Dealing with mosquitoes in your home can be more than just a nuisance. Through their bites, these bloodsucking pests can potentially transmit diseases like yellow fever and West Nile.
If mosquitoes have made their way into your home, here are some ways to get rid of them and protect your family from itchy bites and mosquito-borne diseases.
Products to Get Rid of Mosquitoes in Your House
Indoor mosquito sprays are helpful for dealing with those pesky, lone mosquitoes that manage to fly in through open windows or doorways. You can use them to kill or repel mosquitoes whenever you see one, or to temporarily keep them out of occupied areas.
When talking about mosquito sprays, there are two main types: ones that kill mosquitoes and ones that repel them.
The first type are indoor flying insect killers, such as Raid, Ortho, and Wondercide. Most of these use a class of insecticidal chemicals called pyrethroids, such as permethrin, as the main active ingredient. These sprays have a “knockdown” effect on mosquitoes and other insects, attacking their nervous systems and causing them to become instantly incapacitated.
If you’re worried about toxicity, you should know that EPA-approved insect killers use very low levels of these chemicals and are generally considered to be safe as long as product label instructions are followed. Nevertheless, there are also several “natural” insect killers that use ingredients like peppermint oil, cedarwood oil, and other essential oils to achieve a similar effect.
The second type of mosquito spray are insect repellants. Rather than killing mosquitoes outright, these sprays are designed to deter and repel them. Active ingredients for mosquito repellents range from chemicals like DEET and picaridin to naturally-derived products like oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), IR3535, and 2-undecanone.
So which type of mosquito spray should you use to get rid of mosquitoes in your home? The answer depends on the situation.
Insect killers work when sprayed directly onto mosquitoes that you see, as well as places where they hide and nest. If you’re constantly seeing mosquitoes flying around, and you know where they congregate in your home, consider using an indoor insect spray to eliminate them once and for all.
In situations where you can’t see where the mosquitoes are coming from, yet you’re hearing them or getting bitten, you can spray a bit of mosquito repellent on yourself or on clothing to keep them at bay. Without being able to feed on blood, the mosquitoes in your home won’t be able to reproduce and will eventually either move on or die off naturally.
Indoor mosquito foggers, also known as total release foggers or “bug bombs,” are pesticide products in the form of individual aerosol cans. They can be used to fumigate entire areas around the home, killing mosquitoes as well as other insects like cockroaches and fleas.
Similar to mosquito sprays, most foggers use pyrethroids as the active ingredient. The difference between the two is that foggers involve a more intense application of the pesticide that encompasses entire rooms, permeating into small cracks and crevices to ensure that the mosquitoes have no place to hide.
Using a mosquito fogger involves placing the aerosol can in the center of the room, then depressing the tab to release its contents into the air. The the room needs to be vacated for a few hours, after which you’ll need to open doors and windows to air out the treated area.
The advantage that foggers provide over sprays is that they eliminate all mosquitoes in an area — even the ones you don’t see. They also have a relatively long residual effect that may last for several weeks or months.
However, the drawback is that foggers may pose a potential safety risk, especially if not used properly. In fact, the NYC Department of Health recommends against using foggers and bombs because the chemicals “are dangerous and can easily land in places where people cook, eat, and play.”
Similarly, the EPA also recommends trying other pest prevention measures first, and never using foggers more than necessary.
Mosquito traps are nonchemical options for dealing with mosquitoes that have found a way inside your home. These traps come in several different forms such as sticky traps and fan traps.
Sticky traps are an affordable way to catch just about any insect that lands on it. These traps are yellow cards, typically 3 inches by 5 inches or larger, and have a sticky glue-like substance covering both sides.
Once the mosquito comes in direct contact with the glue, it cannot move or escape. The trap adheres the mosquitoes to the surface and prevents movement. Mosquitoes and other flying pests are attracted to the yellow coloring of the trap due to phototaxis.
Sticky traps are an effective option for monitoring mosquito presence in your home. These traps aren’t able to completely eliminate a possible infestation but they can help you understand what you’re dealing with. These traps can be placed in the soil of any indoor plants or on any flat surfaces.
Fan traps are another mosquito trap option. These traps get the attention of house mosquitoes with the warmth from the UV fluorescent bulb. Once the mosquitoes are close enough to the trap, they get sucked in by the strong vacuum fan.
