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How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes Fast and Permanently – The Ultimate Guide for 2020
Learn about what brings mosquitoes to your yard, what the risks are, and the most effective methods for managing your local mosquito population.
An Introduction to Mosquitoes and Their Role in the Environment
There is a popular bar trivia question that goes “what animal kills the most humans every year?” Most people, thinking it is a trick question, answer “other humans.” That answer is close, because humans are second. But mosquitoes kill almost twice as many humans every year.
Mosquitoes are best known for their bites. Female mosquitoes use the proteins in mammal blood to create their eggs. They bite with their long mouths, piercing the skin and sucking out the blood they need. The saliva in their bites causes an allergic reaction, which eventually leads to an a very itchy bump that can last for a few days to several weeks.
The bites themselves are the most common complaint about mosquitoes. One bite can be so distracting, it ruins days or weeks of your summer. But mosquitoes are known carriers some of the world’s most deadly diseases. When they bite two or more hosts, their saliva can transfer viruses between hosts, leading to serious illnesses.
What makes mosquitoes unique is that scientists are still unsure what value mosquitoes play in the environment. Most pests, like spiders, flies, centipedes, and more, are critical to the world’s ecosystem. But if all mosquitoes were eliminated tomorrow, it’s unclear whether this would have any ecological consequences. They are a potentially deadly insect without significant value.
We are lucky in the United States that fatal mosquito borne viruses are rare. But they do occur. When combined with the general discomfort of the bites themselves, it’s clear why it’s so important to get rid of mosquitoes on your property.
Mosquitoes as Pests and Disease Vectors
There are approximately 180 species of mosquitoes present in the United States and even more throughout the world. They are found throughout all fifty states, with greater numbers on either coast and in the southern states, as mosquitoes thrive in warmth and humidity.
With few exceptions, mosquitoes are most active whenever the temperature is consistently above 50 degrees. For many places, this means spring through fall. For others, mosquitoes are biting year round. Some mosquitoes are also damaged by the sun, so they most commonly feed at dawn or dusk. In the United States, many mosquitoes are considered pests, and most fall int the following three categories:
Aedes Mosquitoes – These mosquitoes are one of the most common pest species as they prefer humans as a food source, breed in water that collects in containers and debris, and bite during the day. They also carry the largest range of mosquito-borne illnesses. Aedes mosquitoes live in the majority of U.S. states.
Culex Mosquitoes – Mosquitoes in the Culex genus are the main carriers of West Nile Virus, and typically feed on birds and people. They will bite at night and are the most likely to come indoors. They are found throughout North America.
Anopheles Mosquitoes – Preferring people and other mammals as a food source, these mosquitoes can transmit malaria, although that has been mostly eradicated in the U.S. They lay eggs in freshwater, bite from dusk until dawn, and can come indoors. Only the eastern states and western states have mosquitoes from this genus.
While breeding patterns and habitat vary slightly from mosquito genus to genus, the overarching similarities mean that most treatments will work for any type of mosquito. In general, mosquitoes lay their eggs in numbers of up to 250 on the surface of water. Mosquito larvae and pupae spend one to three months growing in the water before maturing into adults, at which point they begin feeding immediately.
Only the female bites to consume blood, as it provides the nutrients she needs to create and lay eggs. Males (and females, when not prepping for eggs) feed on nectar and plants. A female may only need to have one blood meal in order to breed for the rest of her life, or she may need to feed before every laying. The feeding pattern depends on the species, with regular blood meals more common – and more dangerous – among pest species. A mosquito can detect a person from 100 feet away from the carbon dioxide they exhale while breathing. At a closer range, the mosquito can smell the person’s scent.
Potential Risks with Mosquitoes
The transfer of saliva from the mosquito to a person carries the risk of also transmitting pathogens. This enables mosquitoes to carry several viruses from infected people and animals to other people, causing some mosquito bites to be harmful and potentially fatal. Mosquito-borne illnesses kill over a million people worldwide. In the U.S., historic and ongoing efforts to manage insect populations have all but eradicated certain diseases, such as malaria, but there is a chance for reemergence of these and other illnesses as disease vector species and virus strains change. In addition, many other diseases remain prevalent, lacking vaccinations.
