Mosquitos range from being a nuisance to carriers of diseases and most homeowners are looking for ways to eliminate these pests every year. Thankfully, there are many ways to get rid of mosquitoes, from insecticides to natural and organic options.
There are many ways to get rid of mosquitoes, but they aren’t all equally effective. The This Old House Reviews Team has rounded up the best ways to get rid of mosquitoes and stay bug bite-free. In this guide you’ll find tips on removing them from your house and your yard, your options for DIY mosquito control, and the best professional pest control options.
Dangers of Mosquitoes
There are over 3,000 species of mosquitoes in almost every country around the world, with roughly 200 species in the U.S. alone. Unfortunately, these flying pests can carry 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.
It’s a common misconception that mosquitoes suck blood for food. Mosquitoes ingest blood to nourish their bodies so they can lay and hatch healthy eggs. 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.
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 our breath and elements of our 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.
Killing mosquitoes 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 natural methods first if your infestation is minor, or turn to the pros if you’re dealing with serious mosquito problems.
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 mosquitoes buzzing around during bedtime can be frustrating.
Mosquitoes buzzing around 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.
Here are the top ways to repel mosquitoes that have already entered your home.
- Bug zappers: Safe for the indoors, bug zappers can kill mosquitoes on contact and are a good solution if you are only facing a few stray bugs.
- Candles: Burning lavender candles is a natural mosquito repellent that keeps mosquitoes away while making your home smell pleasant.
- Chemical repellents: Applying traditional chemical mosquito repellent spray will keep these pests from biting you. 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.
- Coffee grounds: Burn some coffee grounds in a coffee tray or egg carton and the smoke will repel these pests. Do this carefully in an area where it won’t cause damage or set off a fire alarm.
- Essential oils: These may not be as effective as traditional pesticides. Mix a few drops of lavender, lemon, or eucalyptus with one cup of water, pour it into a spray bottle, and shake. Be sure to patch test your oil first, and consult with a medical professional if you have questions.
- Mosquito traps: There are several ways you can get a mosquito trap—order one online, buy one from the grocery store or hardware store, or even make your own with sugar water and yeast.
- Oscillating fans: Mosquitoes can’t fly well against the wind. Turn your fan on and watch the mosquitoes scatter and ultimately give up.
- Outdoor soap: Some outdoor soaps are specially designed to repel mosquitoes. After bathing with 100% natural, non-toxic soap such as Skin Armour Deep Woods Outdoor soap, the scent of your sweat will repel mosquitoes.
- Sealing your space: To prevent mosquitoes from entering your home, patch any holes, tears, or gaps in screens and doors. If you can see sunlight in the space around your door, that means it isn’t properly sealed. There’s an easy fix—purchase a simple door strip.
The Best Way to Get Rid of Mosquitoes in Your Yard
Now that you know how to get rid of mosquitoes in your home, here are a few ways to keep these pests out of your yard. The most effective methods to get rid of mosquitoes outdoors include these:
- Attracting natural predators
- Burning candles
- Cedar mulch
- Eliminating standing water
- Manicuring your lawn
- Mosquito traps
- Outdoor chemical repellents
- Planting natural deterrents
- Treating pools and ponds
- Yellow LED lighting
Apply Chemical Repellents
Applying a chemical insect repellent designed for the outdoors is a solid way to get rid of mosquitoes. Repellents can protect the perimeters of lawns, backyards, and gardens for up to eight weeks. You can also spray a traditional, safe repellent on your skin.
Set a Mosquito Trap
Mosquito traps are a handy way to control your mosquito population. These traps work by mimicking the visual and smell stimuli that attract mosquitoes to humans.
There are many varieties of mosquito traps out there. Some work by trapping mosquitoes to a sticky surface, while others electrocute them with an electric grid. The Mosquito Magnet is one of the most popular traps—it 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.
Eliminate Standing Water
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 birdbaths and check to see if your potted plants have enough drainage.
Treat Pools and Ponds
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 fan favorite for repelling mosquitoes. You can buy sizable ones to place around your yard and ensure mosquitoes will keep their distance.
Set Out Thermacell
Thermacell devices are spray-free, emitting a no-mess repellent in a compact container. Completely scent-free, these containers are easy to refill and provide up to 15 feet of protection.
Keep a Manicured Lawn
Mosquitoes like to rest and settle in areas that are cool, damp, and dark. Manicure your lawn, trim trees and shrubs, and make sure your grass isn’t too tall. This will make your yard less hospitable to mosquitoes.
Plant Natural Deterrents
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:
- Lemon balm
Put Down Cedar Mulch
Cedar oil is a common mosquito repellent ingredient, and you can easily find cedar mulch for your lawn or garden. Cedar mulch soaks up excess moisture, keeping it in the soil and deterring mosquitoes from settling in your vegetation.
Attract Natural Predators
Predators can’t completely eradicate your issue if you’re overrun with mosquitoes, but if you’re just getting a few unwanted critters 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.
Use Yellow LED lighting
Mosquitoes are attracted to the light from traditional 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 tons of mosquitoes, you need to call in a professional pest control company. Professional pest control companies have 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’s mosquito solution promises to kill mosquitoes with a fast-acting, specialized treatment. Its polymer layer protects the product’s active ingredient against weather and lawn watering, allowing weeks-long mosquito prevention.
First, Terminix inspects your yard for mosquitoes. Then, the technician will create a treatment plan that involves a protection zone. Terminix offers a one-time application and monthly treatment.
This trusted pest control company follows a targeted mosquito control process that involves monthly treating and added protection against mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile and Zika.
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.
Hawx pest control is a newer addition to our top pest control services, but their customized mosquito plans also eliminate mosquito breeding grounds and nesting sites around the yard. Starting with an inspection, Hawx 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 a little closer to home, whether a local business or a locally owned branch. Others simply prefer to be called 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.
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Our Rating Methodology
The This Old House Reviews Team backs 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 plan options, additional benefits and convenience factors, availability, trustworthiness, and customer service to arrive at a final score out of 100.
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