Learn how to get rid of mosquitoes inside the house in our complete mosquito guide! Summer evenings can turn into an itchy annoyance when mosquitoes find their way into your home.
You’re not alone if mosquitoes are causing you frustration, especially if they buzz around your home and leave you with irritating bites. Fortunately, as far as mosquitoes go, there are proven ways to get rid of them in your living space with minimal effort and little to no chemicals.
Understanding Mosquitoes and How to Get Rid of Them
Life Cycle of Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes go through four main stages in their life cycle: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.
The best way to get rid of mosquitoes in your home is to learn about the four stages and devise a plan. Keep in mind that we don’t just find them in houses. They are also some of the common bugs in NYC, found throughout apartments.
- Egg: Female mosquitoes lay eggs in water or moist areas. They can lay 100-200 eggs at a time. These mosquito eggs typically hatch within 48 hours but can survive if dried.
- Larva: After hatching, the mosquito larvae live in water and feed on microorganisms. They molt several times, growing larger with each stage. This stage lasts about 7 to 10 days.
- Pupa: The larvae turn into pupae, also found in water. They don’t eat during this stage but move around in response to light or disturbance. This stage lasts about 1 to 4 days.
- Adult: Once the pupa stage is complete, the adult mosquito emerges and begins its short life, which lasts about 2 to 4 weeks.
Understanding this life cycle is essential, as disrupting any stage can help prevent a mosquito infestation in your home. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a guide on the many diseases mosquitoes spread.
Mosquito Species Common Indoors
Different mosquito species are more likely to be found indoors, such as:
- House mosquitoes (Culex pipiens): They are most common in urban and suburban areas and often enter homes looking for a place to rest. These blood suckers can feed on nearby birds too, which is how they spread the West Nile virus.
- Asian tiger mosquitoes (Aedes albopictus): These mosquitoes are aggressive daytime biters and have spread in many parts of the world. They are known for breeding in small water containers like flower pots or buckets and can transmit the Zika virus.
Understanding common indoor mosquito species and their habits can help you take essential measures to prevent mosquito invasions and keep your home mosquito-free. How to get rid of mosquitoes inside the house involves some research and a plan.
Initial Steps to Get Rid of Mosquitoes Inside the House
Identify Mosquito Breeding Areas
First, you should identify mosquito breeding areas in your home. You may know that mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, so look for stagnant water sources inside your house. These could include flower pots, buckets, trash cans, or any other container that can collect water. Remember to regularly empty and clean these items to prevent mosquito infestations.
Do an Outside Perimeter Check and Look for Standing Water
Next, check the perimeter of your house for any standing water. Outside sources of stagnant water can attract mosquitoes and allow them to find their way inside. Look for puddles in your garden, birdbaths, kiddie pools, tall grass, or gutters that may be clogged. Removing these water sources can significantly reduce the number of mosquitoes near your home.
Make Sure All Windows Have Screens
To prevent mosquitoes from entering your home:
- Ensure all windows have screens.
- Check your screens and window seals for minuscule tears or holes, and repair them immediately.
- If you don’t have screen windows, consider installing them to keep mosquitoes and insects out.
Clean and De-Clutter Your Home
Finally, maintain a clean and clutter-free environment inside your house. Mosquitoes can hide in the dark, cluttered spaces, so keeping your home tidy can make it harder for them to find refuge.
Regularly dust and vacuum your home, and consider using essential oils with mosquito-repelling properties, such as lavender or lemongrass, to make your house less appealing to these pests.
Chemical Methods for Mosquito Control
Using Mosquito Sprays and Insect Repellent
Mosquito sprays are a quick and easy option to eliminate pests in your house. Choose sprays with active ingredients like pyrethroids or pyrethrins, as these are known to be effective against mosquitoes. Always follow the instructions on the label to maximize efficiency and minimize any harm to your family and pets.
Using Mosquito Coils
Mosquito coils can be another helpful solution for repelling or killing mosquitoes inside your house. They are pyrethroid-treated materials that slowly release insecticides when burned.
To use mosquito coils effectively:
- Place the coil in a well-ventilated area, ideally on a flat surface away from flammable materials.
- Light one end of the coil and allow it to smolder, creating a smoke that will deter mosquitoes.
- Make sure to supervise the burning coil to prevent any accidents, and never leave it unattended.
Remember to take safety precautions with mosquito sprays and coils, including correctly storing and disposing of used products. Remember to combine chemical methods with other preventative measures for a comprehensive approach to mosquito control in your home.
Natural Methods for Mosquito Control
Controlling the mosquito population outdoors will, in turn, help you figure out how to get rid of mosquitoes in the house.
Here are some natural remedies for dealing with mosquitoes. Remember that you must implement many of these tactics, as just planting one citronella plant is not likely to help. Instead, implement several things from this list, and they will all work together to keep mosquitoes away.
If none of these work, then consider hiring a pest control expert to help you rid your home of mosquitoes using the most effective methods.
Using Mosquito-Repelling Plants
Introducing mosquito-repellent plants into your home is an effective and eco-friendly way to deter mosquitoes. Several plants have natural properties to keep mosquitoes at bay.
- Citronella: You might be familiar with citronella candles, but the plant is also great for repelling mosquitoes. Plant citronella around your home, or keep a few potted plants indoors.
- Lavender: Not only does lavender smell lovely to some, but it is also an excellent mosquito deterrent. Plant some lavender near windows and entrances, or place dried lavender near your bed to keep those pesky mosquitoes away.
- Basil: This versatile herb is not only great for cooking, but it also has natural mosquito-repellent properties. Plant some basil pots near your entryway doors and all windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.