Diseases spread by mosquitoes in recent years in the U.S. include:
West Nile Virus
Eastern and Western Equine Encephalitis
St. Louis Encephalitis
There are around 5,000 reported cases of mosquito-borne illnesses reported in the U.S. each year. As not everyone experiences symptoms, the actual number could be higher. West Nile Virus is the leading illness and most widespread, while others like dengue fever and zika more typically see outbreaks in smaller areas only in some years.
Approximately 200 people die in the U.S. each year from the various diseases transmitted by mosquitoes. Older adults and children are at greater risk of complications or death from a mosquito-borne illness, and deaths from “rarer” diseases like eastern equine encephalitis are currently on the rise.
Mosquitoes can also transmit heartworm to dogs and cats, although preventative medication and treatments for pets that test positive can mitigate risks. Horses are at risk for West Nile, western equine encephalitis, and eastern equine encephalitis spread through mosquito bites.
Are Mosquitoes Hard to Get Rid Of?
Many people wish there was an automatic method of vanishing mosquitoes from the earth, or at least from their backyards. Unfortunately, there is not yet a treatment that is always effective in getting rid of mosquitoes for the long term. This is because mosquitoes present several difficulties for pest control, such as:
Mosquitoes Fly Erratically – Chemical treatments are almost always applied to a surface, as those in the air will quickly dissipate. Physical barriers also encompass a limited area. Mosquitoes are strong fliers, however, and can just travel around both physical and chemical barriers.
Rapid Reproduction – Each female mosquito can lay over 700 eggs in her few month lifespan. With the right conditions, some of those eggs can turn into adult insects within a week, now biting and laying eggs themselves. The result is thousands of new mosquitoes each day in a space as small as one yard.
Extensive Habitat – A mosquito can lay 100 eggs in a space as small as a bottlecap. This means that the average backyard can contain countless areas for mosquitoes to breed, from the natural trough of a leaf to a dog bowl.
External Environment – Even if your yard is not attractive to mosquitoes, you have little control over your neighbor’s yard or a nearby nature preserve where mosquitoes might be thriving. These areas provide the pests easy access to come to your yard when seeking out a blood meal.
Chemical Resistance – Mosquitoes have been repelled with insecticides for decades, both on a small and large scale. Some have developed a resistance to common formulas of mosquito treatments, making them less effective than they were historically.
The result is that mosquitoes are one of the more difficult pests to get rid of permanently. But there are solutions. Effective mosquito control focuses on limiting populations of mosquitoes. The right methods make it possible to remove mosquitoes from an area and keep them from returning, using tactics that provide:
Choosing the right methods depends on where you live, and what the mosquito challenges are. Homeowners living in warm, humid climates, such as the South and Mid-Atlantic, often see more species, larger populations, and a higher chance of mosquito-borne illnesses. Those in rural and suburban neighborhoods surrounded by natural spaces experience more mosquitoes than those in cities.
The difficulty also depends on how extensive the area is that you want to clear of mosquitoes. Smaller spaces are generally easier than large yards. It is challenging to remove mosquitoes, even more so if you are looking to manage it on your own. removing them is not impossible. The process involves understanding of mosquitoes, careful examination of your yard, some work, and ongoing attention. With patience and dedication to eliminating mosquitoes, you can significantly reduce the population and threat.
How Long Does It Take to Get Rid of Mosquitoes?
In order to get rid of a mosquito, you can simply swat it. But outdoors, and even occasionally indoors, large scale mosquito infestations traditionally need something more. Keeping mosquitoes away permanently is an ongoing process.
Whether you are using mosquito treatments, managing the habitat your yard provides, or both, steps need to be taken throughout the spring, summer, and fall breeding seasons. These pests also return year after year, so permanent removal involves annual measures. The length of time it takes to get rid of mosquitoes depends on how many mosquitoes are present, the area involved in elimination, and the availability of hospitable habitats. Beginning early in the season can help reduce the time needed as less breeding time means fewer mosquitoes to remove.
Certain years can also have more aggressive mosquito populations that take additional time to eliminate. This is largely due to wetter than average weather in the spring and summer that provides more spaces to lay eggs and a greater abundance overgrown plants for mosquitoes to hide in.
