How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes Control

Discover how to get rid of mosquitoes using the best mosquito control methods, and our professional mosquito control products

Mosquitoes are a common summertime pest. 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 a breeding ground for mosquitoes
  • Use Insect Growth Regulators (IGRs) to greatly reduce mosquito breeding ability.

Identification

The Basics of Mosquitoes

Basics of Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes 101

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 bite. 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.

Perhaps the most annoying component of a mosquito's bite 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 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)

Northern House Mosquito

*Photo: Fabrizio Montarsi

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)

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, 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)

White-dotted Mosquito

This variety is 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. Mosquito repellent for large areas helps to kill any white-dotted mosquitoes in your home.

Distribution of Aedes aeypti

Yellow Fever Mosquito (Aedes aegypti)

United States CDC [Public domain]

Distribution of Aedes aeypti

United States CDC [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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 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 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)

Asian Tiger Mosquito

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 the 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 potentially fevers, which can be potentially fatal if you do not get rid of mosquitos.

Diseases Spread By Mosquitoes

Here are the primary diseases spread by mosquitoes.

  • West Nile Virus
  • Zika Virus
  • Dengue Fever
  • Yellow Fever
  • Chikungunya
  • Eastern and Western Equine Encephalitis
  • St. Louis Encephalitis
  • LaCrosse Encephalitis
  • California Encephalitis

Inspect

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 mosquito 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.

Get Rid of Mosquitoes

How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes

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.

Kill Mosquitoes by Eliminating Breeding Sites & Removing Standing Water

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 mosquito larvae inside. To check whether you have mosquito 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:

  • clogged gutters
  • bottles
  • old tires
  • puddles
  • children's toys left outside
  • wheelbarrows
  • bird baths
  • buckets

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 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 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 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

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • Only uses electricity, limiting its mobility

Thermal Foggers - Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Some thermal foggers are highly economical, running on propane

Cons:

  • Can only use oil-based insecticides
  • Water-based insecticides are convenient and can be used in cold foggers and mistings 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.

    As for oil-based insecticides, we recommend Pyronyl UL-100, Pyronyl UL-300, Pyrocide 100, or Pyrocide 300 to kill mosquitos in house.

    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, are a great mosquito 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 spreading before an outdoor event. If you want an all-natural repellent for your skin, we carry Natural Insect Repellent Spray, which is DEET-free and paraben-free. It uses natural botanical oils to get rid of mosquitoes temporarily.

    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 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 temporarily keep them away from an outside area, citronella candles or torches, and mosquito bombs work well.

    Prevent Mosquitoes

    How to Prevent Mosquitoes

    Prevent Mosquitoes

    The key to getting rid of mosquitoes is eliminating 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

    Protect Yourself From Mosquitoes

    Protect Yourself
    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.

    Quick Tips For Using Mosquito Repellent

    • Reapply mosquito repellent every few hours, as it loses effectiveness
    • Read DEET insect repellent labels carefully, as application time will depend on DEET strength
    • Spray mosquito repellents on both clothing and skin for best protection
    • Do not spray over eyes, cuts, or other injuries like scratches
    • Do not use DEET repellents above 10 percent on kids

    Mosquito Control Products And Solutions