How To Get Rid of Mosquitoes (Best Methods)

Mosquitoes are probably some of the most annoying insects in the world. Mosquito bites itch like crazy and when they swarm on you, there’s no escape.

Keep reading this Pest Strategies review and we’ll show you mosquito solutions like:

  • Understanding what attracts mosquitoes
  • Natural mosquito repellents
  • Mosquito nets and other traps
how to get rid of mosquitoes

Not only are mosquitoes a nuisance, they’re also dangerous. They carry diseases such as Dengue fever, West Nile virus, and Zika. The Centers for Disease Control website has 10,359 search results for the word mosquito; the first two results on the list are Zika and Dengue.

Mosquito control is a huge problem virtually everywhere in the world. Fortunately, the answers are often simple.

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What Attracts Mosquitoes in the First Place?

There are four major attractants to mosquitoes:

  1. Stagnant water
  2. Carbon dioxide (CO2)
  3. Body heat
  4. Sugar

Stagnant Water

​Any outdoor area with stagnant or standing water is a potential spot for mosquito breeding. 

The life cycle of mosquitoes starts in stagnant water. Standing water in that doesn’t have an outlet, such as bird baths, unused fish ponds, old tires, and persistent puddles, will quickly become stagnant. It attracts female mosquitoes who will lay eggs in stagnant water.

There are many different species of mosquitoes, but they all prefer the same type of breeding ground.

This video from ABC Pest Control Inc. offers a few different ways to eliminate mosquito larvae from standing water.

Carbon Dioxide

​Another attractant for mosquitoes is carbon dioxide (CO2). When they detect it, they know there is a warm-blooded mammal nearby. Female mosquitoes require a meal of blood before they can lay eggs, so they will home in on the CO2 signature to get it.

Body Heat 

​Simply put, if you’re warm-blooded and breathe, you’re automatically attractive to mosquitoes.

Sugary Liquids

​Mosquitoes are also attracted to sugary liquids of all kinds. They normally drink nectar from plants that are sweet, and that natural preference leads them to your soft drinks, pastries, sweet teas, etc.

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5 Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Mosquitoes Inside Your House

Essential oils have been used as insect repellents for years. Although there is very little actual research on them, anecdotal evidence suggests that essential oils are effective to a surprising degree.

There is, however, an important caveat before we go on.

The key is that essential oils are effective to a surprising “degree”. There is a percentage chance that it will be effective on any individual mosquito along with a percentage chance that it won’t be effective on them.

This means essential oil remedies will never be 100% effective.

how to get rid of mosquitoes

One important limitation should be noted about essential oils. They only last for two to three hours at a time.

As long as you understand this point, you won’t be disappointed with the result you obtain using essential oils as an insect repellent.

Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus

Oil of lemon eucalyptus is one home remedy you can put together yourself.

  1. Get an 8 oz spray bottle
  2. Pour about one teaspoon of lemon eucalyptus oil
  3. Mix oil thoroughly with one cup of warm water
  4. Spray the mixture around problem areas

Apply this spray to all the entrances to the house; the windows, doors, plumbing intrusions, etc. You can also spray it on your clothes.

Lemon eucalyptus oil is a natural mosquito repellent that will repel some of the mosquitoes. You can also purchase it in a premixed product called Repel®. It comes in a 4 oz pump spray bottle that can be slipped into your backpack and taken with you.

Tea Tree Oil

Another essential oil that is useful for repelling mosquitoes is tea tree oil. Mix a teaspoon of it with a cup of warm water. Put it in an 8 oz spray bottle and get after them.

Lavender Oil

Natural repellents such as lavender oil can also be used to repel mosquitoes. Mix a teaspoon of it with a cup of warm water and use an 8 oz spray bottle to spray the sensitive areas of your house where mosquitoes can gain entrance.

Catnip Oil

Yes, you read it correctly. This is a recent (and surprising) addition to the list of essential oils that are repellents for mosquitoes, flies, and other biting insects. This is the same catnip that drives cats crazy. Now catnip oil doubles as a bug spray.

