How Do You Get Rid Of Mosquitoes? (2023)

For many, mosquitos are the most annoying flying insects. If you don’t appreciate being dive-bombed and riddled with itchy bites that make you want to retreat back inside, you’re certainly not alone. Eradicating the pesky buggers often becomes a top priority in the spring and early summer.

We’ve compiled an extensive guide to mosquito eradication and defense, but if you need more help getting rid of these pests, consider hiring a mosquito control company.

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What Are Mosquitos?

Mosquitos, or mosquitoes (both spellings are allowed according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary) are any members of the Culicidae family. Female mosquitos have special organs in their proboscis, adapted to puncture the skin of animals and suck their blood. As if that’s not terrifying enough, because they break skin, mosquitos can be a major vector for a number of serious diseases including malaria, yellow fever, dengue, Zika, various types of encephalitis and—perhaps most famously in the United States—West Nile virus.

Mosquitos are common in most parts of the world. Over 3,500 different subspecies exist worldwide. These flying pests can live indoors or outdoors and are active throughout the day and night, though most species are most prevalent in the late afternoon and dusk. Not all species of mosquito bite people or animals. In species that do bite, only the females do so.

How to Identify Mosquitos

Most people have probably seen a mosquito before, but if you have a significant mosquito infestation it’s important as part of your eviction process to be able to identify which type of mosquitos have taken up residence. Different species are more or less prone to transmitting diseases. The three most common disease-spreading mosquitos are Anopheles, Culex and Aedes.

What Do Mosquitos Look Like?

All species of mosquito feature the same basic anatomy: A long skinny abdomen, a compact thorax, or mid-section, where the wings grow from and a small head with a large proboscis, the long, pointed, blood-sucking appendage. When mosquitos land on skin, they often arch their bodies, lowering the abdomen and raising the head to better align the proboscis for blood draw.

Anopheles mosquitoes are one of the lightest species in color, ranging from brown to dark brown and are the primary vector for malaria. While the species is common in the U.S., malaria infections are rare and usually quickly controlled.

Culex mosquitos are one of the most common across the U.S. and have a black body with faint white bands on the proboscis and the abdomen. This species is most active in late summer and early fall and is known to transmit encephalitis and West Nile virus.

Aedes mosquitos, or Asian Tiger mosquitos, are the most distinctive species with a pattern of black and white markings on both body and legs. Unlike other mosquitos, which blood-feed on numerous mammals and birds, the Aedes seem to like humans the best and are known to transmit Zika virus, yellow fever and dengue.

Where Are Mosquitos Usually Found?

Mosquitos live in environments across the world and throughout the United States. Some species live in forests, marshes or fields while others have adapted to live in suburban environments near people. Mosquitos lay eggs in water and live in water until adulthood as larvae (the initial stage after hatching from an egg) and pupae (the transitional stage between larva and adult). You typically won’t find the pest too far from standing water.

Permanent water sources, like lakes, ponds, marshes and swamps are all popular places for mosquitos to lay eggs, as the water is slow or un-moving. Some species of mosquitos will take advantage of standing water created by rain, snow or even farming irrigation by laying eggs in moist soil or containers. The eggs dry out but then hatch when water re-floods the soil or container.

(Video) There's a Better way to Get rid of Mosquitos than bug zappers

What Are the Signs of a Mosquito Infestation?

While some areas of the U.S.—especially those regions prone to hot, humid and wet weather—may be used to a certain amount of mosquitos, an infestation might be noticeable if you begin seeing significantly more mosquitos than the normal amount. Mosquitos are most active at night so if you see mosquitos during the afternoon or early evening, it may be a sign that you have a problem.

Another sign of a mosquito problem is if you notice you are constantly being bit or feel numerous itchy, bug bites—especially at night. Some people won’t sense mosquitos biting in the moment but will notice itchiness, inflammation and swelling later.

What Damage Can Mosquitos Cause and Are They Dangerous?

While some mosquitos in the U.S. can spread germs or serve as a vector for the transmission of serious viruses and diseases, most are merely a nuisance. Nuisance mosquitos don’t make people sick or spread germs, but they can be quite annoying and some people are more sensitive to mosquito bites than others—especially young children.