The various methods by which homeowners control mosquito populations can work instantly or take a few weeks to provide results. Likewise, they provide only a few hours of mosquito prevention or last for years with the right upkeep. Many people will use several mosquito control methods to take advantage of the different timelines with a comprehensive approach.
The rate of mosquito control, and the length of time they keep mosquitoes away, include:
DIY Natural Repellents – When effective, these can work instantly or in the few hours after application if they need time to first disperse through the air.
DIY Chemical Repellents – Many commercially available repellents are available to prevent mosquitoes in a small area or near a person. The manufacturer’s guidelines are the best indication of how quickly they will work and how long they will last. In general, products for the yard will kill on contact and can work for several weeks in yards, which can be shortened due to weather or how aggressive the mosquitoes are. Personal use repellents can last approximately 6 hours.
Mosquito Treatments – Professional mosquito treatments kill mosquitoes on contact and continue to be effective for the following weeks, usually up to a month. At that point, another treatment is necessary, although they may last longer if there is limited rainy weather.
Managing Habitats – Removing places where mosquitoes breed and rest can take several days or potentially a few weeks to yield results, but will continue to be effective as long as the yard is maintained to mitigate the formation of any new habitats. The extent of the habitat management – addressing obvious areas versus addressing every potential problem – also affects the timeline.
With the various options for mosquito control and the many factors that influence mosquito populations in your area, such as location, weather, landscaping, and more, it is important to make a plan for how to get rid of mosquitoes permanently. You’ll want to determine where you want to get rid of mosquitoes and for how long. If you are looking for a permanent solution, utilizing multiple methods can help get rid of mosquitoes sooner.
How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes Fast
The most effective way to get rid of mosquitoes is to begin the process before you see the first one. By starting early, you can remove the areas in your yard where mosquitoes lay eggs, reducing the number of these parasitic pests that visit your property.
This will depend on the climate where you live, but generally happens between March and May. If you regularly see snow during the winters, it will be later in the season. If your yard is already swarming with mosquitoes, or you live in an area where mosquitoes are active all year, it isn’t too late. It is still possible to get rid of them, either for momentarily relief or for the remainder of the season. Available options include:
Repellents – The fastest way to get relief from mosquitoes, repellents work instantly. Rather than killing mosquitoes, repellents make them less likely to approach the person or area to which they are applied. Because of this, there is no long term benefits with repellent, and they are best for personal use or a small area. You may still see mosquitoes, however, but they are less likely to bite.
Insecticides – These are applied throughout a yard where they instantly kill mosquitoes, as well as the eggs and larvae living in water. Depending on the area treated, it can take several hours to apply mosquito treatments throughout a yard, as well as find each of the areas where they need to be applied. Multiple treatments on additional days could be necessary if the mosquito problem is especially large. Rain can also affect the longevity of insecticides, requiring further applications.
These are the only two approaches that can get rid of mosquitoes fast. Habitat management, which is important for long term mosquito relief, is typically slow. There are currently no effective solutions for eliminating mosquitoes without some type of chemical treatment.
How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes Naturally
Whether you prefer not to use insecticides as part of your mosquito prevention, or are seeking additional ways to strengthen your protection against mosquitoes, many natural remedies have been reported to act as repellents for these pests. These items can often be found at local stores for an affordable price, if you don’t have them on hand already.
The success of many home remedies and chemical free commercial solutions is often based on personal experience, and few have scientific backing. This does not mean they are ineffective, but might work best only for small spaces, in certain environments, or against particular mosquito species. Even with the use of chemicals, there is still not a 100% effective way to instantly eliminate mosquitoes, so your success with natural methods could vary.
However, these methods are generally affordable, easy to implement, and are unlikely to cause your family any harm, meaning there is little risk to attempting them.
Home Remedies to Repel Mosquitoes
If you want to keep mosquitoes out of your yard or home, there are many natural plants and scents that mosquitoes are purported to dislike. Try using these natural elements in your backyard to help prevent mosquitoes:
Citronella – A type of plant, citronella naturally repels mosquitoes. You can set up the plant, but most people invest in citronella candles containing oil from the plant are easy to set up in a specific area, providing up to a 3 foot radius of mosquito protection. These candles are often available in hardware and garden stores, as well as from online retailers. You can also plant citronella plants in your garden to keep mosquitoes away.