There's some actual research on this one too. It has been shown to be effective at repelling nuisance insects. It’s not 100% of course, but the research is heartening.

  1. Get an 8 oz spray bottle
  2. Drop about 20 drops into the bottle
  3. Mix thoroughly with 1/2 cup of water
  4. Spray around problem areas

Apply this mix same way you use the other essential oils; around the windows, doors, and cracks and crevices where bugs can gain entrance to your house.

Wondercide Natural Indoor Pest Control Spray

Another useful natural mosquito repellent is Wondercide. It is a mix of cedarwood, lemongrass, and sesame oil. There is also a peppermint variety.

These natural repellents come premixed in a 32 oz spray bottle that is ready to use.

It can be sprayed inside the house or outside. Treat around all the windows, door, plumbing intrusions, and electrical intrusions. Any area where there is a crack or crevice that mosquitoes can squeeze through needs to be sprayed.

This video demonstrates the best way to apply Wondercide to your yard.

3 Additional Remedies to Get Rid of Mosquitoes Inside Your House

Mosquito Nets

People in the tropics already know about the advantages of using a mosquito net around your bed at night.

Mosquito nets are an effective, easy to use, non-toxic method of mosquito control with a proven track record.

  • The fine mesh netting is too small for adult mosquitoes to get through and the prior life stages of mosquitoes are all aquatic. The mesh will stop any mosquitoes that try to attack you in the night. However, it needs to be used correctly.
  • There can’t be any gaps in the coverage. A hanging screw embedded in the ceiling supports the net and the circular hoop at the top of it. The hoop spreads the net out over the bed like a tepee. The netting falls to the floor all the way around the bed.
  • There is an opening on the side that overlaps itself. Although it doesn’t come with any clasps to hold it closed, an ordinary paperclip should be enough to handle it. 

While it may look romantic in movies, mosquito nets for your bed are actually very practical and effective mosquito deterrents.

Read more: Mosquito nets are also designed to cover your head

Silicone Caulk

Mosquitoes are small but they aren’t microscopic. Sealing cracks and crevices around the windows, plumbing intrusions, and electrical intrusions with caulk will ensure that mosquitoes can’t come in.

What you'll need:

  • 3-4 tubes of silicone caulk
  • A caulk gun

Put a small, continuous bead of caulk along the length of every crack and crevice you can find.

There is no crack that is too small for a mosquito to potentially slip through. Seal them all.

It will take several hours to seal all the cracks and crevices in the house, but once it’s done you won’t have to repeat the task for several years – or longer.

Weather Stripping

With all the cracks and crevices taken care of, that still leaves the cracks around the doors as the last and final way mosquitoes and other bugs can get into your home.

The way to keep them out is to use weather stripping.

Proper weather stripping will create a seal around your doors when they’re closed. That seal will keep out mosquitoes and prevent heat from escaping in the winter or getting in during the summer.

  1. Get enough weather stripping for all the doors in your house.
  2. Remove the old weather stripping.
  3. Scrub the area under it to remove any remnants that would create an uneven surface.
  4. Once it’s clean, apply the new weather stripping.

If your door doesn't have weather stripping, skip step two. If your doors do have weather stripping more than 3-4 years old, it’s a good candidate for replacement.

2 Pesticides to Get Rid of Mosquitoes

DEET

DEET was created by the U.S. Army in the mid-1940s to protect soldiers from mosquito-borne diseases when they were out in the field. It has been in general use since 1957.

how to get rid of mosquitoes

Oddly enough, researchers still don’t know exactly how DEET actually works. They know it somehow prevents mosquitoes from detecting any person or animal sprayed with it but the exact mechanism by which it does so is still a mystery.

DEET is unusual in other ways too. It is one of the few products that are safe to use directly on the human body.

DEET is a pesticide regulated by the EPA and has a slight smell but it isn’t greasy and won’t stain your clothes. It lasts for 8-12 hours after it’s applied. It works inside or outside and acts as an insect repellent for chiggers, gnats, ticks, and biting flies as well as mosquitoes.

Permethrin

Any product that includes permethrin as an active ingredient will effectively reduce annoying mosquitoes.

