Are you fed up with mosquitoes bothering you in your house? It’s annoying having to swat them away with your hand during the day, but the worst is when they hover around your ears at night. I don’t know about you, but I hate it!
So, maybe it’s time to do something about it. Let’s see what control methods there are for inside our houses.
Why It’s Important To Eliminate Mosquitoes in Your House
A mosquito bite can leave an itchy bump, which is bad enough, but mosquitoes also transmit dangerous diseases, such as West Nile virus, Dengue, Chikungunya, or Zika.
Not all mosquitoes are vectors of disease, but before they bite, you don’t know. So it’s better to be on the safe side and take your part in controlling mosquitoes in your house.
Do you have trouble keeping mosquitoes out of your home? Fix or Repair Your Screens.
Ideally, your doors and windows will remain shut. Of course, this isn’t possible all the time, so make sure openings have a mesh screen that will keep the skeeters outside.
If you have existing screens, repair or replace any screens with tears, holes, or loose screens. If you don’t yet have screens it’s possible to buy adjustable screens or make your own quite cheaply.
Fill spaces around doors and windows. Weatherstrip can be used on the sides and the tops of doors. And if you have some old doors, check to see there not space underneath. If there is, install a door sweep.
Stop Mosquitoes Breeding in Your House
Although it may sound obvious, you must stop mosquitoes from breeding both outside and inside your house.
Indoors or out mosquitoes love standing water. They need it to breed, so make sure there’s none in your house.
Empty and clean at least once a week any pet drinking bowls, vases, flowerpots, or any container with water.
If you have taken all the precautions and still have a mosquito problem in your house, perhaps you have a plumbing problem or overlooked some standing water.
Check your basement, and anywhere your pipes run for leaks. Has your refrigerator a tray that collects water? Mosquitoes may use this for breeding. Your air conditioner will create water that might not be draining correctly. Verify the drainage and make sure there’s no water inside the unit.
How do you get rid of mosquitoes in the house?
You can use the traditional fly swatter, your hand, or use some other more passive methods.
Before getting into the methods of ridding your house of mosquitoes, let’s look at why they bite us and what attracts them to us.
It’s only the female mosquito that bites. She needs our blood to provide extra protein to develop her eggs. To find us, she uses several clues – body heat, body odors, and above all, carbon dioxide.
Now let’s see how we can kill them!
An indoor mosquito trap may work with just ultraviolet light or with UV light and carbon dioxide.
Some people report having some success with the UV-only traps, and others say these traps don’t attract mosquitoes. The ultraviolet light attracts the mosquitoes, and as they get near the light, they are sucked into the trap by a fan. They then dehydrate in a tray or net. Some have sticky boards, which means they cannot escape when the fan is turned off. These traps will trap any flying insect attracted by the light.
Traps that produce CO2 also work with UV lights. They don’t need any propane or CO2 cylinders to produce carbon dioxide. It’s produced by a photocatalytic reaction when the UV rays hit the Ti02 titanium dioxide-coated surface of the trap.
As CO2 is the main attractant mosquitoes look for when searching for a blood meal, these traps should be more successful. Besides mosquitoes, these traps attract other biting flies, fruit flies, wasps, and other insects.
A zapper, also known as an electric insect killer, emits a UV light that attracts all types of flying insects. The insects try to approach the light and are electrocuted on a grid with an electric current running through it.
An insect killer can come in the form of a lamp, a rectangular unit, or a tennis racket.
The racket bug zapper works in the same way as the more traditional insect killers, but instead of being stationary, you take a gentle swipe at the bug while pressing the button that activates the electric charge.
The traditional bug zapper kills insects indiscriminately. Apparently, there is no reason mosquitoes are attracted to UV light zappers. So logically, these insect killers shouldn’t kill many mosquitoes and probably won’t kill the insects that are bothering you. Despite this, most people seem happy with them and say they do catch some mosquitoes.
Dual Sided Sticky Paper
An old-fashioned method that works for catching flying insects is the sticky double-sided yellow sheets. Although mainly used for aphids, leaf miner, fungus gnats, thrips, whiteflies, black flies, fruit flies, and midges, I have seen some mosquitoes on these.
Plug-In Mosquito Killers
Plug-In killers work by releasing an insecticide into the air. The pesticide may be in liquid form or the form of a little blue mat or tablet.
When plugged in, the killer heats the liquid or tablet. In doing so, it converts the insecticide into the form of a vapor. When the tablet turns white, it needs to be changed. These work silently without odor. There are some battery versions that could make them useful for camping.
Read the instructions before using. If you have asthma or other allergies, you may find the vapor can affect you. The insecticide is diffused all the time the device is plugged in, so you will be breathing it all night.
There are also plug-in insect catchers the use ultraviolet light and sticky sheets. These are chemical-free but have little mosquito catching ability.
Use Air Conditioning
Having the air conditioning running can help in a few ways. It won’t get rid of the mosquitoes, but it can deter them from biting you.
The AC creates a breeze, which means the CO2 you exhale will be circulated around the room, making it harder for a mosquito to pinpoint your position.
With the air circulation, it will be harder for the mosquitoes to fly. Mosquitoes don’t like windy conditions.
Air conditioning will dry the air and reduce the temperature; mozzies prefer warm, humid conditions.