Plants – In addition to citronella, plants like lavender, mint, and basil repel mosquitoes. You can add the plants to your garden or in a pot near a seating area for ongoing mosquito control. You can also place sprigs of the plants in different areas for the same effect.
Essential Oils – You can also use essential oils of the plants that repel mosquitoes, as well as tea tree oil, lemon, eucalyptus, peppermint, or clove oil to make a repelling spray. Add about 30 drops of your oil to a cup of water and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Remember to shake before use to combine the oil and water, then spray around your home. Essential oils have proven to be one of the least effective natural methods, but many believe they still help.
Garlic Spray – The sulfur found naturally in garlic is harmful to mosquitoes. To make a spray, smash a few cloves of garlic and boil them in water for a few minutes. Spray this water both indoors and outdoors. The garlic can immediately kill mosquitoes, and will repel them for several weeks, although you won’t be able to smell the garlic yourself for more than a few minutes.
Coffee Grounds – You can sprinkle used coffee grounds in areas of standing water, causing the eggs to float to the surface where the lack of oxygen will keep them from hatching. Burning coffee grounds in a canister also creates a smoke that mosquitoes dislike.
Smoke – If you have an outdoor firepit, consider having a fire during an evening spent outside. The wood smoke will keep mosquitoes away.
These natural methods can be used on their own or in combination with other methods, both natural and professional. There is currently no natural method of repelling mosquitoes that is as effective as those used by professionals.
Personal Natural Mosquito Repellants
There are also natural remedies you can apply to your skin or clothes that can help to keep mosquitoes away no matter where you are. These can be used in conjunction with repellants in your yard, or for protection when you visit unprotected areas. Suggested solutions include:
Lemon Balm – A member of the mint family but with a lemony scent, lemon balm can be crushed and rubbed on your skin where it will repel mosquitoes. Lemon balm is also available as a cream.
Mouthwash – Listerine mouthwash contains eucalyptus oil. While you can create a spray with eucalyptus oil as well, dabbing mouthwash on your skin is a fast way to repel mosquitoes if you already have it on hand.
Outdoor Soap – Products like Skin Armour Deep Woods Outdoor Soap are considered a chemical free way to mask the scent of sweat that can attract mosquitoes. They integrate many of the oils that are believed to repel the pests.
Coverings – Mosquitoes do not typically bite through clothes, so wearing long pants and long sleeves diminishes the available skin they can bite.
People will also use the lavender, mint, or tea tree essential oil sprays for the yard as a personal repellent. Make sure that the essential oil is diluted in water before spraying on clothing. It is important to remember natural ingredients can irritate the skin for certain people, so test any repellant on a small area before applying it over your body. There is also no research on their efficacy.
DIY Mosquito Control – Get Rid of Mosquitoes Without Insecticides
In addition to repellents, there are products you can install in your home or yard that work against mosquitoes. Some are marketing specifically for mosquitoes while others can help with mosquitoes as a secondary feature. They include:
Bug Zappers – A bug zapper is powered by electricity and uses heat and carbon dioxide to attract mosquitoes. When the mosquito or another flying pest comes close to the device, it is electrocuted, killing it instantly. Some mosquito experts say these devices track more mosquitoes to your yard than they kill, but others have had success.
Mosquito Traps – Like a zapper, a mosquito trap uses heat and an attractive scent to draw mosquitoes to it. The traps are equipped with a low power vacuum that sucks the mosquito into the device when it comes close, trapping it and killing it.
Ultrasonic Repeller – These small devices emit ultrasonic pulses that are said to repel mosquitoes. The device plugs into an outlet and the ultrasonic waves keep mosquitoes away in a space around 1000 square feet. There are also small, battery powered ultrasonic repellers that can be worn on the person. Most scientists agree that these do not work.
Fans – The wind created by an electric fan is too strong for mosquitoes to fly through. By placing a fan, preferably an oscillating one, in an indoor or outdoor living space, you can keep mosquitoes from entering.
