6 Ways to Get Rid of Mosquitoes at Home
If you live in a humid or tropical climate, you’ve likely spent a fair amount of time trying to figure out how to get rid of mosquitoes.
Not only can mosquitoes transmit diseases like Zika, dengue, malaria, and chikungunya, but they are also downright annoying! Nothing ruins outdoor fun faster than the buzzing, biting pests.
While the market is chock full of mosquito repellents, most of them are laden with chemicals that are harmful to the environment and young children. Isn’t there a better way?
There absolutely is!
Here are six things you need to know about how to get rid of mosquitoes in and around your home naturally.
Repelling Vs. Killing Mosquitoes
There are multiple steps to getting rid of mosquitoes depending on the life cycle stage they’re in. Getting rid of mosquitoes involves repelling existing mosquitoes in and around your home and killing mosquito larvae and live mosquitoes.
How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes in Your House
While your biggest mosquito problems are going to be outside in your yard, if you have even just a few mosquitoes buzzing around your house, you know how frustrating it can be. Here are a few ways to get rid of mosquitoes in your house and prevent more from coming inside.
Repair Broken Screens on Windows and Doors
This recommendation comes straight from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). If you have any broken screens on windows or doors, repair them. Purchase a patch kit from your local home repair store to seal up any holes. If you need to completely replace a screen and prefer to DIY, here’s a helpful step-by-step guide.
If you don’t have screens on windows and doors, install them, especially if you tend to leave them open for some fresh air.
Also, repair any gaps in doors and windows where bugs could get in.
Use Air Conditioning and Fans
Instead of leaving windows and doors open, use air conditioning and fans. Fans can also be helpful outside on a porch or patio, as the strong winds make it difficult for mosquitoes to fly close enough to bite you. Airflow is always good!
Use Essential Oils
Essential oils can be diffused through your home or mixed with a carrier oil and used on the skin to repel mosquitoes inside your house. A study performed to determine the efficacy of using essential oil to repel mosquitoes found some of the best oils to be:
- Peppermint oil
- Orange oil
- Neem oil
- Cinnamon oil
- Eucalyptus oil
- Citronella oil
Remove Any Standing Water
While this is a big item to address when it comes to keeping mosquitoes out of your yard, which will be discussed below, there are still places standing water can accumulate inside your home. Items like plants with saucers that hold water or pet bowls that aren’t frequently cleaned can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Make sure to remove or frequently clean any items inside of your home that could hold standing water.
Add a Camphor Tablet to Water
Camphor is a waxy substance infused with oil extracted from camphor trees. They have a strong odor that keeps mosquitoes at bay. Purchase camphor tablets online, then drop a camphor tablet in a bowl of water and keep it in the corner of a room
There are actually special soaps made with scents that keep mosquitoes at bay! If you seem to be attracting mosquitoes inside no matter how hard you try not to, try using a mosquito repellent soap, like this one from Skin Armour.
How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes in Your Yard
Now that we’ve covered getting rid of mosquitoes inside your home, here’s how to get rid of mosquitoes in your yard.
Keep Your Yard Free of Standing Water
A very efficient method for getting rid of mosquitoes is to not give them a place to lay their eggs.
Empty any containers of standing water like pet water dishes, rain barrels, kiddie pools, and birdbaths, and keep your yard and bushes trimmed.
Water your yard or garden only as much as needed so puddles and moisture don’t accumulate. Mosquito eggs can hatch in as little as one inch of water!
This means piles of leaves or trash, gutters and other areas that you hadn’t thought of can become breeding grounds for mosquito larvae.
Grow Insect-Repelling Plants
Mosquitoes hate strong smells and, lucky for us, some of the most delicious herbs are actually natural mosquito repellents!
- Basil – a study conducted in 2011 found that basil provides nearly 80% protection from mosquitoes! Pesto, anyone?
- Thyme – that same study also found that thyme provides over 90% protection. You’re halfway to an entire herb garden!
- Lemongrass – lemongrass was found to provide up to 95% protection from mosquitoes
- Catnip – Make your feline friends happy with this one, too. Studies have shown catnip is comparable to DEET when it comes to repelling mosquitoes.
Treat Your Yard with a Natural Mosquito Repellent
Repelling mosquitoes is a much more efficient way to avoid those bothersome mosquito bites than trying to kill every last one of them! A natural mosquito repellent will help you get rid of mosquitoes without harming other beneficial plant and animal life around your home.Also, remember to spray your yard at certain times. It’s important to spray for mosquitoes when they’re the most active, or when there is little to no daylight.
Our Mosquito Magician concentrate is made with 100% natural ingredients and is safe to use around children and pets. It can be applied with a handheld sprayer or battery sprayer, or using our patented reservoir machine that works with your existing sprinkler system!
How to Kill Mosquito Larvae
As you know by now, female mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Once they hatch, the larvae live in the water for about 10 days.
Kill the mosquito larvae there so they never have the chance to grow into whining, blood-sucking mosquitoes!
Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to kill mosquito larvae once you’ve found their breeding spot.
Use a Mosquito Dunk in Small Pools of Water
For small pools of water like fountains and ponds, use a mosquito dunk. These can be found at almost any hardware store or purchased online here. These donut-shaped dunks are made of bacteria that’s toxic to mosquitoes, but harmless to pets and wildlife.