Mosquitoes also detect your body heat; if you are cooler, you will emit fewer odors and so be harder to find.
Insect Sprays and Foggers
Insect spray is another choice. They are applied to surfaces where mosquitoes rest. Skeeters prefer cool, somber, humid places such as under sinks, showers, closets, or behind furniture. Mosquitoes die when they come into contact with the treated surfaces.
Aerosols and foggers are used to kill mosquitoes in the air. When using these, you will have to leave the room or house for a time.
Foggers are often effective for a couple of months and can eliminate many insects besides mosquitoes. There are precautionary steps to take before using a fogger. It’s probably too strong for eliminating a few mosquitoes unless you have another insect infestation you want to tackle at the same time. If you consider using a fogger, read the instructions carefully.
An aerosol is easier to use. Shake well, and then spray away from you. After using, you should wait for the spray to dry before reentering the room. Aerosols will kill flying and crawling insects. Again make sure to follow the instructions.
An Electric Fan
Another method of avoiding mosquito bites is by using an electric fan. This won’t kill the mosquitoes, but it can be very effective in stopping them from biting you.
As the mosquitoes aren’t strong fliers, the strong flow of air from a fan can perturb their flight. It will also make it harder for them to find you, as the carbon dioxide you exhale will be dispersed around the room.
Sleep Under a Mosquito Net
If you’re in an area where mosquitoes are vectors of disease, and you don’t have screens to keep mosquitoes out, then it could be worth considering installing some mosquito nets on your beds.
They are widely used around the world to prevent diseases from spreading. In Africa, insecticide-treated mosquito nets have been shown to reduce deaths in children under 5 by 20%.
Bed nets are fine nets hung over the bed to protect people from mosquito bites while they’re sleeping. There should be no gaps that allow mosquitoes to pass. The nets should be tucked under the mattress or be long enough to touch the floor. They should be pulled tightly to prevent choking hazards for young children. You shouldn’t sleep against the net, or the mosquitoes will still bite you through the netting.
Mosquitoes are often most active at night, so it’s important to be protected at this time, especially for pregnant women and young children.
There is quite a range of repellents, but many, such as repellent coils or Thermacell lanterns, are only for outdoor use, so always check the instructions before using them. There are also others that don’t work.
A couple of repellents that have been tested to show they offer no or very little protection are bug-repellent wristbands or bracelets and ultra-sound devices.
If mosquitoes are a big problem in your house, you might be tempted to spray some DEET or Picaridin on your skin. These repellents are effective, recommended by the CDC, and great for outdoor use.
But before using indoors think again! See what the EPA says about using insect repellents safely – don’t spray in enclosed areas, don’t inhale the vapors, don’t use near food, and wash treated skin when you come indoors.
You could try repellent candles. There are many on the market for indoor or outdoor use. They often use citronella, lemongrass, rosemary, or other natural essential oils. These aren’t registered with the EPA, so they haven’t been tested for efficacity or safety, but they may give limited protection.
Tabletop repellent diffusers are another form of repellents. They often use essential oils, but their success in repelling mosquitoes is limited.
Repellents using essential oils can be purchased or even homemade. There are many oils or herbs people use to make sprays, either to spray around the house or on the skin. Total protection isn’t guaranteed, but it’s nice to have a solution that helps without using chemicals in the house.
Some essential oils often used are mint, lavender, lemon eucalyptus, or citronella. The EPA doesn’t test essential oils, so you don’t know if they’re effective or safe. Don’t count on them to repel all mosquitoes.
The FDA says this about essential oils. “Sometimes people think that if an “essential oil” or other ingredient comes from a plant, it must be safe. But many plants contain materials that are toxic, irritating, or likely to cause allergic reactions when applied to the skin.”
Plants or Shrubs
Some people also recommend having repellent plants around the house or near the entrances and windows. Plants considered could be mint, lavender, lemon balm, citronella grass, geranium, catnip, tulsi, marigolds, or lemongrass. You can crush some of these plants’ leaves and rub them on your skin to repel the skeeters. Nice to have these plants around, even if they don’t give much protection.
I hope you now have a few ideas that will help you keep mosquitoes out of your house and deal with them when they do get in. This should give you nights free from the annoying buzz.
Keeping the skeeters outside with screens is the best course of action. However, there will inevitably be some that make it indoors. Although the essential oil and plant solutions sound enticing, their efficacity is limited.
My top choices to use with screens would be a trap that uses CO2 to attract mosquitoes, a fan, and/or a bed net (especially for young children or pregnant women in areas where mosquitoes are known to spread disease). The plug-in killers work well, but you will be breathing the insecticide all night.
To be mosquito-free in your house, it’s first necessary to tackle mosquitoes on several fronts outside.
Breeding areas in your yard and even in the house have to be eliminated by removing or regularly changing any standing water, even small quantities – vases, saucers under plant pots. Water that can’t be drained should be covered or treated with a larvicide.
Ensure your garden is tidy; no plastic sheets, tires, toys, or anything else that can contain water should be left lying around.
Keep your garden well-trimmed mosquitoes like shady areas to rest in the day and sheltered areas to keep them out of the wind.
Use insecticides and traps to eliminate adult mosquitoes outside.
If you take these steps, you should see fewer mosquitoes both outside and in the house.