A mosquito is a blood-sucking pest that flies and pierces through the skin of its target. Mosquitoes are over 3000 species, and in the United States alone, there are about 200 species. Mosquitoes are attracted to water and carbon dioxide from mammals’ breath. Since mammals will keep on breathing to live and water covers a vast percentage of the earth, the mosquito population is bound to be ever-increasing.
They are so quick to bite and make annoying noises that make you uncomfortable. Mosquitoes are of a health concern as they cause many diseases that kill over a million people yearly worldwide. They serve as carriers of mosquito-borne diseases like Malaria, Yellow Fever, West Nile Virus, Zika Virus, dengue fever, etc.
An overview of the life –cycle of a mosquito
An average mosquito is about 5-6 mm long and comprises a head, thorax and abdomen. Like, many similar insects, a mosquito has a pair of wings and six long and thin legs. It has an antenna and a proboscis for feeding. The mosquito injects its saliva, containing pathogens that transmit diseases and sucks blood through it.
Female Adult mosquitoes take blood from humans to carry out egg production. They lay eggs and hatch their mosquito larvae in stagnant water. They are more active at night since they come out to feed at that time. The mosquitoes are attracted to the body heat and carbon dioxide in the breath of mammals.
As a pest, it is not easy to get rid of it, as its sources of feeding and means of survival are readily available. However, there are pest control ways to get rid of its population around your house.
What is the most effective way to get rid of mosquitoes?
Many people usually ask about how to get rid of mosquitoes as they need to eliminate mosquitoes plaguing them. Most of those that ask this question would love to kill the pests by using whatever means available. An insecticide is a good option for their pest control; however, it is not effective in the long run. It becomes harder to get rid of mosquitoes, as they can develop resistance to these chemicals in the long run.
Besides, these chemicals are toxic to the environment and can irritate the skin or cause blindness when they get into the eyes. They are also dangerous around pets, so it is advisable to do away with them. Instead, it would be best to look into several non-toxic ways effective for mosquito pest control.
A non-toxic method that reduces the pest population and puts it under control would be the best way to eliminate mosquitoes. Let’s look at the ways that are effective for eliminating mosquitoes:
1. Mosquito traps:
Traps are great ways to achieve mosquito control as it keeps them inactive. When a trap captures a mosquito, it either feeds it with something that affects its stomach, thereby dying of starvation or drowns it in something. Several of these exist that can lure the bloodsuckers to kill them. You can purchase readily-made commercial ones or make one yourself.
To make a soapy mosquito trap, get a bowl and mix a dishwashing liquid with standing water inside it.
When this is done, you can place it in a corner and watch mosquitoes get attracted to it. The trap lures them in since they love standing water; however, when they perch on it, the soap stops them from flying away, which eventually drowns them until they die. The soap also kills mosquito larvae that hatch from the female mosquitoes’ eggs, preventing them from becoming adults and cutting-off their life-cycle.
An alternative to the homemade mosquito trap that is useful is to use essential oil blends in the standing water without using soaps. Concentrated oils like Neem, Lemongrass will kill the bloodsuckers on contact with the water.
However, you need to mask their scent with a sweet fragrance like nectars or honey, as the smell of the others discourages the bloodsuckers. This homemade trap will kill adult mosquitoes and prevent their eggs from hatching into larvae.
2. Natural remedies including essential oils:
Several natural remedies are excellent in eliminating mosquitoes. They include camphor, dishwashing liquid, outdoor soaps, etc. When these natural remedies are applied, they kill mosquitoes and decrease their pest populations. Camphor is incredibly potent in killing mosquitoes; you can leave it to evaporate into the air or burn it for great results.
Essential oils are extracts from plants. Many herbs and flowers have potent mosquito killer substances, which kill the pests when they inhale or taste them. For better results, you can extract these plants to produce oils. These oils are then mixed with water and applied by spraying it in places with mosquito infestation. You can rub some of the oils on your body, as far as they do not irritate your skin.
Essential oils are traditional methods of eliminating mosquitoes and have proven over time to work effectively. Rub these oils on your skin, and prevent bites from these pests. When you ingest them, they can restrict the mosquitoes from injecting its saliva, thereby spreading diseases. The oils serve as a safe and natural way to get rid of these pests and make your yard and house free from them. They are also used as repellents to discourage the breeding of pests.
Examples of some of the potent essential oils for eliminating mosquitoes are Tea Tree oil, Lemongrass oil, Neem Oil, and Lavender oil. Ensure you take caution when applying some of these oils as they irritate the skin and cause reactions. Some commercial mosquito repellent products contain essential oils, which makes using them suitable.
3. Bug Zapper:
A bug zapper is an electric insect killer that uses ultraviolet light to attract insects while using its electrocution to eliminate them. It is one of the best home remedies for eliminating mosquitoes. Many people purchase the racket-type bug zapper as it is home-friendly, as you can grab its handle and swing it at insects around you, especially mosquitoes. This device can kill mosquitoes in their hundreds with just a swing, depending on their population in that spot.