Some mosquitos, on the other hand, can spread disease, which can infect the people that they bite. For a mosquito to infect a human, it must first take blood from a person or animal carrying a disease. The germs must pass from the mosquitos’ gut into its body and then into its salivary glands. When that mosquito bites another person, the saliva can carry the germ down the proboscis into the new human who may then catch the disease.

How to Get Rid of Mosquitos and Prevent Them From Returning

Getting rid of mosquitos in the great outdoors can seem impossible at times. Here are some of the best ways to get rid of mosquitos, indoors and outdoors, so you can enjoy your home once again.

Eliminate Standing Water

Probably one of the most important and effective ways of getting rid of mosquitos and preventing their return, is to eliminate, or regularly clean, any standing water in your yard. Whether a puddle, bird bath, bucket, tree stump or even a kiddie pool, any container that can hold water may become a breeding ground for mosquitos to lay their eggs. Make sure water storage containers (cisterns, rain barrels, etc.) are tightly sealed so mosquitos can’t get inside to lay eggs.

Any containers you do leave outside, such as birdbaths and pools, should be emptied and scrubbed regularly. Water features like fountains or ponds can be treated with a “mosquito dunk”. This dissolvable disk is loaded with a bacteria that is toxic for mosquito larvae.

Clean Gutters

Clogged and crowded gutters can become a water trap that creates pools of standing water. This water is also full of the organic nutrients from leaves and sticks, a perfect home for young mosquitos. Clean your gutters twice a year, if possible, especially in late spring and fall. You can also consider installing gutter guards.

Fans and Citronella Candles

Fans and citronella candles are a great way of repelling mosquitos in small areas. A fan that circulates the air will confuse insects and make it hard for them to fly. It also diffuses the carbon dioxide exhaled by humans, making it harder for mosquitos to find their mammalian targets.

Citronella candles use lemongrass oil, a repulsive odor to a mosquito, to keep the pests away. Lining them along your deck, or placing them at the center of a dining table, can be a great way to abate the mosquito problem.

Broadcast Treatment

A broadcast treatment is a great way to get rid of mosquitoes outside, whether you do it yourself or hire a pest control professional. You apply a repellant spray to the entire yard and it typically keeps pests away for several months before reapplication is necessary. Using a broadcast treatment to get rid of mosquitoes costs around $1,000 for a one-acre property.

Natural Mosquito Remedies

For chemical-free ways to prevent and remove mosquitos, consider either planting plants or using essential oils derived from plants that repel mosquitos. Lemongrass, peppermint, rosemary, basil and lavender all naturally repel mosquitos. Planting these near your deck or around your yard can reduce a mosquito population. You can also mix essential oils from these plants with water to create a natural spray or bug repellant.

Introduce Natural Predators

Inviting the natural predators of mosquitos to set up camp in your backyard and handle any issues can have mixed results, depending on your comfort with wildlife. Bat and bird boxes can, depending on your area and climate, handle a mosquito problem and keep it at bay year-round.

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Professional Mosquito Removal Services

If you are unable to spray your yard yourself, or would rather the process be handled by an expert, consider a professional pest removal service. These companies can offer both chemical and natural mosquito sprays, as well as other techniques, including gutter cleaning and removal of standing water. For more on professional pest control, check out our list of the best pest control companies.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What gets mosquitoes to go away?

When it comes to repelling mosquitos, the safest and most affordable methods are to reduce and remove standing water where insects lay their eggs and to set up citronella candles which burn a lemongrass oil that mosquitos hate.

What kills mosquitoes the best naturally?

The most intuitive way to kill a mosquito is probably to smack one against a surface with your hand or another blunt object. When it comes to natural repellents, various plants actually produce scents that mosquitos dislike. These include lemongrass, basil, rosemary, lavender and peppermint.

How can I avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes?

To prevent mosquito bites, you should first try and reduce and remove any habitats that mosquitos like, such as standing water. Wearing long sleeves, pants and socks and applying bug spray can also protect you from being bitten.

Can mosquitoes bite through clothes?

Yes, mosquitos can bite through close, especially thinner and loosely-knit materials. Thicker clothes, or those with tighter weaves, will offer better protection. These might include wool, velvet and denim.

What time of day are mosquitoes most active?

Mosquitos generally come out to feed at dawn, dusk and in the middle of the night. They rarely come out during the day, nor do they usually fly in direct sunlight.

