Their high pitched whine is unmistakeable. Swatting them when they hit your skin is a rite of passage when camping. Yet knowing how to get rid of mosquitoes means knowing how to get rid of a potential disease threat. This guide will help you make that happen.
Did you know that you’re not really getting bit when you receive a mosquito bite? These insects don’t have any teeth. What they do have is a sharp mouth that can literally pry open the skin. Then they have tubes that they’ll stick through the skin to access blood. Don’t worry about the guy mosquitoes – they don’t attack. It’s only the female mosquitoes that will suck your blood. The male mosquitoes only live 6-9 days, however, so it’s not a long, fulfilling life.
Most homes that have a mosquito infestation live near standing water. A pond, a slow moving creek, or another low movement body of water is the perfect place for mosquitoes to grow. These insects spend their first 10 days in water, so if a large storm deposits puddles in your yard, get that water drained in the next week or you could start to see some mosquitoes buzzing around.
Ever wonder why there aren’t mosquitoes during the colder months? These insects are actually a lot like bears. They’ll hibernate when the temperatures drop below 50 degrees. They dig their own little cave in the ground and wait for warmer weather. Female mosquitoes have been known to hibernate for up to 6 months at a time.
Signs of Mosquitoes
If it’s above 50 degrees and there is standing water somewhere near your property, then there’s a good chance that you’ve got mosquitoes. They typically come out during the morning and evening twilight hours, but any time the sunlight isn’t bright and the humidity is high, there will be mosquitoes hanging around. That’s why walking around in the woods can often bring these blood suckers your way.
Should your property be in an area where there is a high chance of mosquito activity, which means the home is shaded and there is a constant water source, then there’s a good chance that the mosquitoes could lay their eggs inside your home. The rule of standing water still applies. Female mosquitoes must lay their eggs in water for them to survive. If you have several house plants with water trays, periodically look for “wigglers” in them. Those are mosquito larvae. Clean out the water tray immediately and you’ll prevent future fliers from biting.
Having mosquitoes inside your home can actually be an indication that a plumbing problem exists somewhere. Check your crawl spaces, basement, and other common areas where the pipes run for a leak. It doesn’t take a large pool of water to spawn dozens of mosquitoes. A simple leak can accomplish the same thing a large marsh can for these insects.
How To Kill Mosquitoes
Most mosquito control methods actually involve repelling them instead of killing them. It is recommended that everyone wear a repellent that contains DEET to minimize the risk of being bitten by these insects. Mosquitoes in the United States may carry West Nile Virus while worldwide they can carry malaria and cause encephalitis. Any time the temperature is above 50 degrees outside and there’s a suspicion of mosquitoes, it is important today to wear some form of a repellent. No exceptions.
Long-term mosquito control always involves removing the source materials that help them breed. Encourage better drainage in your yard if you get puddles. Install basins for your gutter system instead of discharging water into the yard. In a worst case scenario, use a wet/dry vacuum to suck up the extra water and then place that water down the drain.
Mosquitoes are uniquely attracted to beer. They’ll actually attack people who drink beer first and then go after everyone else. You can use this to your advantage by sacrificing a bottle of cheap brew and placing it out on your porch. The mosquitoes will fly into the beer and die very happy insects. There is one exception to this rule: if you’re drinking beer and outside with your glass of beer trap, then the mosquitoes will come get you before they enjoy the open bar.
The same kind of trap can be used with some warm water and dish soap. You’ll need to stay away from the outdoors so the insects don’t get distracted, but otherwise this is also a very effective method of killing mosquitoes. Anything with dish soap on it will attract these bugs. Place a dot of dish soap on a glue trap and these insects will flock to it.
Another effective method is to use an electronic bug zapper that attracts the mosquitoes to it because of its light and warmth. The mosquitoes fly into it, receive an electrical discharge, and you don’t have to worry about the bloodsuckers any more. There are indoor and outdoor bug zappers that can be installed but try to place them where people aren’t going to be. Nothing is more annoying than having a bug zapper kill a mosquito and have it discharge the carcass directly into the steak you’re trying to enjoy.
As a final method, you can always slap one when you see one. This is particularly fun when there’s a mosquito on a friend’s forehead.
There are some methods that do not work, although some people claim they do. Wearing white will not prevent you from being bitten by a mosquito. It will help you see them if they land on your clothing, but they’ll leave tiny red blotches if you swat them. There are also some apps for smartphones and tablets that claim they’ll keep mosquitoes away and even kill them – don’t waste your data. Alcohol doesn’t kill mosquitoes either, so dousing yourself in mouthwash will just cause these insects to laugh hysterically and bite you anyway.