Since mosquitoes are attracted to body heat and vapor from humans’ breath, the zappers using ultraviolet rays may not work effectively. Alternatively, there are bug zappers that use carbon dioxide or octanol to get rid of mosquitoes. With such a bug zapper, you can enjoy a relaxed evening on your patio without worrying about the attacks from these bloodsuckers.
You can also put the device on while you sleep, as it will catch and kill all mosquitoes in its immediate vicinity. You must take caution to avoid using this device around food or when you cook, as it is not appropriate to expose food to the substance that attracts the pests.
4. Professional pest killers:
If you have tried all methods and are yet to get rid of the pest, you should call in a professional pest killer. You can search for pest killer services in your locality and enlist the one you think is appropriate. It would help if you took on proper research on killing the pest to ensure they do not create more harm than good.
You may first need to get an opinion from a pest control professional to review the methods you have been using before enlisting for professional pest killers’ services. When you are sure that you need the services of one, make thorough researches of nearby ones that could do a great job. Ask for the pros and cons of what their services entail, and ensure they are certified and licensed to operate.
Ask about the products they would use to eliminate the mosquitoes in your home and ensure that they meet safety standards before use. Get the accurate details of the day of elimination to enable you to prepare adequately. You may need to vacate your home for a few days to allow the process to take effect. Take important stuff with you, and make sure your pets and belongings are secured.
Eliminating mosquitoes and controlling their population in your home through the services of professional pest killers can last up to several months before you may need one again. However, it is best to employ pest control ways that discourage the pests from coming back after eliminating the mosquitoes to keep them under control.
What smells do mosquitoes hate?
Certain scents repel mosquitoes, as mosquitoes cannot withstand their smell. When you spray them around your house, you can enjoy a mosquito-free home. Most of these scents are from essential oils and act as repellents against mosquitoes. These smells include:
1. Tea Tree Oil: This is a natural mosquito repellent, as its strong scent can repel mosquitoes from wherever you spray it. It is also a known strong repellent as it can repel many other insects. Tea Tree oil is good for pest control and should be diluted and applied in a spray bottle for practical use.
2. Eucalyptus oil: Its scent is concentrated and helps repel mosquitoes. It is an insect repellent and can be used to repel other insects. Dilute the oil in water, and spray in your home for pest control of mosquitoes. Its plant is also suitable for repelling mosquitoes, so plant it in your home.
3. Citronella candles: Citronella is known to keep mosquitoes at bay with its strong scent. Many people had testified to achieving outstanding results when they burnt citronella candles. For better results, burn the candles in your bedroom and other indoor areas to ward off mosquitoes that may be preparing to feast for the night.
4. Lavender oil: Lavender oil is a known insect repellent as even its plants can repel insects in areas it is planted. Its scent is also attractive and pleasant; hence, you can apply it frequently in areas infested with insects. It would be beneficial to spray it on your skin to discourage mosquitoes from attacking you.
5. Neem oil: Neem oil has an unpleasant concentrated scent that mosquitoes hate. For safety reasons, dilute with water or other essential oils, and spray indoors and outdoors. It can irritate the skin, so make sure you are careful when applying it.
6. Garlic: Mosquitoes hate the smell of Garlic, and always stay away from any place with such scent. You can crush the garlic cloves and place them in areas that breed mosquitoes. You can also soak the crushed Garlic in water and use it in a spray bottle for better results.
7. Basil: Mosquitoes also hate the smell of basil, which is why any place you plant it, they tend to avoid. You can extract its oil and use it in a spray bottle as a repellent in your surroundings. Place basil flowers on window sills to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.
8. Camphor: Camphor is a well-known mosquito repellent as it prevents mosquitoes from invading your home. It works more effectively when you burn it in your home. You can also leave the tablets in corners around your home, as it evaporates to ward off mosquitoes.
9. Burnt Sage: Sage has a pleasant scent, especially when you burn it; however, it is unpleasant to mosquitoes. To get rid of any mosquito pests in your home and immediate environment, you can use burnt sage. The mosquito is sure to steer clear from your environs.
10. Burnt coffee grounds: Burnt coffee grounds scent may seem like an unlikely smell that mosquitoes hate. However, mosquitoes hate the smell of burnt coffee grounds and steer clear from areas with the scent. Get some coffee grounds and burn them in an egg carton to allow the smoke to diffuse through the air in your home. Ensure you supervise the burning to avoid fire hazards.
Other scents that mosquitoes hate and can serve as repellents against them are:
How can you keep mosquitoes away?
