How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes
Discover how to get rid of mosquitoes using the best mosquito control methods, and our professional mosquito control products.
December 16th, 2023
Mosquitoes are common summertime pests. They can not only be a royal nuisance, but they can also be dangerous carriers of disease. Here we will share how to get rid of mosquitoes, as well as how to protect yourself from them.
Mosquitoes are tiny, flying insects that are classified as parasites. This means they survive by benefiting from stolen nutrients from their host. They need water to breed, so they tend to congregate near ponds, marshes, and other bodies of water.
However, they will also inhabit damp areas near your home, such as under decks or in tall grass. In this guide, you’ll find tips on how to kill mosquitoes in your house and your yard.
Key Mosquito Control Takeaways
Eliminate any standing water, even in small amounts, as these are breeding grounds for mosquitos.
Use Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs) to greatly reduce mosquito breeding ability.
How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes
The best mosquito control methods include eliminating breeding sites (removing standing water), using insecticides, using foggers and misting system compounds, and using mosquito bombs or repellents for large areas. Let's dive into each method in more detail below.
Mosquitoes typically thrive in tropical weather, but you can find them virtually anywhere in the United States. Most species rest in dense vegetation, such as shrubs, tall grass, and weeds. For your mosquito control program to be successful, it's crucial you target these areas in particular.
While mosquitoes are capable of breeding in just about any standing water, they particularly like to breed and lay their eggs in foul standing water that contains many bits of organic debris.
To get rid of mosquito breeding sites, you need to find anywhere that there is nasty standing water on your property, chances are you'll have some larvae inside. To check whether you have larvae inhabiting standing water, simply dip a cup into the stagnant water.
If you have a mosquito larvae problem, you should be able to see fingernail-sized larvae squiggling around in the cup.
To get rid of Mosquitoes, be sure to check these mosquito breeding areas:
children's toys left outside
Get Rid Of Mosquitoes By Spraying Professional Residual Insecticides
You can commonly find adult mosquitoes in bushes and shrubs because they like to feed on plant nectar. Most adult mosquito varieties will rest on vegetation during the day.
You can repel mosquitoes and eliminate some of their hiding spaces by trimming and getting rid of overgrown weeds.
You can get rid of mosquitoes by spraying the foliage of shrubs and bushes, as well as the lower limbs of shade trees and tall grass.
To spray residual mosquito insecticides and kill the mosquitos in your house, you'll want to use one of the following:
Spraying with these mosquito insecticides or mosquito bombs is effective, safe, and affordable when used as directed. Mavrik Perimeter is a great choice because it will not harm bees in the area.
You can decrease the number of mosquito eggs and larvae by mixing in an insect growth regulator like Pivot 10 to your tank of Bifen It, Mavrik Perimeter, or Eco Via. When spraying mosquito insecticide, always be sure to avoid spraying flowers and blooms, especially when using Bifen IT or Proflex Encapsulated.
You should be particularly careful not to spray on blooming flowers because it may harm helpful pollinating insects like bees, butterflies, and moths.
If you've properly applied the residual mosquito insecticides, you may begin to see fewer mosquitoes in roughly two to four weeks.
Spray Tips for Killing Mosquitoes:
To most efficiently get rid of mosquitoes, spray when they are active in the morning or evening.
Avoid spraying near bodies of water like ponds.
You may want to invest in a quality sprayer, such as the Chapin Mosquito Poly One Gallon Sprayer # 2014
Use Foggers And Misting System Compounds to Get Rid of Mosquitoes
Foggers, Misting Systems, and mosquito bombs are some of the best mosquito control methods. Typically, foggers are divided into two categories - electric cold foggers and thermal foggers. They both have advantages and some disadvantages, which you can see below.
Electric Cold Foggers - Pros and Cons
You can use oil or water-based insecticides
A broader range of formulations
You can use these to get rid of mosquitoes inside the house or outside
Only uses electricity, limiting its mobility
Thermal Foggers - Pros and Cons
Some thermal foggers are highly economical, running on propane
Can only use oil-based insecticides
Water-based insecticides are convenient and can be used in cold foggers and misting systems. Mosquito Barrier, Stryker 5-25, Riptide Water-based Pyrethrin ULV, Sector Misting Concentrate, VamPyre Misting Concentrate, Hyperion Advanced Mist Concentrate, and Vector Ban Plus Insecticide are all great options in the water-based insecticide category.
