How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes in Your Home and Yard
How to get rid of mosquitoes in your yard FAST! These proven, organic and natural remedies work just as well, if not better, than the toxic stuff.
Not only are mosquitoes a nuisance, but they can also carry dangerous diseases. If you have a mosquito problem, you’re in the right place.
There are ways to not only get rid of them but also prevent them from entering your home in the first place.
Luckily, there are simple things you can do to keep them at bay and kill them to effectively get rid of your mosquito problem.
Learn all these tips, tricks, and methods to getting rid of mosquitoes inside your home and outside in your yard in this complete guide.
What are the Dangers of Mosquitoes?
Mosquitoes are among the most serious insect pests attacking humans and affect the lives of vast numbers of people worldwide.
Approximately 3,000 different species of mosquitoes are found throughout the world of which 150 species occur in the United States.
They carry some of the most widespread and devastating human disease agents including West Nile Virus, Encephalitis, Yellow Fever, Zika Virus, and Malaria.
Mosquitoes are also responsible for transmitting heartworm in dogs.
These diseases, infections, and illnesses are now found in just about every part of the United States.
At the time of feeding, the female pierces the skin and injects saliva, which is responsible for the irritation that follows.
Blood taken from humans or other animals infected with disease-producing organisms, in turn, infects the mosquito which transmits them to the next person they bite.
It’s widely believed that mosquitoes suck on blood for food. Instead, mosquitoes actually consume blood in order to sustain their bodies and develop and hatch healthy eggs.
Since mosquitoes may lay 100 eggs at once, populations of this pest can quickly become unmanageable.
When trying to get rid of mosquitoes, it’s important to use more than one method to kill them at all stages of their life cycle.
Lifecycle of a Mosquito
The mosquito has four distinct stages in its life cycle: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. A large number of species overwinter as eggs, others as larvae or adults. All have one common requirement – mosquitoes need stagnant or standing water to complete their life cycle.
After a blood meal, the female develops her eggs. Adult males, on the other hand, don’t bite and feed solely on plant nectar. One blood meal supplies enough nutrients for her to produce several hundred eggs which she will lay in or around water.
Depending on the species, eggs are either attached to one another to form a raft or they are laid individually and float on water.
Eggs hatch within days releasing larvae, commonly called “wrigglers,” which feed on microorganisms in the water until they pupate 7-10 days later.
Adults emerge 1-4 days later and can live for a period of four to eight weeks.
There are several overlapping generations throughout the season. In warmer regions breeding occurs year-round.
How to Protect Yourself Against the Dangers of Mosquitoes?
For anyone being exposed to areas with mosquitoes, whether it be your home, yard, or a nearby park or lake, it’s important to protect yourself against the dangers of mosquitoes.
For this, the CDC suggests using an EPA-registered personal mosquito repellent.
Mosquito repellents work to make you less appealing to these pests when they’re drawn to us due to the carbon dioxide in our breaths or elements in our sweat.
They’re available in spray, cream, stick, and clip-on style to allow you to use whichever one works for you the best.
The CDC advises using a topical repellent that includes 20 percent or more DEET to protect against both mosquitoes and ticks.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found that DEET continues to meet safety standards when used properly.
Different repellent brands have varying DEET concentration levels, so pay attention to their strength when choosing a repellent. Always make sure you apply the product according to the instructions on the label.
Mosquito repellent, like sunscreen, must be reapplied every few hours or it will lose its effectiveness.
In addition to DEET, there are repellents that use lemon oil, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and picaridin.
They tend to be most active at dawn and dusk, so remember to take necessary precautions especially then. You can also consider wearing a long-sleeved shirt and long pants to help keep them off you.
What Attracts Mosquitoes to Your Yard?
Since mosquito larvae develop in water, adult mosquitoes are attracted to damp soil or standing water in order to lay their eggs.
Mosquitoes prefer dark, humid areas. For breeding purposes, they like areas with a lot of shade and moisture.
Mosquito larvae can be found in any source of standing water, including old tires, flower pots, clogged gutters, birdbaths, and water features like fish ponds.
Some common breeding areas for mosquitoes include:
- Standing water
- Tall grass
- Hollow trees
- Irrigation ditches
- Salt marshes
- Catch basins
- Storm water retention areas
How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes Inside Your Home
Have some annoying mosquitoes in your home? No problem, here are some ways you can repel them effectively!
Although mosquitoes are more likely to be a problem outside your home in the yard, than inside the home, they sure can be a nuisance!
Here are some ways you can effectively repel mosquitoes that have entered your home:
Sealing Your Space
The best way to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home is to not let them enter in the first place.
Repair any holes, tears, or gaps in your screens and doors to keep mosquitos out. If you can see sunlight through the space around your door, it is not sealed properly and mosquitoes can still get in. Use a door strip to properly seal your doors.
Bug zappers are a decent choice if you only have a few stray bugs because they are safe to use indoors and can kill mosquitoes on contact.
They attract mosquitoes by using heat and carbon dioxide. When a mosquito or other flying insect gets too close to the device, it is electrocuted and dies immediately.
Some mosquito experts say that these devices bring more mosquitoes to your yard than they kill, but others have had success with them.
A mosquito trap, like a zapper, attracts mosquitoes with heat and an attractive scent. When a mosquito approaches the trap, it is sucked inside the device by a low-power vacuum, trapping and killing it.
Mosquitoes struggle to fly when the wind is blowing. Turn on your fan and watch the mosquitos scatter and eventually give up.