Most brands that use permethrin mix it with another insecticide. It comes in a concentrate that can be mixed with water to spray your entire yard. You’ll need a 3-gallon backpack sprayer to do so.

This is a professional insecticide that is used by pest control companies all across the United States. As such, it falls under the control of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

When you use a pesticide, you become subject to the rules and regulations that govern it.  The label on regulated pesticides is actually a legal document, and by using the pesticide you are agreeing to abide by the mixing and application instructions as stated on the label.

Remember, with pesticides, the label is the law.

Mix three gallons of water with the appropriate amount of permethrin concentrate. The backpack will be heavy when you put it on. Water weighs 8.3 pounds per gallon, plus the weight of the sprayer itself, so you’re looking at close to 30 pounds or so.

  1. Pump up the pressure in the tank and begin spraying a wide band around the foundation of your house.
  2. Go all the way around the house then start moving outward in concentric circles.
  3. Each band of pesticide should overlap the previous one so there aren’t any gaps.

Spray all the way out to the edge of your property. It will probably take 20-30 gallons depending on the size of your yard. Be sure to spray on a day when the ground is dry and there won’t be any rain for at least 3-4 hours after you spray.

Once you’ve sprayed, you won’t have to spray for another 2-3 months, depending on the severity of your mosquito problem.

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3 Bonus Remedies to Get Rid of Mosquitoes Outside Your Home

Whether you’re out camping in a forest or enjoying an evening in your backyard, mosquitoes can be a problem. The following remedies can make your outdoor experience mosquito-free.

Thermacell Products

Thermacell is a company that makes innovative outdoor products that use heat to release anti-mosquito fumes into the air.

Thermacell has a number of different devices, like portable devices, lanterns, battery powered options, and more. They all reach a different radius and can be useful in different situations, like camping, a night on the patio, or watching outdoor sports. 

Citronella Candles

Citronella candles are a well-known method of keeping mosquitoes away from your patio, garden, and outdoor sitting areas. Although these citronella candles certainly work, they have the same limitation as Thermacell.

If a strong breeze is blowing, their effectiveness will be severely diminished.

Read more: What are the best citronella candles on the market?

Yellow Bug Lights

Mosquitoes don’t like to linger around yellow LED light sources. They’re not attracted to the lights. Replacing your regular lights with these LED bulbs will let you sit outside at night without being subjected to a swarm of mosquitoes.

Best Product Suggestion(s) for Getting Rid of Mosquitoes

Off Deep Woods Insect Repellent

Our favorite method for getting rid of mosquitoes is Off Deep Woods. With DEET as the active ingredient, it is the longest-lasting spray-on product available. It can be used inside or outside, which means it is very flexible.

You can hike through the mountains or swamps alike and not be bothered by mosquitoes and other biting insects. DEET doesn’t suffer the limitations of citronella and Thermacell products, and it lasts many times longer than any of the essential oils.

DEET is safe to use on your clothes, on your skin, and all your furniture. You won’t sweat it off and it has a proven track record over many years of effectiveness.

How to Prevent Mosquitoes in the First Place

The best long-term pest control for mosquitoes is to eliminate their breeding sites. Remove that and their numbers will plummet. It won’t be instantaneous but it is the best DIY strategy you can use.

how to get rid of mosquitoes

Stagnant water sources need to be drained and kept dry on a regular basis. Female mosquitoes always lay their eggs in stagnant water, which is required for the mosquito larvae to grow up in. They eat the algae that only grow in such conditions.

If you have a fish pond that can’t be drained, mosquito dunks can be used to kill mosquitoes without harming the fish in the pond. It is a larvicide with BTI as the active ingredient.

Mowing is another thing you can do to diminish the number of mosquitoes. Removing grass and shrubbery that eliminates their breeding ground and harborage.

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How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes: Final Thoughts

There are a lot of things you can do to stop mosquitoes from invading your house or feeding on your and your family. All of them are easy to use, or at least, not complicated, and fairly inexpensive.

Gear up and get ready to enjoy some outdoor fun without being pestered by mosquitoes.

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