How To Get Rid of Mosquitoes Using Repellents
If you don't want to take the insecticide, fogging, or misting route of mosquito control, repellents are an easy and attractive option. Most people have used and are very familiar with mosquito repellent made for the skin, but there are also options for spraying on your lawn.
We recommend Dr. T's Mosquito Repelling Granules, which are a great insect repellent for large areas, as these can mask your scent from mosquitoes.
These work by confusing the mosquitoes, making it difficult to find you. Generally, these granules last about three to five days and are a great option for repelling mosquitoes before an outdoor event.
Natural Mosquito Repellent
If you want an all-natural mosquito repellent for your skin, we carry Natural Insect Repellent Spray, which is DEET-free and paraben-free. It uses natural botanical oils (similar to essential oils) to get rid of mosquitoes temporarily. You may also find many natural mosquito repellent recipes made from essential oils online.
For those with sensitive skin, natural repellents produced with essential oils are a great alternative. Many people even make their own insect repellent to prevent mosquito bites by combining common household ingredients into a spray bottle.
Any spray bottle will work as long as it is powerful enough to produce a spray with good distance and spread. There are multiple methods of doing these, such as mixing water with tea tree oil or even making a garlic spray. Mosquitoes hate both of these scents and will often avoid them.
Get Rid Of Mosquitoes In The House
If you've got an indoor mosquito problem, there are a few places you'll want to check first. Mosquitos in your house will often be found under your sinks, in your closet, in your laundry room, and under furniture.
Just like outside, mosquitoes like to rest in humid, dark places. If you don't have serious indoor mosquito problems, you can repel mosquitoes and keep them at bay with fans and fly swatters. Ensure your window screens are free from holes or damage to stop mosquitoes from sneaking in. The same can be said for adding a quality screen door to your home’s front and back entrances.
Get Rid Of Mosquitoes Outdoors
As we discussed above, mosquitoes love humid, dark places like tall grass, shrubs, and bushes. That being said, they may rest on human-made structures outdoors such as carports, patio furniture, decks, storage sheds, and even in your garage.
If you want to repel mosquitoes and temporarily keep them away from an outside area, citronella candles or torches, and mosquito bombs work well.
Mosquito traps are a popular tool you may see online or even in stores. While mosquito traps may be effective, they do need to be occasionally changed out. Insecticide treatments tend to have a better, more long-term effect than many mosquito traps.
The Basics of Mosquitoes
Before deciding on the best way to kill mosquitoes in the house, it pays to understand more about these insects.
Despite there being many dangerous animals out in the world, like lions, bears, snakes, and hippos, that can cause human deaths, you might be shocked to learn that mosquitoes are by far the most dangerous.
How, you might ask? The answer is simple. Disease. It's been studied that mosquitoes actually kill twice as many people every year as other humans do!
Mosquitoes are infamous for their painful, itchy mosquito bites. In order for female mosquitoes to lay their eggs, they must obtain vital proteins found in mammal blood. A mosquito's proboscis, more commonly known as its mouth, is the tool it uses to pierce and suck up blood.
While the mosquito's proboscis looks like a simple straw or tube, the truth is actually much more interesting! (Or horrifying, depending on your fascination with insects.)
Mosquitoes actually use six different needles to bite each time. Without all six microscopic needles, they wouldn't be able to feed off your blood.
Carbon dioxide can attract mosquitoes. When we breathe out, our bodies put out carbon dioxide, which will attract mosquitoes.
Perhaps the most annoying component of mosquito bites is the itchy red spot it leaves behind. This is due to an allergic reaction in your body caused by one of the six needles leaving saliva that makes your blood easier to suck.
While these extremely annoying mosquito bites and bite marks may put a huge damper on your day or week, unseen illnesses left behind are the real problem.
What Role Do Mosquitoes Serve In The Environment?
After years of studies, scientists are not completely certain what the primary role of mosquitoes is in our environment.