What smells do mosquitos hate?

Mosquitos are repelled by various natural smells including citronella (which contains lemongrass oil), lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, cinnamon clove and cedarwood.

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FAQs

How do I get rid of mosquitoes completely? ›

Use an indoor insect fogger or indoor insect spray to kill mosquitoes and treat areas where they rest. These products work immediately, and may need to be reapplied. When using insecticides, always follow label directions. Only using insecticide will not keep your home free of mosquitoes.

What are 3 common methods to control mosquitoes? ›

Methods can include eliminating mosquito larval habitats, applying larvicides to kill mosquito larvae, or spraying insecticides from trucks or aircraft to kill adult mosquitoes.

Is there something I can do to get mosquitoes to stop biting me all the time? ›

Clothing stops mosquitoes reaching your skin and biting. Mosquitoes cannot bite through loose clothing but can if your clothing is tight. In hot climates, your clothing can be thin, as long as it is loose. Any areas of skin not covered by clothing should have insect repellent applied.

What smell do mosquitoes hate? ›

Certain Natural Scents

Mosquitoes are turned off by several natural scents: cinnamon, peppermint, cedar, citronella, lemongrass, patchouli, catnip, lavender, and more. Find a favorite, and use it when you want to spend time outside.

What lotion keeps mosquitoes away? ›

3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent Lotion

Another top-selling mosquito repellent lotion is Ultrathon Insect Repellent Lotion from 3M. This lotion contains about 34% DEET to repel not only mosquitoes, but biting flies, chiggers, deer flies, ticks, gnats, and fleas.

How do professionals control mosquitoes? ›

Natural pyrethrins and synthetic pyrethroids

Mosquito control professionals use natural pyrethrins, often referred to as pyrethrum, to kill adult mosquitoes using ULV spraying. Synthetic pyrethroids are similar to natural pyrethrins.

What kills mosquitoes during the day? ›

Use citronella torches or candles to keep bugs away from small areas outside, such as a porch or deck. Fans can blow winds strong enough to disperse mosquitoes outdoors. Electrocuters, or mosquito zappers, use heat and carbon dioxide to attract and kill mosquitoes.

What is the most important step in controlling mosquitoes? ›

1. Remove Mosquito Habitats. An important part of mosquito control around homes is making sure that mosquitoes don't have a place to lay their eggs. Because mosquitoes need water for two stages of their life cycle, it's important to monitor standing water sources.

What makes mosquitoes go away naturally? ›

Catnip, peppermint, lavender, sage, rosemary, citrosum, lemon balm, and basil are all great at keeping mosquitoes away. And as an added bonus, their delightful scents are sure to spruce up your garden.

Does coffee grounds keep mosquitoes away? ›

You can control them with coffee grounds, a safe and effective way to keep pests away. Not only do they repel mosquitoes, but also other insects such as wasps and bees. Coffee grounds are the bee's knees when it comes to staying bug bite free.

Can vinegar get rid of mosquitoes? ›

Apple cider vinegar: It's a truly multipurpose remedy that can help with so many things, including mosquitoes. Add equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Use it on areas where mosquitoes tend to hang out. You can even spray it on yourself to keep them away.

What can I spray around my yard to keep mosquitoes away? ›

A mixture of cedar wood oil diluted with water can be sprayed on your lawn and shrubs to repel insects like fleas and mosquitoes. (We like these amber glass spray bottles.) Not only does it keep pests away, but it can nix their eggs, too.

What can I spray around my yard for mosquitoes? ›

Lawn and garden pyrethroid insecticides are a good choice for mosquito treatment. They are very low toxicity, residual and odorless. Active ingredients in common lawn, landscape, yard and garden insecticides include cyfluthrin, lambda-cyhalothrin, tetramethrin, phenothrin, and permethrin.

What can I spray around my yard to keep mosquitoes away home remedies? ›

Mouthwash, Vinegar, and Stale Beer

One calls for mixing mint mouthwash, Epsom salt, and stale beer and spraying it around your yard. Another uses apple cider vinegar, water, and an oil made up of citronella, peppermint, lemongrass, cedar wood, and geranium. Does homemade mosquito yard spray work?