Essential Oils & Apple Cider Vinegar
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Add apple cider vinegar (or red vinegar) to water to kill mosquitoes. Vinegar can take about 18 hours to kill mosquito larvae, so it can be a bit slow, but it will get the job done.
- Essential Oils – as mentioned above, essential oils are great for repelling mosquitoes, but they’re also good to kill mosquito larvae. Drop some cinnamon oil into standing water to kill larvae.
Will Bleach Kill Mosquitoes?
Yes, bleach will kill mosquito larvae, however, it is not an environmentally-friendly option. Bleach is harmful to pets and other beneficial wildlife and should be used as a last resort once all other (natural!) methods have been exhausted.
How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes in Plants
Whether they’re in your backyard, sitting on your porch, or growing inside your home, plants can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. The following tips will help you keep your plants free of biting pests.
Drill Drainage Holes in Potted Plants
You need to stop water from accumulating in potted plants. If any of your pots don’t already have drainage holes, drill a few holes about 1/2 inch in diameter so the water can properly drain from the plants instead of remaining stagnant.
Get Rid of Water in Drainage Dishes
Every time you water a plant, make sure you drain any extra water from the drainage dish. It only takes a week or two for mosquitoes to lay eggs that turn into larvae
In addition to making sure you clean out water in drainage dishes, be careful not to overwater your plants! This can create water at the bottom of the pot and on top of the soil, both places serving as an inviting mosquito hotspot.
Natural Mosquito Repellent
Spray natural mosquito repellent nearby if your plants are sitting on a porch or spread throughout your backyard. Mosquito Magician’s ultimate mosquito killer kit includes mosquito dunks, two pints of mosquito magician concentrate, and a hose sprayer so you can easily switch between watering plants and spraying all-natural mosquito repellent!
How to Get Rid of Mosquito Bites on Your Skin
You can’t get rid of mosquito bites once you have them, of course—but there are things you can do to minimize the itching and irritation that come with them.
As soon as you realize you have a mosquito bite, wash it with soap and warm water right away.
Here are some natural home remedies that help stop mosquito bites from itching:
Dab a small amount of isopropyl rubbing alcohol on the mosquito bite to dry it out and curb the itchiness.
Purchase an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion (sometimes these are labeled as bug bite creams). Rub a small amount on the bite to reduce itchiness and inflammation.
Dab some witch hazel essential oil on the mosquito bite and surrounding areas. The anti-itch and anti-inflammatory properties of witch hazel should help relieve your bug bite symptoms.
Take an oral antihistamine, like Benadryl, to reduce swelling and itching
If you don’t have any of the items above, a good old-fashioned ice compress should help. Fill a small plastic bag with ice and apply the compress to the mosquito bite to curb swelling.
Of course, it’s best to avoid mosquito bites in the first place by effectively repelling them—ideally, without harming the environment.
Don’t Fall for These Mosquito-Killing Myths
There’s a lot of misinformation about mosquitoes out there and a lot of methods touted as mosquito repellent don’t actually work. Here are some myths about mosquitoes and what the actual truth is!
Myth #1: Electronic or Ultrasonic Repellents Keep Mosquitoes Away
Nope. Scientists have studied the contraptions, which emit a high-frequency sound that is mostly inaudible to humans. In 2010 they concluded that “they have no effect on preventing mosquito bites” and that they should be neither recommended nor used.
Myth #2: Mosquitoes Can Grow Up to Two Inches in Length
No, they can’t—but that might be a good concept for a horror movie! Crane flies, which look very similar to mosquitoes, can grow that large. (Luckily, they don’t bite.) Most mosquitoes aren’t half that length.
Myth #3: Bats and Owls Help Control the Mosquito Population
While bats, owls, and some birds do snack on mosquitoes, they don’t eat anywhere enough to have a real effect on their numbers.
Myth #4: Residential Vegetation Produces Mosquitoes or Serves as Mosquito Nests
Not true. Mosquitoes don’t nest. They may rest in the vegetation, and if the leaves and soil surrounding them are allowed to collect water, may lay their eggs there. But no plant can “produce” mosquitoes.
Myth #5: The Citronella Plant Can Repel Mosquitoes from Your Yard
While citrosa oil (also called citronella) is frequently used as a mosquito repellent, the plant itself does not release these oils and does not act as a repellent.
Myth #6: Mosquitoes Can transmit HIV and AIDS
False, for two reasons: 1) Mosquitoes do not transmit HIV because they do not ingest enough HIV particles to transmit the disease and 2) they digest the HIV particles they do ingest, destroying any particles that could lead to infection.
So a mosquito bite will not cause AIDS, but they can transmit other diseases (such as Zika, dengue, and yellow fever) and they sure are annoying…
Get Rid of Mosquitoes for Good!
Our non-toxic mosquito repellent helps keep the mosquitoes that can transmit Zika and West Nile virus away from your property and your family without endangering your children, pets, or other wildlife.
Protect yourself from annoying and potentially harmful mosquitoes with our all-natural Mosquito Magician repellant spray products! Learn more about how we developed our safe and effective mosquito repellent, or start shopping now!
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