Getting rid of mosquitoes can be quite tasking; however, keeping them away in the first place can reduce your task. Here are the ways to keep mosquitoes away from you and your home:
1. Make your home inhabitable to mosquitoes:
One of the best ways to discourage mosquitoes from your yard and house is to make it unbearable for them. Stagnant water, puddles, ponds, flowerpots, swimming pools, clogged gutters, birdbaths, and any other place with standing water attract mosquitoes. You should drain the water in such sites and prevent breeding as they lay their eggs there.
For places that you cannot permanently drain the water, e.g., swimming pools, you should treat it with larvicide products that are non-toxic and can kill mosquito larvae. You can also place a mosquito fish in your ponds to eat the mosquito larvae and prevent them from becoming adults. Trim off bushes and grasses in your yard, as they serve as hiding grounds for mosquitoes.
Avoid leaving water in your pet bowls in the house, and change the water in birdbaths frequently for adequate control. Haul off old tires lying around in your yard, and discard toys, Frisbees, and other household things that collect water when it rains for effective mosquito control. Ensure your home is tidy and neat to keep mosquito pests under control.
Prevent mosquitoes from entering your home by fixing broken windows, screens and doors. You can also close the gaps made by doors by using weather stripping products. When all access to mosquitoes has been blocked, it becomes almost impossible for them to invade your home.
2. Use mosquito nets:
At times, it is almost impossible to close all doors or windows or fix gaps in your house. However, one solution that can keep mosquitoes away from you is to employ mosquito netting. Mosquito netting is a practical method to protect you from mosquito bites. It is a known traditional repellent for the pest, as it prevents them from biting you.
For effective measures, hang the nets from the ceiling or corners surrounding the bed to cover it. When you want to sleep, raise the net to get into bed, ensure it is appropriately placed, and have no mosquitoes’ entry. Mosquitoes are drawn to the body heat and breathe of humans, which draws them to the mosquito nets. However, the chemicals on the nets will prevent them from penetrating the nets.
The way the net is constructed with a closely weaved body will also prevent the mosquitoes from penetrating it. If a mosquito accidentally enters the net during entry or exit from the net, it will die from the mosquito nets chemical repellent. A newly purchased mosquito net should be spread in the sun for up to three days to avoid your skin and eyes’ reaction. Worn out mosquito nets should be replaced after six months to a year.
3. Use an oscillating fan:
One way to keep mosquitoes far away is to use an oscillating fan. An oscillating fan provides a concentrated furious moving air in a wide range of directions. Mosquitoes cannot fly correctly in the presence of strong wind, which is why this is useful to keep mosquitoes away.
Place the oscillating fan in your bedroom, sitting area or any other place that you can enjoy a cool breeze while avoiding mosquitoes. You will not find any mosquito pest trying to pierce your skin with this fan nearby.
This fan can also help during summer nights when you are resting on your patio before sleep. It will help prevent mosquito bites and keep you cool on a warm summer night. You should turn up your oscillating fan at its highest speed and watch the pests have a hard time finding you.
4. Cultivate mosquito repellent plants:
Amongst the various repellents available to ward of these bloodsuckers, mosquito repellent plants are the best as they are safe. Several plants can help you make your yard mosquito-free, as mosquitoes hate their scents. These plants can beautify your yard and ensure it is free from mosquitoes. Examples of these plants are:
• Holy Basil
• Lemon Eucalyptus
You may have them scattered around in your yard or place them in pots and keep on your window sills or tabletops. You can also extract essential oils from these plants and use them as natural repellents in your house. Mix these oils with water and spray around your home to keep your surroundings free from these bloodsuckers.
It would help create essential oil blends from these plants and use them as natural repellents in your yard and house. You will need to extract the oils from these plants, then combine the strongest of them like Lemon Eucalyptus, Lavender, and Holy Basil in a recipe. Mix the blends with water and spray all over your yard and house for practical use.
5. Work on your lifestyle:
Certain lifestyles breed mosquitoes and keep their population high in your home. You can be free from mosquito attacks when you work on your lifestyle. First, you have to avoid fragrant or fruity perfumes as they tend to attract mosquitoes. During mosquito supporting weather like wet days, you should avoid using perfumes or use them to the minimum.
If you need to wear a lovely scent on you, you should use essential oil blends like Lavender. Because sweats from your skin can mix with the essential oil blends and dilute it, making it less potent, you may need to apply it as often as possible. You can also use natural outdoor soaps that can repel the pest from you. Some natural outdoor soap products have strong scents that do not get diluted by sweats.
During this pest population’s peak time, you should reduce exercises as they help increase your body heat and breathing, attracting mosquitoes. You should also wear loose-fitting clothes and clothes covering up most parts of your body, especially your limbs. You need to ensure that you are giving no room for the mosquito pest to attack you.
A mosquito is a pest that you should get rid of to decrease its ever-increasing population. This article has discussed how to get rid of mosquitoes, the smells they hate and how to keep your yard and house free of them.