How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes: 6 Strategies

Trying to get rid of mosquitoes is quite an uphill battle, as these thirsty little bloodsuckers seem to be everywhere during your region’s warmer months. If you live in a warmer climate, you’ll be harassed by these maddeningly persistent pests all year ‘round. And with 3,000 different mosquito species, many of which carry infectious diseases, the odds are high that several varieties will take up residence near your home. Fortunately, the list below provides numerous options for eradicating these undesirable insects.

1. Protect Yourself from Mosquito Bites

Before you begin trying to get rid of any mosquitoes, protect yourself from potentially harmful bites. Even if it’s hot outside, wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and gloves. If you still have exposed skin, use an effective bug spray. If you live in a region where mosquitoes transmit harmful diseases, use a DEET-containing spray for top-notch protection.

2. Banish Standing Water Sources

Adult mosquitoes flock to standing water, as it makes a great place to lay their eggs and hatch larvae. Besides ditches and ponds, mosquitoes congregate in bird baths, empty planters, and any other objects that can collect water when it rains.

To eliminate these mosquito breeding grounds, dump the standing water into a well-drained area or nearby storm drain. Store the objects in your garage or other spot that doesn’t allow for rainwater collection. If that’s not an option, drill several drainage holes that will allow water to easily run through and onto the ground.

If you water your garden from rain barrels, keep the containers covered when rain’s not in the forecast. Change your bird bath water often to discourage mosquitoes and provide the birds with fresh drinking water.

3. Tackle Your House and Yard Debris

Maybe your home’s gutters and downspouts have gotten clogged with leaf debris, and rainwater can’t properly drain through. Get a ladder, and unclog the gutters and downspouts without delay. If you have weeds around the home’s foundation, pull them often so water can’t pool there.

Let’s say plastic tarps are covering your firewood, the propane grill, or your trailered fishing boat. Secure the tarps tightly so water can’t settle in low spots and folds. Get rid of those old tires you planned to repurpose several years ago. Mosquitoes collect in these warm, protected spots that offer plenty of breeding space.

If your yard contains low spots, and you can’t adequately fill them with dirt, enlist the aid of a professional landscaper. He’ll use his equipment and manpower to even out the rough surfaces and eliminate the water collection spots. Afterward, you’ll be less likely to turn your ankle when walking across the property.

4. Consider a Chemical Treatment

If you’re still plagued by mosquitoes, apply one of the numerous chemical treatments on the market. Use a garden sprayer to apply a pyrethrin-containing spray in shady areas where mosquitoes hang out during the daytime. Or, choose a more natural spraying option such as the EcoSMART Mosquito Fogger, which keeps mosquitoes away from your gathering space for up to eight hours.

If you’d rather not treat the entire yard, spray the perimeter to decrease the chances that mosquitoes will gather inside that protective rim. If you have dense or marshy vegetation, a propane- or electric-powered mosquito fogger might be a good option. Important note: Don’t use any mosquito spray products indoors, and avoid treated outdoor areas afterward.

If you’d rather not interact with chemical sprays, mosquito dunks will kill mosquito larvae that have collected in standing water. Even better, you can safely use the dunks even in ponds that contain fish. You’ll need to replace the dunks every couple of months.

Adding a safe bacterial treatment to ponds or pets’ drinking water is also a good non-chemical option. Bacillus thurengiensis israeliensis (shortened to Bti), is a beneficial bacterium that kills mosquito larvae. At the same time, Bti doesn’t pose a risk to fish, plants, or animals that take a drink from the water source.

5. Try Several Non-Chemical Options

If you’d rather avoid chemicals in any form, you still have several options for banishing mosquitoes from your home and garden. First, place crushed herbs around your home’s perimeter to keep the hungry little vampires away. Citronella-containing lemon balm is a good choice.

A mosquito trap will lure the unsuspecting pests to an enclosed spot, where they’re trapped with adhesives or nets. A mosquito magnet operates in a similar fashion. An electronic mosquito zapper is also a popular option.

6. Choose a Natural Mosquito Repellent

To keep hungry mosquitoes away from you and your family, try a repellent made from essential oils such as lavender, citronella, eucalyptus, mint, or lemongrass. Combine any of these oils with witch hazel and water, and spray onto exposed skin. Use these natural repellents in low-density mosquito areas or inside your home. However, use DEET-containing repellents in areas where mosquito-carried diseases are prevalent.

Consuming garlic regularly may also keep mosquitoes away, as it appears to make humans a less-appealing food source. Garlic is also used in several commercial mosquito treatment products.

Mosquito netting has long been an effective way to keep mosquitoes out of your bedroom at night. If you’re relaxing on your porch during the day, and want to avoid applying repellent, draping mosquito netting over your personal space should keep the thirsty predators away.