Why do mosquito bite ankles? ›

The short answer as to why mosquitoes go after feet and ankles is that our feet often carry a strong odor. Yes, stinky feet attract mosquitoes.

What liquid do mosquitoes hate? ›

Lemon eucalyptus oil

Used since the 1940s, lemon eucalyptus oil is one of the more well-known natural repellents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have approved eucalyptus oil as an effective ingredient in mosquito repellent.

What are mosquitoes most afraid of? ›

Mosquitoes hate the smell of lavender, citronella, clove, peppermint, basil, cedarwood, eucalyptus, peppermint, lemongrass and rosemary. They also hate smells such as smoke, for further insight, see our exploration on, does smoke keep mosquitoes away?

What sounds are mosquitoes scared of? ›

Researchers have discovered that dubstep music is an effective way to protect against mosquitos. In their study, published in 'Arcta Tropica', the team of researchers wrote: “Sound and its reception are crucial for reproduction, survival, and population maintenance of many animals.

What color is best to wear to avoid mosquitoes? ›

Colors that help keep mosquitoes away

Try wearing lighter, calmer colours, such as white, beige, khaki, pastel yellow and even soft grey. You can also wear green, blue and avoid black, red and orange.

Can we wipe out all mosquitoes? ›

You could wipe out every species of mosquito, although you'd need to do them one at a time, and there are around 3,500 of them, of which only about 100 spread human disease.

How do you burn coffee grounds to get rid of mosquitoes? ›

Insect Repellent

Since coffee grounds are very potent, it's a perfect repellent to fight off those pests. According to the EPA, coffee grounds are most potent when they are burned. All you need to do is place the coffee grounds in a bowl on a flat surface outside, and burn the grounds like you would incense.

Does rubbing alcohol keep mosquitoes away? ›

Specifically, you can use regular rubbing alcohol to repel insects if you don't have a dedicated bug spray or any other essential oils on hand. It doesn't repel bugs in the same way as many essential oils, however. Alcohol is a very dehydrating and drying solvent.

What eats the most mosquito? ›

Gambusia Affinis

As far as natural predators go I think it can be said without hesitation that the mosquitofish is by far the most efficient natural predator of mosquitoes. Full-grown females can reach a length of up to 2.5 inches and males up to 1.5 inches.

Do mosquitoes serve any purpose? ›

Mosquitoes are considered biological control agents, meaning they help keep insect populations under control. Mosquitoes also pollinate flowers and serve as a food source for larger animals such as birds. Mosquito larvae are food for fish, frogs, dragonfly nymphs, and birds that feed on water insects.

Why do mosquitoes even exist? ›

Mosquitoes play an ecological role, serving as pollinators and as a food source for other wildlife. It's often said that mosquitoes serve no purpose other than to annoy humans. This is easy to believe as you are swatting away these bothersome insects while trying to enjoy the outdoors, but it is of course not true.

What is the best homemade mosquito trap? ›

All you do is add some bait (honey, fruit, juice, sugar water, or some nectar-containing flowers) and place in a dark corner of the room. It works because mosquitoes seek out sugar, which they require to fuel themselves. Once inside the bottle they can't get out.

Do coffee grounds keep mosquitoes away? ›

You can control them with coffee grounds, a safe and effective way to keep pests away. Not only do they repel mosquitoes, but also other insects such as wasps and bees. Coffee grounds are the bee's knees when it comes to staying bug bite free.

What does cinnamon do to mosquitoes? ›

Cinnamon oil is extracted from cinnamon bark and is widely used to make natural mosquito repellents. Cinnamon oil contains powerful ingredients such as eugenol, cinnamyl acetate, anethole, and cinnamaldehyde properties which work to fight against the primary species of mosquitos and also works to kill mosquito eggs.

What does vinegar do to mosquitoes? ›

As an alternative, many natural replacements for the DEET ridden repellents include apple cider vinegar. Mosquitoes dislike the smell and taste of the vinegar, and will leave you alone so you can enjoy your BBQ.

How does cinnamon get rid of mosquitoes? ›

DIY. To make a diluted 1 percent solution, mix 1/4 teaspoon (or 24 drops) of oil for every 4 ounces of water. You can spray the fluid onto your skin or clothing, around your home, and onto upholstery or plants. Be careful when applying cinnamon oil, as a concentrated dose can irritate your skin.

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