Screens – Small areas can be screened in with mesh netting so mosquitoes can’t get through. This works best around decks and patios. If you are dealing with mosquitoes inside your home, netting over doorways and beds can help.
Fans and screens are different from other repellent methods as they physically prevent mosquitoes from entering an area, rather than relying on scent to keep them out. They tend to be more effective than home remedies for this reason when used regularly. They still offer an affordable mosquito control method that is convenient to implement.
How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes at Home
Although they can fly at a speed of 1 mile per hour, the average mosquito will only ever travel approximately 1 to 3 miles from the spot it was born. Some species, like the Asian Tiger Mosquito, will travel even less, usually going only as far as 300 feet from its breeding area.
The mosquito’s limited range causes them to be primarily concentrated in a specific location near where they were born. That’s partially the reason that mosquitoes can eventually infest your property. Once they start breeding there, more and more will come until their habitat is lost or they are eliminated.
That’s why repellents and barriers are useful, but are rarely enough. Because the more mosquitoes have an opportunity to breed, the more there will be, turning your property into a minefield of these parasitic pests.
Extermination is the the best way to eliminate mosquitoes on a property. But equally as important is to disrupt their habitat. By making it impossible for mosquitoes to lay eggs around your yard, you limit the number of eggs, and subsequently, future mosquitoes. The mosquitoes are forced to go elsewhere. Because of their limited range, habitat management greatly limits the risk of mosquitoes returning.
How to Get Rid of Mosquito Breeding Areas
Mosquitoes in nature rely on ponds, slow moving rivers, swamps, flood plains, mud puddles, and other relatively still bodies of water to lay their eggs. Depending on where you live, these features may be nearby or even contained within your property. Habitat removal is still important, but may not be as effective.
However, mosquitoes of the Aedes genus and Culex genus often prefer to lay eggs in items like containers that fill with rainwater. Human dwellings are far more likely to have these types of containers.
Containers for breeding mosquitoes can be any object that holds water. The timeline from laying the egg to an adult mosquito leaving the water is as little as a week, so the water does not need to be present indefinitely. The container also doesn’t need more than about a square inch of water to hold several hundred eggs.
The following are some examples of removable outdoor items that can hold water:
Many other objects can offer a breeding spot for mosquitoes besides these. Something as small as a bottle cap could conceivably be a place for mosquito eggs to thrive. As part of your mosquito control, regularly examine your yard for any areas where water might collect during rain.
When possible, it is best to remove these containers or buildup altogether. If they must be outside and serve a purpose, be sure to empty them after use or rain.
Sprinklers can also lead to areas of water around your yard. Check to make sure no containers near your lawn are filling with water, and remove them also. Also do not overwater your yard as this can leave puddles that provide enough space for mosquito eggs. Instead, water in the morning or before 6pm to give any residual water time to evaporate. If your property has poor drainage, contact a landscaper.
There are also situations where the item cannot be removed, but can be treated. For example:
Bird Baths – Regularly emptying and refilling bird baths will remove any eggs and larvae that are currently residing there. This should be done every week or two.
Flower Pots – Watch for excessive water in the pot and in the saucer beneath the pot. Try to avoid overwatering the plant and empty the saucer if it gets filled, whether through rain or watering.
Clogged Gutters – A gutter can be an out of sight container for water and mosquito breeding. Regularly clean your gutters once a year to remove debris and check them often if there is nearby brush.
Ponds – If you have a pond or other water feature on your property, consider installing pond pumps or a fountain to agitate the surface of the water. You can also add fish that consume mosquito larvae, such as minnows and goldfish. Removing plants from around the bank of the pond will eliminate adult mosquitoes in the vicinity since they’ll have fewer places to hide, subsequently reducing eggs as well.
Rain Collection Tanks – A rainwater harvesting system can be good for the environment unless mosquitoes are able to breed in it. Empty the barrel often and cover it during collection with a mesh screen, either made as a DIY or purchased.
Standing water can sometimes be treated with products that target eggs and larvae. Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (commonly known as BTI) is a naturally occurring bacterium that creates a toxin that kills mosquito larvae. There are also purchasable insect growth regulators that disrupt the growing process in young mosquitoes, preventing them from aging. These can all go inside the water.