While bees, wasps, flies, and even spiders all play a critical role in our environment, there is no clear role that mosquitoes play, perhaps other than inadvertently spreading disease.
Fortunately, mosquito-borne viruses and subsequent illnesses are relatively uncommon in the United States. While they are rare, these diseases do still occur in some individuals.
This is why it's crucial to get rid of mosquitoes in your house as soon as possible to avoid potential illnesses and the annoying itchy bites these pests leave behind.
Most Common Mosquitoes Found In The USA
Chances are you don't spend too much time looking at a mosquito closely before you either splat, smash, or shoo it away. What type of mosquito you are trying to eliminate may be important, as it can affect what kinds of viruses they could be carrying.
Let's dive into a few of the most common types of mosquitoes found in the USA below!
Northern House Mosquito (Culex pipiens L)
This variety is common in the northern states. It is found in standing water that is polluted. Typical breeding areas are old tires with water, birdbaths, clogged gutters, and storm drains. A mosquito bomb will help to remove these pesky bugs from your yard.
Southern House Mosquito (Culex quinquefasciatus (formerly Culex fatigans))
It is common in tropic and subtropic areas and common in Florida. They prefer stagnant and foul water for breeding, such as containers with old tires, wastewater, birdbaths, slow-flowing drains, and sewer retention ponds. It commonly transmits the St. Louis encephalitis virus and West Nile Virus.
White-dotted Mosquito (Culex restuans)
This variety is similar to the Culex pipiens but is found more in the central and eastern states. Typical breeding areas are in containers, pools, ditches, woodland pools, and water with decaying vegetation. Mosquito repellent for large areas helps to kill any white-dotted mosquitoes in your home.
Yellow Fever Mosquito (Aedes aegypti)
This mosquito spreads yellow fever, Zika fever, chikungunya, and dengue fever. This mosquito breeds in containers of water, such as aluminum cans, old tires, and tree holes. They bite in the late afternoon or early morning.
Mosquito eggs may survive for up to a year and hatch when flooded. This type has been in the USA for centuries, with similar breeding and habitats to the Asian tiger mosquito, very common in the south.
The Asian tiger mosquito has replaced much of its population but is still common in some regions.
Asian Tiger Mosquito( Ae. albopictus)
This mosquito is a daytime feeder, and the females may bite aggressively. They need a blood meal to hatch eggs. They are white with silver stripes (looks like a tiger). Eggs are laid in clean standing water like cavities of trees, flower pots, and birdbaths.
They do not lay eggs in marshes or ditches. Their larvae are called "wrigglers" as they wriggle or swim through the water. Afterward, they change into pupae. Adults emerge in 10-14 days after eggs are hatched. They can stay in the winter in egg stages, then hatch out when covered with water during the spring and summer months.
They were first discovered in the USA in 1985 when introduced in tire casings imported for recapping. The Asian tiger mosquito has become common because it can breed on almost any type of water‐filled container.
Typically Asian Tiger Mosquitoes do not fly more than 1/2 mile but they can reproduce at a surprisingly rapid rate. They have the potential to transmit more than 30 diseases, such as malaria, dengue, and encephalitis viruses (inflammation of the brain). To avoid exposure to these viruses, you need to learn how to get rid of mosquitoes in your house.
Why Are Mosquitoes Dangerous?
While mosquitoes are completely unaware of the diseases residing within themselves, they nonetheless can occasionally leave these viruses as a nasty parting gift with each one of their bites.
Some individuals are even allergic to mosquito bites because they have a condition known as Skeeter syndrome. This illness involves more extreme swelling and potential fevers, which can be fatal if you do not get rid of mosquitos.
Diseases Spread By Mosquitoes
Here are the primary diseases spread by mosquitoes.
West Nile Virus
Eastern and Western Equine Encephalitis
St. Louis Encephalitis
How to Inspect Mosquito Breeding Sites
As you begin your mosquito breeding site inspection, you'll want to first look for the most obvious places and completely empty all water from them. These can include sites like buckets, old tires, clogged gutters, and wheelbarrows.
Even flower pots and accompanying saucers may contain enough water to support larvae, so be sure to empty these as well.