Using Mosquito-Repellent Essential Oils
You can put a few drops into a spray bottle with distilled water. Since mosquitoes can bite through clothes, you may want to use some of these oils on your clothing.
- Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus:
- Pressed from the leaves of the Eucalyptus tree, this oil is known for its high efficacy in repelling mosquitoes. The CDC recommends it as an alternative to DEET for long-lasting protection.
- Lemongrass Oil:
- This potent oil is extracted from the lemongrass plant and contains citronella, a natural mosquito repellent. They use it in mosquito-repellent candles and sprays for its pleasant, citrusy scent and repellent properties.
- Lavender oil, known for its soothing fragrance, is also effective against mosquitoes. Its calming scent masks the body odors that attract mosquitoes, making it a natural, gentle option for bug protection.
- Cinnamon Oil:
- Cinnamon oil is a powerful mosquito repellent extracted from cinnamon bark or leaves. You can dilute a small amount with water and spray it on clothing or exposed skin for protection.
- Citronella Oil:
- Citronella oil is widely recognized as a mosquito repellent in many commercial products. It’s derived from different species of lemongrass and is most effective when used in outdoor spaces.
- Tea Tree Oil:
- Tea tree oil, aka melaleuca oil, is known for its antiseptic properties and is an effective insect repellent. Its strong scent is unappealing to mosquitoes, making it a valuable addition to lotions and sprays for personal protection.
Using DIY Natural Mosquito Traps
Another way to keep mosquitoes at bay is by creating DIY mosquito traps. These simple traps can effectively reduce the mosquito population in your home.
- Apple cider vinegar trap: For this trap, you’ll need a small container, plastic wrap, a rubber band, and apple cider vinegar. Fill the container with the vinegar, cover it with plastic wrap, then secure it tightly with a rubber band. Then, poke small holes in the wrap. It will attract mosquitoes with the vinegar smell; they’ll enter through the holes and get trapped inside.
- Sugar and yeast trap: Mix 1/4 cup of brown sugar with 1 cup of warm water in a plastic bottle. Cut the top part of the bottle off and invert it, placing it into the bottom part of the bottle like a funnel. Add a pinch of yeast to the sugar water, and set the trap where mosquitoes are most active. The carbon dioxide released by the yeast will attract mosquitoes, trapping them inside the bottle.
Using these natural mosquito ridding methods, you can reduce the number of mosquitoes in your home without resorting to harmful chemicals.
Using Mosquito Dunks
Mosquito Dunks are a type of biological control that releases a bacterium toxic to mosquito larvae when placed in standing water. They are safe for pets and wildlife, making them an eco-friendly option to keep mosquito populations under control.
Use of Electronic Gadgets
Ultrasonic Pest Repellers
Ultrasonic pest repellers are popular among homeowners because they are safe and eco-friendly. However, during some studies, these actually did little as an effective mosquito control method. These devices emit ultrasonic waves, which are inaudible to humans but can deter mosquitoes and other pests. To utilize this method:
- Place the repeller strategically in your house, especially in areas with high mosquito activity.
- Plug it into a power outlet and switch it on.
- Give it time to take effect, as the results might take time.
Remember that this method is not foolproof, and some individuals might not find it as effective as expected.
Electronic Mosquito Swatters
Another valuable gadget for tackling mosquitoes indoors is an electronic mosquito swatter, a bug zapper racket. This handheld device helps in eliminating mosquitoes with minimal effort. Here’s how to use it:
- Charge the swatter before use to ensure maximum efficiency.
- Switch it on and hold the button down as you swing it towards the mosquito.
- Dispose of dead mosquitoes with care, as they may carry diseases.
These electric swatters are a cost-effective and portable solution for dealing with mosquitoes inside your home. Remember to exercise caution while using them, especially around children and pets.
Preventive Measures and Regular Practices
Regular Home Cleaning
To avoid mosquito infestations and itchy bites, it’s crucial to keep your home clean and clutter-free. First, clean any areas of standing water, such as flower pots, pet dishes, or bird baths. Be sure to empty, wash, and refill them regularly. In addition, remove any unnecessary items that can hold water, as these are potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Regularly sweep and vacuum floors, paying close attention to corners and hidden spaces. Remember to empty and wash waste bins to eliminate potential mosquito breeding sites.
Also, change the bed linens frequently and air out the rooms.
Maintaining Good Ventilation
How To Get Rid of Mosquitoes Inside the House: A well-ventilated house can make it more difficult for mosquitoes to enter and thrive. Make sure that doors and windows have proper mesh or screen protection to keep them out while allowing fresh air circulation inside.
Replace any damaged screens or fix gaps in the mesh to ensure a solid barrier.
Ensure exhaust fans function properly in bathrooms and kitchens, which can help remove moisture that attracts mosquitoes. Open windows in various rooms during the day to increase air circulation and make it less inviting for mosquitoes.
Proper Waste Disposal
Disposing of waste is essential in preventing mosquitoes from breeding in your home. Here are some mosquito guidelines for proper waste disposal: which will help with: How To Get Rid of Mosquitoes Inside the House
- Empty and wash waste bins regularly to avoid stagnant water.
- Dispose of food scraps in sealed bags to prevent kitchen trash from overflowing.
- Keep outdoor waste bins covered with tightly sealed lids to avoid attracting insects.
- Regularly clean out gutters and drains to prevent water accumulation, which can lead to mosquito breeding.
Following these preventive measures and regular practices can reduce the likelihood of mosquitoes infesting your home and make it a safer, more comfortable space for you and your loved ones.