When the mosquitoes get pulled into the trap, the fan continually pushes them down, preventing them from flying out. Over time, the mosquitoes inside die from starvation and dehydration. At the bottom of some mosquito fan traps, there may be water, a glue trap, or a cage. These are additional and non-toxic measures to ensure the pests cannot escape.
Fan traps can be placed in areas where you’ve noticed mosquito activity. They can be placed on the ground or on elevated surfaces.
Mosquito zappers are another non-toxic option to get rid of house mosquitoes. Zappers are able to kill mosquitoes on contact, making them a more efficient option compared to other non-toxic traps.
Indoor mosquito zappers contain fluorescent light bulbs that emit ultraviolet light. The UV light attracts many different type of flying pests, including mosquitoes. Surrounding the light is wire mesh that has electricity flowing through.
When mosquitoes get close to the electrical grid, they get zapped by the high-voltage charge and die. The cover around the electrical grid will protect you and your family from any accidental contact.
When placing the zappers in your home, have them suspended several feet off the ground and placed about 15-20 feet away from areas you frequent. Zappers can also be placed in areas mosquitoes prefer such as in bathrooms, under sinks, in closets, under furniture, or in the laundry room.
There are chemical zappers on the market but these aren’t considered safe for indoor use. Chemical bug zappers use a chemical attractant to lure mosquitoes in. These zappers should only be used outside to minimize human contact with the chemicals.
Natural Remedies for Mosquitoes
Camphor works as a natural mosquito repellent that emits a strong enough smell to drive mosquitoes out of your home. The scent of camphor overwhelms mosquitoes and messes with their sense of smell. Mosquitoes get confused by the smell and it repels them.
Depending on the form it comes in, camphor can be burned or put in water. If you choose to burn the camphor, light it and wait about 30 minutes to extinguish the fire. The other option is to place camphor tablets in a bowl of water and replace them every few days.
Dry ice is made from frozen carbon dioxide and as it melts, it releases the carbon dioxide. The dry ice mimics the carbon dioxide released by humans, luring the mosquitoes in and killing them.
Place the dry ice in a container with holes and move the container into a room where you have noticed mosquitoes. The mosquitoes are drawn to the carbon dioxide and when they fly inside the container, they become trapped, suffocate and die. Depending on the amount of dry ice you use, this trap can last up to 24 hours.
When handling dry ice be sure to wear gloves to prevent severe burns on the skin. The surface temperature of dry ice can drop to -109.3 degrees Fahrenheit.
Garlic is another effective mosquito repellent as the smell of garlic spray is strong enough to drive away mosquitoes flying around your home. The smell also disrupts your own scent, confusing the
To make the garlic spray, crush a few cloves of garlic and boil it in water. Once the mixture has cooled, pour it into a spray bottle and spray it around your home. The scent won’t linger for too long so don’t worry about your home having an overwhelming garlic smell.
Lemons and Cloves
Lemons and cloves also work as mosquito repellents. Like garlic spray, mosquitoes aren’t interested in the smell produced by the combination of lemons and cloves.
To combine these items into an effective repellent, start by cutting the lemon in half. Next, take about five or six cloves and press them into the halves. Set the halves on a plate in the room where you are finding mosquitoes. This plate can also be placed on kitchen counters, patios, or sunrooms.
Lemons and cloves also work on their own. When their individual oils are combined with water, they can be used as homemade pest repellant sprays.
Coffee grounds can be used to kill and repel mosquitoes. If there is stagnant water in your home, female mosquitoes tend to lay their eggs on or near the water. Sprinkle coffee grounds in those areas to kill the larvae before they can hatch.
If you have adult mosquitoes flying around, you can repel them by burning coffee grounds. Coffee grounds already have a potent smell that is amplified when the grounds are burned. Keep watch over the coffee grounds as they burn to ensure it doesn’t get out of control.
Start by taking the coffee grounds from your coffee maker and placing them on aluminum foil. Once they have dried, add a few drops of lighter fluid to the grounds. Light the grounds and allow them to burn till they begin to smoke. Let the ground continue to smoke after you put out the fire with a damp cloth. The smoke and smell are what repels the mosquitoes.
Professional Mosquito Control in NYC
These pests can be a nuisance both inside and outside of your home. MMPC is here to help if you are looking for a professional pest control service. We use effective and eco-friendly mosquito sprays to eliminate your mosquito problems.
Contact MMPC today to learn more about our mosquito treatment programs.