If you have an in-ground pool, you should remove any standing water from the pool decking, this will help get rid of mosquito larvae living in the water. These pool drains are a bit tricky to empty, but you can treat them with products like Tekko 0.2G Granular Mosquito Larvicide, Mosquito Bits, or Altosid Pro-G Granules.
For any place that frequently collects water, you can place mosquito bits. It's crucial to remember that a significant number of mosquitoes can be born from just a few ounces of standing water.
The first step in getting rid of mosquitoes is to remove standing water from around your home. However, it's important to remember that mosquitoes may be breeding in an adjacent property or even down the road. Adult mosquitoes are likely to enter your yard, despite how well you've eliminated breeding grounds.
How to Prevent Mosquitoes
The key to eliminating mosquitoes is getting rid of breeding grounds like standing water. To kill these mosquitoes, you'll need to treat these breeding grounds with mosquito larvicide as soon as possible.
Even a small container, such as a discarded soft drink cup, can provide enough water for mosquitoes to reproduce in large numbers. When spraying or misting vegetation, we highly recommend you add an insect growth regulator such as Pivot 10 IGR Concentrate to help stop the rapid spread of mosquitoes.
Keep Mosquitoes Away
Keeping mosquitoes away largely depends on knowing where they breed around your property and eliminating standing water sources. When you get rid of mosquitoes and their larvae, you drastically reduce the number of adult mosquitoes who will bother you in the coming weeks.
Quick Tips To Keep Mosquitoes Away
Clean and change our birdbath water
Dispose of any drink containers lying around outside
Clean your gutters thoroughly
Don't overwater your lawn
Use larvicides on any non-drinking water containers
Cut away or trim plants near bodies of water on your property
Consider adding mosquito-repellent plants like citronella grass, basil, and lavender to your yard
Protect Yourself From Mosquitoes
In addition to using the various insecticides, larvicides, mosquito bombs, foggers, and misters we've talked about, another one of the best mosquito control methods is mosquito repellent.
This will further protect you and your family, especially when there are noted outbreaks of the West Nile virus in your area. If you have a severe outbreak, it may be warranted to contact a professional mosquito control company.
Quick Tips For Using Mosquito Repellent
Reapply mosquito repellent every few hours, as it loses effectiveness (especially those made with essential oils)
Read DEET insect repellent labels carefully, as application time will depend on DEET strength
Spray mosquito repellents on both clothing and skin for the best protection
Do not spray over eyes, cuts, or other injuries like scratches
Do not use DEET insect repellent above 10 percent on kids
How To Get Rid Of Mosquitoes
Lean about the best mosquito control methods with professional mosquito control products.
Most Common Mosquitoes Found in USA
Culex pipiens L (Northern House Mosquito), common in the northern states. It is found in standing water that is polluted. Typical breeding areas are old tires with water, birdbaths, clogged gutters, and storm drains. *Photo: Fabrizio Montarsi
Culex quinquefasciatus (formerly Culex fatigans) (Southern House Mosquito) ‐ It is common in tropic and subtropic areas, and common in Florida. They prefer stagnant and foul water for breeding, such as containers with old tires, waste water, bird baths, slow flowing drains and sewer retention ponds. It commonly transmits the St. Louis encephalitis virus and West Nile Virus.
Culex restuans (White-dotted Mosquito) ‐ similar to the culex pipiens, but found more in the central and eastern states. Typical breeding areas are in containers, pools, ditches, woodland pools, water with decaying vegetation.
Aedes aegypti (Yellow Fever Mosquito).
This mosquito spreads yellow ferver, Zika fever, chikungunya, and dengue fever. This mosquito breeds in containers of water such as aluminum cans, old tires, and tree holes. They bite in late afternoon or early mornings. Eggs may survive for up to a year, and hatch out when flooded. This type has been in the USA for centuries, with similar breeding and habitats of the Asian tiger mosquito, very common in the south. The Asian tiger mosquito has replaced much of its population, but still common in some regions.
