional, safe repellent on your skin.

Mosquito traps are a handy way to control your mosquito population. Some traps work by mimicking the visual and smell stimuli that attract mosquitoes to humans. Some work by trapping mosquitoes to a sticky surface, while others electrocute them with an electric grid. The Mosquito Magnet works by vacuuming mosquitoes up.

For this method, place your traps in a shady area. You may have to move them around to find the optimal placement for ensnaring mosquitoes. It’s worth noting that different species of mosquitoes react differently to traps, so it’s not a one-size-fits-all remedy.

You can also use a propane mosquito trap, which functions much like an electric zapper without the limitations of a power cord—a great solution for backcountry and off-the-grid excursions.

Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, and that’s where their larvae hatch. Empty all stagnant bodies of water you can, like any water that’s pooled in buckets, gutters, ditches, and pet bowls. Make sure to refresh the water in any fountains or birdbaths and check to see if your potted plants have enough drainage.

For standing water that you can’t eliminate, apply a larvicide dunk or liquid larvicide and run the filter regularly. To prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs in your pool, be sure to cover the pool at night and during the months when you aren’t using it.

Citronella candles are a long-time favorite for repelling mosquitoes. You can buy sizable ones to place around your yard and create a mosquito-resistant perimeter.

If you use your porch or patio frequently, consider investing in a Thermacell repellent device. These devices use heat to dispense a scent-free chemical repellent throughout a 20-foot area.

Mosquitoes like to settle in areas that are cool, damp, and dark. Neaten your lawn, trim trees and shrubs, and make sure your grass isn’t too tall. This will make your yard less hospitable to mosquitoes.

Repelling mosquitoes doesn’t have to be just practical—it can be pretty, too. Planting natural deterrents can spruce up your garden while keeping these prevalent pests away. Consider planting the following flora to keep mosquitoes away:

  • Basil
  • Catnip
  • Citronella
  • Garlic
  • Geraniums
  • Lavender
  • Lemon balm
  • Lemongrass
  • Marigolds
  • Pennyroyal
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Tulsi

Cedar oil has a mild insect repellent effect, and you can easily find cedar mulch for your lawn or garden. Cedar mulch also soaks up excess moisture, keeping it in the soil and deterring mosquitoes from settling in your vegetation.

Predators can’t completely eradicate your issue if you’re overrun with mosquitoes, but if you’re just getting a few unwanted insects here and there, attracting them is worth a shot.

Many birds are natural mosquito predators, including purple martins, waterfowl, swallows, and migratory songbirds. Setting up bird feeders is a solid step in attracting these birds. Installing a bat house can also help. Bats eat up mosquitoes, but you may not want to attract bats near your home.

If you have a pond, you can benefit from predators like goldfish, koi, and red-eared slider turtles.

Mosquitoes are attracted to the light from traditional incandescent light bulbs. Warm, yellow LED lights are less appealing to them, according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Professional Mosquito Control

While you may find some measure of success with DIY methods, if you’re dealing with an infestation of mosquitoes, you need to call in a professional pest control company. Professional pest control companies have the products and the expertise to kill mosquitoes at all stages of the life cycle and are more knowledgeable about safety practices when applying chemicals.

Here are our top recommendations for professional mosquito control.

Terminix

Terminix’s mosquito solution promises to kill mosquitoes with a fast-acting, specialized treatment. The solution’s polymer layer protects the product’s active ingredient against weather and lawn watering, allowing for weeks-long mosquito prevention.

First, Terminix inspects your yard for mosquitoes. Then, the technician will create a treatment plan. Terminix offers both one-time applications and monthly treatments.

If you’d like to get a free quote from Terminix, call 866-569-4035 or fill out this form.

Orkin

This trusted pest control company follows a targeted mosquito control process.

After completing a thorough inspection, your Orkin specialist will create a specific treatment plan.

Orkin uses three primary treatment controls—microbial insects that inhibit breeding in water, insecticides applied to plants that adult mosquitoes use for shelter, and insect growth regulators that prevent the development of mosquitoes in stagnant bodies of water.

To get a free quote from Orkin, call 877-868-1416 or fill out this simple form.

Hawx

Hawx pest control is a newer addition to our top pest control services, but the company’s customized mosquito plans also eliminate mosquito breeding grounds and nesting sites around the yard. Starting with an inspection, Hawx’s technicians will identify problem areas, apply targeted mosquito treatment using a fogger, and recommend other steps to keep your home mosquito-free.


Local Pest Control Companies

Some homeowners prefer to select a pest control company closer to home, whether a local business or a locally-owned branch. Others simply prefer to be contacted instead of calling around for quotes. To be contacted by local pest control companies in your area, fill out this form or insert your details into the tool below.


FAQ About The Best Ways to Get Rid of Mosquitoes

How do I get rid of mosquitoes in my house naturally?

To get rid of mosquitoes around the house without synthetic repellents, try the following methods:

  • Seal gaps around doors and windows and patch holes in screens.
  • Use a low-voltage indoor bug zapper.
  • Burn an indoor citronella candle.
  • Sit near an oscillating fan.
  • Use a UV light, glue, or fan trap.

What smells do mosquitoes hate?

Supposedly, mosquitoes are repelled by the following smells. However, you will get much better results with preventative methods and synthetic repellents.

  • Cedarwood
  • Citronella
  • Clove
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary

What can I do to keep mosquitoes away?

To keep mosquitoes away from you and your home, try the following tips:

  1. Use screens on doors and windows.
  2. Clean up any standing water such as puddles or birdbaths.
  3. Keep your yard and landscaping trimmed to remove nesting sites.
  4. Use fans both indoors and outdoors to blow away pests.
  5. Use insect repellents, whether a skin-friendly spray or a citronella candle.

Our Rating Methodology

We back up our pest control recommendations with a detailed rating methodology that we use to objectively score each provider. We review pest control plans, navigate the provider website, speak with customer service representatives by phone and online chat (if available), request quotes, and analyze customer reviews for each provider. We then score the provider against our review standards for plans and services, reputation and customer responses, customer service offerings, workmanship guarantees, financing, and availability to arrive at a final score on a 5-point rating scale.

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