How To Get Rid Of Mosquitoes Inside The House And Out
There are many methods for repelling mosquitoes, but some are more effective than others. Learn about popular methods that may help clear out this common pest.
If you don’t know how to get rid of mosquitoes, you could be putting your family's lives in danger. Mosquito control is one of the more pressing issues around the world, yet it is often overlooked in the United States. With diseases such as malaria, dengue and yellow fever, estimates put worldwide mosquito-related deaths between one and two million each year. Here’s a simple checklist on how to get rid of mosquitoes to help keep you and your family itch-free:
Are you fighting a losing battle?
The most ineffective way to get rid of mosquitoes is also the most common. Swatting at these bloodsuckers one by one just won’t cut it. Sure, if you want to get rid of mosquitoes on a very small scale – say, one or two in your home – you can print this page, roll it up and start chasing them down. But with so much on the line (e.g., your family's health, your sanity, your freedom from itching, etc.), you'll need better methods of mosquito control if you want to stay mosquito-free.
Are you inviting them into your home
Some people are just too hospitable. Don't invite the mosquitoes over to dine on your family. Instead, seal up your home. Make sure your doors and windows seal tightly, and if you are going to leave them open, make sure they are outfitted with properly fitted screens. The screens should be in good repair, having no holes or tears. Sealing up cracks and crevices in the foundation and around entryways will help keep most insects and bugs out of your home, mosquitoes included.
Are you providing mosquitoes with breeding fodder?
One of the best ways to get rid of mosquitoes is to control their population by limiting their breeding capabilities. When a mosquito sucks your blood, they are actually making their reproductive output more efficient. Without the isoleucine they extract from your blood, females can only lay 10 eggs at most. But with the isoleucine, they can lay up to 100. So the less you allow mosquitoes to bite you, the less of them there will be. Wear long pants and sleeves when you go outdoors. Cover exposed skin with hats and scarves, limiting the areas mosquitoes have access to wherever possible. Use a mosquito spray that contains DEET and reapply according to product label instructions.
Are you getting rid of mosquito breeding grounds?
Mosquitoes require water for two important life cycle stages (hatching into larva and developing into pupa), so eliminating standing water greatly reduces their population. This leaves them no place to hatch their eggs, whether it's 10 or 100. Common rainwater pooling occurs in, on or around buckets, gutters, old tires, refuse, plastic tarps, containers, birdbaths, pools, rain barrels, potted plants and similar items. Store anything capable of catching rainwater upside down to eliminate standing water. Drill drainage holes in items that cannot be stored upside down. Clean gutters and drainage systems to stop water from pooling. Fix leaky outdoor water faucets. Treat swimming pools and keep the water circulating. Keep tarps and covers pulled taut to stop pooling. Replace birdbath water two to three times each week. Fill in ditches with dirt. If ditches are for drainage, make sure proper fill is used for adequate drainage. The ultimate goal? A few hours after it rains, no standing water should be present on your property unless it is treated by a pest management professional.
Do mosquito traps really get rid of mosquitoes?
Mosquito traps are a point of contention in the industry. Some people believe they work, while others believe they actually increase the mosquito population. In truth, there’s no right or wrong answer due to the way mosquito traps work, and a few other factors. Mosquito traps get rid of mosquitoes by baiting them into the trap with some type of attractant. Some traps use fans to suck mosquitoes into a net, while others work the same way as sticky glue traps for rodents. Some traps electrocute the mosquito when it lands, while other high-tech traps use carbon dioxide to imitate a person’s breath, thus drawing in only mosquitoes, not other insects. Unfortunately, different species of mosquito react differently to different traps. This means there is no "best mosquito trap" for all mosquitoes. Other factors such as placement, wind velocity, population, breeding habits and landscape all play into whether the trap will effectively capture and kill mosquitoes, or just attract them to your home. Consult with a pest management professional before placing mosquito traps.
Is prevention easier than mosquito control?
For the average person, avoiding the nuisance and danger of mosquitoes is more about prevention than control. Mosquito control requires a deep knowledge of the conditions that affect treatment as well as the species of mosquito you are dealing with. This is best left up to pest management professionals. For your part, the most effective way to deal with mosquitoes on a daily basis is to practice bite avoidance. Use an insect repellent spray that contains no more than 30 percent DEET. Wear long sleeves and pants when possible. Cover exposed areas of skin. Put mosquito netting on baby strollers. If possible, avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn, the two times of day when mosquitoes are most active.
For actual mosquito control, call Terminix®, the professionals who know how to get rid of mosquitoes, so you can enjoy the outdoors.