DIY Mosquito Control
Controlling mosquitoes indoors or outdoors means modifying the environment in some way. You might not be able to drain away all of the surrounding puddles to stop mosquito reproduction, but you can use these items to control the insect population for several hours at a time.
This fogger provides an immediate impact on the local insect population and it is guaranteed to be effective. Just pop in your preferred mosquito repellent or insecticide and fog the area you want to use. Even in the outdoors, you’ll receive several hours of mosquito relief with just a few minutes of work. This particular tool is powered by propane, using the tall canisters, so you can even take it camping with you to get mosquito relief. It has a 10 foot cone of odorless fog that is emitted when the trigger is pulled and the trigger has a lock to prevent accidental release. This is one of the most effective tools there is right now to stop mosquitoes in their tracks.
When you can’t get rid of the standing water, then get rid of the reproduction abilities of the mosquito instead. That’s what happens when you use this particular product. It’s environmentally safe, being EPA registered for us in all 50 states in the US. Just sprinkle these bits into the standing water and you’ll be able to biologically control your mosquito infestation. One canister covers over 2,000 feet of standing water and you can purchase canisters individually or in a pack of 12 if you want a full season’s worth of mosquito control available.
This 20 watt indoor device lures in mosquitoes thanks to the presence of UV lights that are produced. Once the mosquitoes get lured in and contact the metal grid, they will no longer irritate you with that high pitched whine. Perfect for those homes that avoid chemicals. The only mess you’ll need to clean up are the dead insects that collect in the attached tray. Just one of these indoor zappers can cover up to 6,000 square feet of space.
Mosquito Treatment Cost
If you’re looking for professional assistance in controlling mosquitoes, then the approach will generally involve insecticides to eliminate the current problem and source reduction outdoors. The extent of the standing water is what will generally dictate how much a treatment will ultimately cost. A large drainage problem could be thousands of dollars, while the insecticide treatments are about $25 per application.
For the average homeowner, the annual cost of mosquito treatment is about $200. Tropical locations where temperatures rarely dip below 50 degrees will see above average costs routinely. Because a complete regrading of a property may be necessary to eliminate the mosquito threat, many homeowners stick to repellents and DIY methods to limit mosquito bites.
Mosquito Repellent and Breeding Prevention
If you’ve got a mosquito problem and there isn’t any standing water around your property, like a marsh or a pond, then you’ve got a water leak somewhere. Most mosquito infestations occur in a crawl space that has some sort of drainage pump. Take a look inside the bucket where the pump lives to see if there is any standing water. If there is, then there’s a good chance you’ve found the source of your mosquito problem.
If the mosquitoes are inside the home, then you’ve got standing water somewhere inside your home. House plants are a common source, but a leaking trap under a sink can also provide enough of a water source for these insects. Toilets that are rarely used can also become mosquito breeding grounds. Periodically flush every toilet, check all of your plumbing joints, and inspect any appliance that holds water to make sure there aren’t leaks occurring.
If everything in the house looks fine, then take a look at your sprinkler or irrigation system. If your lawn sprinklers are running too long every morning or evening, then it could create standing water that would allow the mosquitoes to build up their population numbers. If a patch of ground seems soggy every day, then this could be your source problem.
Sometimes removing the water isn’t an option. Mosquito repellents that prevent breeding in standing water can help to solve an infestation of these insects as well.
Natural Mosquito Repellent
If you don’t like the idea of wearing DEET every time you go outside, then think about adding some garlic to your diet. Landscapers that are working on properties that are surrounded by standing water will actually plant garlic to naturally prevent mosquito problems. Garlic works. If you eat enough of it, the odor that comes from you will be much less attractive to these insects. Garlic tablets are just as effective if you don’t want to put cloves into your food.
Chives are also an effective natural mosquito repellent. Planting chives has limited use. If you smear cut chives on your skin, however, you’ll be able to drive those annoying insects away.
For those who don’t have overly sensitive skin, if you have some dryer sheets available, then you have another natural mosquito repellent. Just take your favorite dryer sheet, rub it on your skin and clothing, and the mosquitoes are going to stay away. You’re also going to be smelling the scent of those dryer sheets all day, so the hypo-allergenic non-scented variety might be the best option here.
If you have kids that like to blow bubbles, then you’ve got a final, unique method of repelling mosquitoes. The soap in the bubbles is effective at driving the bugs away. Considering an entire bottle of bubble blowing soap can be had for about $1 in most instances, it won’t cost a lot to get rid of the bugs for some time – and this method works indoors as well.
Knowing how to get rid of mosquitoes does more than just stop an annoying buzz in your ears. It can keep you and your family healthier as well. Use this guide today and you’ll be able to solve your mosquito problem for good.