How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes
Last updated: 4/13/21
Estimated read time: 4 minutes
It’s summertime and you’re ready to relax in your beautiful backyard. But there is one problem—there are hundreds of blood-sucking insects invading your peaceful oasis. To help get rid of these nasty pests so that you spend your summer with family and friends soaking up the sun, we put together this list of tips and tricks to help you get rid of mosquitoes.
How to Keep Mosquitoes Out of Your Yard
Aside from being annoying, mosquitoes can also be dangerous, as mosquito bites can transfer diseases. The most common mosquito-borne diseases in the U.S. include the West Nile, Dengue, Chikungunya, and Zika virus. To avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes, consider using some of the methods below.
Because female mosquitoes can lay hundreds of eggs in as little as a cup of water, avoid shallow water or even damp soil that’s prone to flooding. Drain any form of stagnant water regularly, such as buckets, birdbaths, pet bowls, flower pots without proper drainage, or any other container that collects water.
For larger amounts of water, such as pools and ponds, we recommend treating it with liquid larvicide or BTI, a naturally occurring bacterium that is toxic to mosquitoes.
Use Chemical Repellents
One of the most common ways to get rid of those pesky insects is using traditional chemical mosquito repellent. Make sure that the repellent contains 30% to 50% DEET—the most common active ingredient in insect repellent. For children over 2 months, use 10% to 30% DEET and don’t use any repellent on infants under 2 months. But keep in mind that chemical repellents only offer temporary protection, as the effects of DEET wear off after 12 hours.
If you don’t want to use DEET, you can make your own natural mosquito repellent by mixing certain types of oil, such as coconut and neem oil, with water and sprayed it directly onto your skin.
Set a Mosquito Trap
Another option is setting mosquito traps, which can be purchased online or in a grocery or hardware store. Some traps use light, such as bug zappers, while other traps use smell to lure in mosquitoes. You can also make your own trap using sugar water and a plastic bottle.
Mosquitoes can be kept at bay by burning candles or using essential oil diffusers with scents such as lavender, citronella, lemon, eucalyptus, lemongrass, clove, tea tree, and peppermint.
Invest in an Electric Fan
Did you know that mosquitoes can not fly against wind greater than about 10 mph? To keep the air moving and the insects at bay, simply set up oscillating fans, especially around porches or areas where people congregate.
Maintain a Clean Yard
Mosquitoes love to inhabit shady spots close to the ground such as the underside of plant leaves, brush, thick weeds, or tall grass—basically, anywhere it is damp, cool, and dark. To avoid this, regularly mow your lawn, trim bushes, and clean up any yard waste. Additionally, consider using cedar mulch around your home, bushes, and flower beds. The natural cedar oils repel mosquitoes and the mulch soaks up excess moisture, which deters the insects from settling in your plants.
Attract natural predators
Mosquitos have a lot of natural predators that may be able to help keep them at bay, including:
Additionally, certain species of fish and birds can also naturally deter mosquitoes. To attract birds such as swallows, hummingbirds, sparrows, and woodpeckers, set up feeders and birdhouses away from your back patio. You can also put in a new backyard pond and fill it with fish such as bass, bluegill, catfish, goldfish, guppies, koi, and the aptly named mosquito fish.
Change the Lighting
Many insects, including mosquitoes, are drawn to light. To reduce the number of bugs you attract, consider using sodium lamps, yellow bug lights, or warm LED lights in outdoor fixtures. It also helps to switch off outdoor lights when not in use.
Choose your Plants Carefully
Avoid planting ground covers, such as ivy and pachysandra, and plants that require tons of pruning, as they provide natural shelter to mosquitoes. Instead, grow plants and herbs that naturally repel the pests, such as:
- Lemon balm
- Lemon verbena
Not only will you ward off mosquitoes, but you will also attract pleasant insects and animals and make your yard smell great.
Call the Experts for Help
Getting rid of pesky insects like mosquitoes can be time-consuming, which is why we offer BOG's mosquito control program. With an initial inspection and 7 treatments between April and October, our team of expert technicians offers efficient, eco-friendly treatments, using EPA-certified products that are safe for your family and pets.