United States CDC [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Ae. albopictus (Asian Tiger Mosquito) ‐ This mosquito is a daytime feeder; the females may bite aggressively. They need a blood meal to hatch eggs. They are white with silver stripes (looks like a tiger). Eggs are laid in the clean standing water like cavities of trees, flower pots and bird baths. They do not lay eggs in marshes or ditches. Their larvae are called "wrigglers", as they wriggle or swim through the water, afterward they change into pupae. Adults emerge in 10-14 days after eggs are hatched. They can stay in the winter in egg stages, then hatch out when covered with water during the spring and summer months. The Asian tiger mosquito has become common because they can breed on most any type of water‐filled container. Typically these mosquitoes do not fly more than 1/2 mile but reproduce rapidly. They transmit more than 30 diseases, such as dengue, malaria and encephalitis viruses (inflammation of the brain). First discovered in the USA in 1985 when introduced in imported tire casings imported for recapping.
Mosquitoes are frequently in the news because they are both a nuisance and a health threat. It is important to reduce mosquito populations around your home and other living and recreational areas. Mosquitoes thrive in tropical weather but are found throughout the USA. Many species (not all) rest during the day in dense vegetation such as tall grass, weeds, and shrubs. Any successful mosquito control program should target this area.
Get Rid of Mosquitoes
1. Eliminate Mosquito Breeding Sites-Remove Standing Water
Mosquitoes thrive in tropical weather but are found throughout the USA. Many species (not all) rest during the day in dense vegetation such as tall grass, weeds, and shrubs. Any successful mosquito control program should target these areas.
Eliminate standing water. Most yards have more of it than you think.
2. Spray Professional Residual Insecticides-To Get Rid Of Adult Mosquitoes
Adult mosquitoes are commonly found in bushes and shrubs because they feed on plant nectar. Many types of adult mosquitoes are found resting in vegetation during the daytime.
- Trim and get rid of the overgrowth of weeds.
- To get rid of adult mosquitoes, spray the foliage of bushes and shrubs, lower limbs of shade trees, tall grass, and shaded areas with a residual insecticide.
Spray the suggested residual insecticides:
Bifen IT,Wisdom TC Flowable, , Proflex Encapsulated, or Mavrik Perimeter. Each of these insecticides is a safe, effective, affordable option when applied according to the label. Mavrik Perimeter has the added benefit of not being harmful to bees.
Proflex Encapsulated Solutions combines two insect growth regulators (Novaluron and Pyriproxyfen) and an insecticide (lambda-Cyhalothrin) for superior insect control, lasting 30 days rainfast.
ECO Via is an organic, botanical insecticide labeled for mosquito control if you prefer an organic option.
Mixing an Insect Growth Regulator like Pivot 10 would be ideal as a tank mix to Bifen IT, Mavrik Perimeter, or ECO Via. The Pivot would decrease the number of eggs laid by the adult mosquitoes. When applying insecticides to plants, try to avoid spraying the flowers and blooms if using Bifen IT or Proflex Encapsulated. Avoiding spraying on flowers in bloom will minimize the insecticide's impact on pollinating insects such as bees, butterflies, and moths. After a proper application, you can expect to start seeing results within two to four weeks.
- Mix Wisdom TC Flowable or Bifen IT at the rate of 1 oz per gallon per 1,000 square feet. If your tank mixes the Pivot IGR, use 4 ml of Pivot to that gallon. We have it in combination products, Mosquito Kits (see below), for more significant savings. For a higher density of vegetation, spray at the rate of 1 gallon per 500 square feet. Repeat applications as needed.
- Sprayers: Chapin's Mosquito Poly Sprayer, #2014, has a unique fogging/misting nozzle that gives professional results. It provides maximum coverage of foliage for the best in mosquito control.
- Mix 1 oz of Proflex in a sufficient amount of water (2-5 gallons per 1,000 square feet) to cover 1,000 sq ft in a hand pump or backpack sprayer. Repeat monthly; rain fast. Since it contains insect growth regulators, this is a one-solution product.
- For best results, spray when the mosquitoes are most active in the cooler hours of the morning or night.
- Do not spray near ponds or bodies of water.
- Backpack Sprayers: Professional mosquito companies are now using backpack foggers like the B&G Versa Foggerwith products like Bifen IT for the best application in mosquito control. Unlike a conventional mist blower, the Versa Fogger provides a ULV spray in a particle range for proper control.