Lavender candles are a natural mosquito repellent that keeps insects away while also making your home smell nice.
You can also make a repellent spray with the essential oils of plants that keep mosquitoes away, like lavender oil, tea tree oil, lemon oil, eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil, or clove oil.
Fill a spray bottle halfway with water and 30 drops of your essential oil. Remember to shake the oil and water together before spraying around your home.
Essential oils aren’t as effective as traditional pesticides but they can still be helpful.
How 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:
Eliminate Standing Water
The most effective method for reducing mosquito numbers is to eliminate their breeding sites (standing water).
Mosquito larvae hatch from eggs laid by female mosquitoes in areas with a lot of standing water. The following steps will help:
- Eliminate standing water in rain gutters, old tires, buckets, plastic covers, toys, pet bowls, or any other container where pests can breed.
- Empty and change the water in bird baths, fountains, wading pools, rain barrels, and potted plant trays at least once a week to destroy potential habitats.
- Drain or fill temporary pools of water with dirt.
- Keep swimming pool water treated and circulating.
Treat Bodies of Water
In places where you can’t get rid of all the water, like goldfish ponds, take steps to stop mosquitoes from breeding. Introduce fish like goldfish, bluegills, and minnows that eat mosquito larvae. Trim back any plants that are near the body of water. Keep the water circulating by installing pond pumps.
Standing water can occasionally be treated with products that kill eggs and larvae. Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (BTI) is a naturally occurring bacterium that produces a toxin that is toxic to mosquito larvae.
These insect growth regulators stop young mosquitoes from maturing by inhibiting their growth.
Before adding chemicals, check the package to confirm that fish can survive in the same water.
Keep Your Lawn Manicured
Mosquitoes prefer to rest and settle in cool, moist, and dark places. Maintain your lawn by trimming trees and shrubs and ensuring that your grass is not too long. This makes your yard less appealing to mosquitoes.
Apply Chemical Repellents
A reliable method to get rid of mosquitoes is to apply a chemical insect repellent made for outdoor use. Repellents can keep these pests away from lawns, backyards, and gardens for up to eight weeks.
Kill the immature larval stage before it can develop into a flying, biting adult with Bacillus thuringiensis var israelensis (Bt-i).
Available under various trade names, including Microbe-Lift® BMC, Bt-i is a naturally occurring and highly specific biological pesticide.
Applied to standing water, it is effective for up to 30 days and will not harm people, pets, wildlife, or fish.
Use a Mosquito Fogger
Flying, biting adults rest in protected areas during the day. To reduce populations, use a Mosquito Fogger made from organic plant oils or spray natural pesticides on shrubs, the lower limbs of shade trees, under decks, along foundations and other pest resting sites.
Set a Mosquito Trap
Mosquito traps are a convenient way to keep your mosquito population under control. These traps work by simulating the visual and smell cues that attract mosquitos to humans.
There are numerous types of mosquito traps available. Some function by attracting mosquitos to a sticky surface, while others use an electric grid to electrocute them.
For this technique, install traps in a shady location. You might have to move them around until you find the best spot to catch mosquitoes.
It’s important to note that different mosquito species react differently to traps, so this isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.
Burn Citronella Candles
Place citronella candles every few feet along the railing of your deck, or in the center of your outdoor dining tables.
Mosquitoes don’t like the smell of citronella, which is made with lemongrass oil. As long as the candles are lit, mosquitoes are likely to stay away from the area.
Mosquitoes dislike certain types of plants, such as catnip, lavender, holy basil, rosemary, lemon thyme, and marigolds. The plant oils and smells will function as a natural insect repellent.
Plant a few different kinds in places around your home that get a lot of foot traffic, like along walkways, in window boxes, or in pots on front porches, back patios, and decks.
Lay Down Some Cedar Mulch
Cedar oil is a common ingredient in mosquito repellents, and cedar mulch is easy to find for your lawn or garden. Cedar mulch absorbs excess moisture, keeping it in the soil and preventing mosquitoes from breeding in your plants.
Attract Birds to Your Yard
If you’re swamped with mosquitoes, attracting predators won’t do much good, but if you’re getting a few unpleasant guests here and there, it might be worth a try.
Many birds, including purple martins, waterfowl, swallows, and migratory songbirds, are natural mosquito predators. Setting up bird feeders is a great way to attract these birds.
Use ‘Bug’ Lights
Mosquitoes are attracted to light from traditional bulbs. Replace your outdoor lights with yellow ‘bug’ lights which tend to attract fewer insects than ordinary lights.
By using these bug lights, you’ll be able to attract fewer of these annoying pests.
How to Prevent Mosquitoes in the First Place
Knowing how and where mosquitoes breed is one of the keys to managing them, as well as preventing them in the first place. Here are all the things you can do to prevent mosquitoes from infesting your place:
- Eliminating areas with standing water is the best approach to lessen the number of mosquitoes in your yard. This way, they won’t have any places to lay eggs. Even a small amount of water can be a breeding ground for them.
- Change the water in bird baths on a regular basis.
- Use larvicides to treat non-drinking water containers.
- Clean your gutters so that they don’t get clogged and water doesn’t build up.
- Try not to overwater your yard.
- In situations where it is impossible to eliminate all water, take measures to prevent mosquito breeding.
- Introduce fish like goldfish and minnows that eat mosquito larvae.
- Prune any vegetation that surrounds a body of water and set up pond pumps to keep the water moving.
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