Follow safety guidelines when using these products as some can be toxic to people and animals. This is especially true if they are used in water that will later be drunk, such as a rainwater collection system, or swam in. They can be dangerous if used incorrectly. If you are using them in a pond with fish, check the directions on the back to ensure the larvicide will not harm the fish before applying.
How to Get Rid of Adult Mosquito Habitats
Adult mosquitoes have delicate bodies that do not handle heat and sunlight well. Too much exposure to direct light during the day dehydrates them, eventually causing death. Areas that are dry are even more dangerous for mosquitoes. Because of this, mosquitoes spend daylight hours resting in shady, damp areas.
Removing locations that an adult mosquito can rest will often force them to retreat to other properties where they are safer. This makes them more likely to lay eggs at a further distance from your home as well. Common hiding spaces that should be trimmed back or removed include:
Tall, Uncut Grass
There are several commercially available sprays and foggers on the market that are approved by the EPA that work against adult mosquitoes. The exact application can vary between manufacturers and products, but in general you will spray them onto your lawn and bushes. They are often able to assist in repelling mosquitoes for a few weeks before they begin to fade.
While many modern insecticide treatments are safe for use on a private property, it is still important to check any manufacturer guidelines regarding risks to people or pets that might be in the yard. Adhere to the specified instructions for both safety from any toxins and maximum effectiveness against mosquitoes.
How to Keep Mosquitoes Out of Your Home
The majority of mosquito encounters happen out of doors, although Culex and Aedes mosquitoes are attracted to indoor settings and can find their way inside your property. Many people are at an increased risk for a mosquito bite indoors because they are not taking the same precautions with bug spray, may not be as covered, and tend to be more stationary, making it easier for mosquitoes to bite.
Because there are often only a couple mosquitoes indoors, eliminating them is generally easier than outdoor treatments. These methods can help you kill mosquitoes and keep new ones outside:
Fly Swatters – Mosquitoes slow flying time makes them relatively easy to kill, either with a fly swatter, your hand, or another flat object. This is the most expedient way to remove a handful of mosquitoes that have come inside through an open door or by riding in on a host.
Window Screens – Small tears in window screens, or windows without screens, provide access into a home for house mosquitoes. Either patch or replace screens around your home to remedy any damage.
Weather Stripping – Gaps around a door provide enough space for mosquitoes measuring less than half an inch to squeeze through. Commercially available weather stripping around your doors eliminates any gaps, as well as keep out other pests and provide insulation.
Mosquito Repellents – EPA approved aerosol sprays, foggers, and pump spray products repel mosquitoes from inside your home. Be sure to use products that are designed for indoor use and apply according to the directions on the product.
If you are facing an extreme case in which there are dozens of mosquitoes inside your house and these methods are having little effect, draping mosquito netting over your bed and yourself while you sleep can help eliminate bites received during the night. This provides you time to take more advanced measures or contact a pest control company without putting yourself at risk in the meantime.
How to Prevent Mosquito Bites
While mosquito control is focused on reducing mosquitoes in a large area, protecting yourself from bites individually helps to limit your potential exposure to viruses. This is important if you will be visiting a place where mosquitoes are ubiquitous or as an added protection in your own yard.
Natural repellents using eucalyptus oil, lemon oil (citronella), and picaridin are available, but for maximum protection from mosquitoes, the Center for Disease Control recommends using repellents containing DEET. To protect yourself from mosquito bites:
Choose the Right Repellent – Mosquito repellents come in sprays, creams, and clip-ons that determine how you will apply it. The amount of DEET in the product also varies, with 20 percent as the CDC recommended amount. Less DEET will offer a shorter coverage, but is the best choice for younger children.
Apply Correctly – With spray repellents, apply the product to bare skin and clothing for the strongest effect. Creams are applied directly to skin.
Reapply as Needed – Depending on the repellent, it could be effective between 1 and 10 hours after application, after which it should be reapplied. Perspiration, swimming, or rain will also shorten the effective time for most repellents and make it necessary to reapply more frequently.
When using an insect repellent containing DEET or even natural repellents, use caution and adhere to instructions during application. Many repellents can be a skin irritant, so it is best to use them in the lowest needed dosage and wash skin after use. Avoid applying repellents where they could be accidentally ingested.