- For ease of use, use Backpack Sprayers
Using Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs) significantly reduces the mosquitoe's breeding ability.
Electric Cold Foggers-Pros and Cons
- You may use both oil or water-based insecticides,both residual and quick kill/contact insecticides
- A broader range of formulations to choose from.
- Made be used inside or outside
- Uses electricity only; limited mobility
Thermal foggers work with oil-based insecticides only
- Bonide Fog RX Propane Insect Fogger
- Bonide Mosquito Fogger Kit
- Golden Eagle Electric Start XL - This thermal aerosol generator is a portable powerhouse for many types of jobs-Formulation Output 0-9 gallons/hr; 0-34 lit
Thermal Foggers-Pros and Cons
- Bonide's Propane Fogger is economical runs by propane
- Golden Eagle is a top of the line thermal fogger
- Can not use water-based insecticides, just oil-based compounds
Water Only Based Insecticides-Use in ULV Cold Foggers or Misting Systems
- Mosquito Barrier-All natural repellent made of garlic; may be sprayed or fogged. Repels mosquitoes from one day to a month. Mix with water. May be sprayed or fogged.
- Stryker 5-25, is the same formulation (Pyrethrin 5.0% and Piperonyl Butoxide 25.0%) as the popular Riptide, but more economical. One 64 oz bottle makes 55 gallons for mosquito misting systems. May be used with cold electric foggers to fog rooms, or residential and barn misting systems.
- Riptide-Same as Stryker 5-25
- Sector Misting Concentrate-combines permethrin and PBO for both residual and quick kill of flying insects. May be used in cold electric foggers, misting systems, or compressed air sprayers.
- VamPyre Misting Concentrate-formulated with a 3% Pyrethrum and 30% PBO mixture; used for a quick knockdown and flushing needs. May be used in ulv cold foggers or misting systems.
- Hyperion Advanced Mist Concentrate-With it Sumithrin and PBO combination, it offers a three day residual and may be applied with handheld sprayers, backpack sprayers, ulv foggers, and misting systems
- Vector Ban Plus-alternative for misting systems and mosquito control to the expensive pyrethrum based products such as Riptide. Vector Ban Plus contains 10% Permethrin plus10% Piperonyl Butoxide (PBO) and is a water-based insecticide
3. Using Foggers and Misting System Compounds
We have both high-end foggers and propane foggers to apply fogging compounds for mosquito control. Fogging enables you to coat the leaves and foliage more effectively.
Oil Only Based Insecticides-Use only in Thermal Foggers (May be diluted with white mineral oil or an odorless light petroleum)
- Pyronyl UL-100 - 1% pyrethrin with a 4.94% dual synergist (Use 3 parts oil to 1 part Pyronyl Oil 1% for mosquito control
- Pyronyl UL-300 - Pyrethrins 3.00%, Piperonyl Butoxide Technical 6.00%
- Pyrocide 100 Pyrethrin Concentrate - 1% pryethrin with 4.9 dual synergist-can be diluted with oil or used undiluted
- Pyrocide 300 Pyrethrin Concentrate - 3% pyrethrum and 16% PBO combination
Using Mosquito Repellents
A different method for dealing with mosquitoes is to use repellents. Most people are familiar with repellents sprayed on the skin. Still, there are also non-toxic repellents that can be spread in the yard. Dr. T's Mosquito Repelling Granules work by masking your scent. These granules confuse the mosquitoes, and they are unable to find you. Mosquito Yard Repellents typically work for about three to five days. This repellent is very popular to use before an outside event.
We carry an all-natural repellent, Natural Insect Repellent with botanical oils and is deet-free.
Mosquitoes can lay eggs in sources of standing water such as:
- children's toys
- bird baths
- old tires
- clogged gutters
- flower pots
- poorly maintained pools
Eliminate or treat these sources with a mosquito larvicide whenever possible.
Even a soft drink can or bottle can hold enough water to produce a surprisingly large number of mosquitoes.
If you are spraying or misting the vegetation for mosquitoes be sure to add an Insect Growth Regulator like Pivot 10 IGR to the mix.
Written by our resident pest control expert Ken Martin.