Mosquito repellents are most effective when used as part of more comprehensive mosquito control around your home as scientific studies have shown that some mosquito species are able build up a temporary or long term resistance to DEET and the other active agents in repellents.
How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes Permanently
Mosquito control is always going to be an ongoing process. In addition, to have the most success at reducing mosquito populations, it also requires a range of methods. No one treatment or single action will eliminate mosquitoes forever, and the most intensive regime of mosquito control can often still allow an insect or two through.
Professional mosquito control uses the advantages of expertise to address mosquitoes in the ways that will have the greatest impact. A pest management professional can tailor both the treatments and recommendations they provide based on location, environment, risk factors, and the available mosquito control methods they offer.
They can help you determine which mosquito control strategies will eliminate mosquitoes with the most lasting effect.
Professional Mosquito Treatments: How to Exterminate Mosquitoes
Each professional pest control company responds to mosquitoes differently, so it is important to ask how they approach mosquito control before you partner with any professional company. By knowing your goals and the possibilities, you can be sure that the company you choose will have the right options for your needs.
Exterminators will begin service with an inspection. The technician determines where mosquitoes are coming from and where they may be hiding. They will also survey where mosquitoes breed and collect around your property as these are the areas they need to treat. The inspection will guide price and provide an expectation of the effectiveness of different treatment options.
Professional mosquito treatments use insecticides to eliminate mosquitoes. With integrated pest management, they focus on low impact and non toxic applications that, when applied in the right areas, remove and repel mosquitoes.
Treatments can be used in place of habitat management or in addition to it, especially when local environmental factors, such as a water feature or nearby nature preserve that makes removing nearby gathering places impossible. In some cases, only one treatment is needed and mosquitoes will not come back. In other situations, you may need frequent treatments at regular intervals.
As a reliable pest control company will also have strong knowledge and experience with mosquitoes, they can generally assist in identifying areas that might be addressed through habitat modification during an inspection. Their professional experience can point out areas that might otherwise be missed.
Mosquito Treatments to Get Rid of Mosquitos Instantly
Different mosquito treatments are designed to manage different segments of the population. Exterminating adult mosquitoes is the most often deployed method of mosquito control as it removes the insects that bite, spread disease, and lay more eggs. In areas of high risk, additional treatments manage the younger mosquitoes.
Treatment focuses primarily on the area immediately surrounding your home and outdoor areas where you spend significant time. The overall area is usually anywhere from ¼ to 1 acre, although many companies will start with the smallest possible area so that it is more affordable for the customer. If this isn’t effective, they can expand the range.
The treatments a company uses are based around what will work best for your property. Options include:
Larvicides – Often in the form of briquets, a mosquito control professional places these into water where they kill the young mosquitoes. Larvicides can also be applied to the surface of the water, as can adult insecticides, to kill the eggs laid there.
Growth Regulators – Another type of larvicide, the growth regulator prevents mosquitoes from moving beyond the pupae stage to become adult mosquitoes. Growth regulators are also added to standing water.
Mosquito Insecticide Sprays – Also called adulticides because they target the adult insects, these form the bulk of professional mosquito control. An exterminator sprays them on the grasses, bushes, shrubs, and other plants where mosquitoes congregate. Pyrethrin, which comes from chrysanthemums, is the main active ingredient in adulticides, along with added chemicals, and will kill mosquitoes on contact. Mosquito sprays do not leave a residue, limiting their long term potency, but making them better for the environment.
Microencapsulated Insecticides – As opposed to traditional adulticides, these synthetic insecticides break down more slowly in weather conditions like heat and rain. This gives them a more lasting effect. They are sprayed into vegetation to target adult mosquitoes.
Most pest control companies offer one time mosquito control treatments if you need to have your yard cleared of mosquitoes for a few weeks, such as for a party or special event. Because treatments eventually wear off, however, mosquitoes may return to the yard after a while if no other changes have been made to keep them away.
Mosquito control is more commonly performed seasonally. In areas that are warm and wet, treatments are often needed throughout the year since mosquitoes are always active. In cooler climates, treatments are generally done between May and September, or during whichever months mosquitoes are breeding. Starting earlier in the mosquito season can stem their numbers before they become overwhelming.
Seasonal mosquito control is typically performed every three weeks. This follows the life cycle of mosquitoes who take several weeks to grow from eggs to adults. As larvae age up to adult insects, a fresh round of treatment eliminates them. A knowledgeable pest management professional will adjust the timeline based on the local conditions that may cause mosquitoes to grow faster or slower.
The additional professional treatments that target pupae, larvae, and eggs can provide additional protection by preventing the young mosquitoes from growing into adults that breed and bite. The products are considered safe for people and pets, though it may be worthwhile to wait until they dry for added safety.
Mosquito Mist Devices
Another option to permanently get rid of mosquitoes is through installing a mosquito mist system. Traditional mosquito control requires regular visits from your pest control company to apply the adulticide. Misting devices take the place of these regular visits, applying the mosquito treatment throughout your yard on a schedule that fits the local environment. A mosquito mist system uses an insecticide concentrate diluted in water, which is then distributed around the border of a property or outdoor space by tubing and nozzles. The nozzles emit a light spray of adult mosquito insecticide that both kills mosquitoes currently present and acts as a deterrent to other mosquitoes with an invisible barrier around your property.
The scale of the system depends on the area treated. A typical system consists of 30 nozzles which covers a ¼ acre. In general, mosquito mist systems are inconspicuous and can fit into most properties. The kind you choose is based on your needs, budget, and the location of the system, although they all have a similar outcome. Choices includes:
Automatic Misting System – The most automated option for mosquito control, these systems are set up for you in terms of when to release the insecticide treatment. There is little to no maintenance required after set up so long as the water and insecticides reserves are supplied. These systems come in both drum-based and tankless configurations.
Remote Misting System – These systems use remote controls to adjust the settings to the correct program. They still function automatically, but rely on you to manage the schedule for automatic application, making changes to the program as necessary. Remote systems can also be both drum-based and tankless.
Drum-based Misting System – These systems use a 55 gallon drum to hold the water and insecticide. They do not require frequent refills due to the size of the drum, but are slightly bulkier and you will need to account for the space of the tank when planning the installation.
Tankless Misting System – A tankless system uses an external water supply and a small container to hold the insecticide, which is then mixed with water during the spraying process. These systems are slightly more expensive than drum-based systems and require refilling more often, but they take up little space so that you can place it more inconspicuously on your property.
There are several brand names manufacturing mosquito mist devices. The pest control company you work with can cover the pros and cons of the options they have available. They will also potentially make recommendations based on what is most appropriate for your property based on their inspection.
Mosquito mist devices are generally programmed to spray twice daily during the months when mosquitoes are active. There is some ongoing cost of insecticides to keep mosquitoes away, but they are generally affordable and come out to only a few dollars a day or less.
Like mosquito treatments performed by a pest control company, the majority of insecticides available for misting systems are non toxic and can be used safely around a yard. Pyrethrin, a natural insecticide derived from chrysanthemums, is the most frequently used, although all natural options that are mixtures of essential oils are also available. You can adjust your insecticides to those which are most effective in your area.
Cost is the biggest hindrance for many when considering a mosquito mist system. Between the cost of the system and the installation, they can be a few thousand dollars. It is possible to save with a DIY installation for mosquito mist devices, although many choose a professional installation to ensure the system is correctly placed.
For those who are comfortable with the cost, mosquito mist devices are one of the best ways to permanently get rid of mosquitoes without continuously needing ongoing yard maintenance or regular pest control visits. These systems work year over year to manage mosquito populations.
A Life Free of Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes, as well as the viruses they can spread, are a concern throughout the United States. But the southeastern part of the country, with its warm winters and damp summers, provides an exceptional breeding ground for mosquitoes and residents need to take extra precautions against these insects.
For homeowners in Florida and Georgia, where mosquitoes are aggressive, Nextgen Pest Solutions is a local mosquito control company with specialized knowledge of these pests and the challenges they present in the area. We combat mosquito infestations with a holistic approach and the most advanced mosquito control methods available today.
Whether you are DIYing mosquito control or looking for a hands off solution that will permanently eliminate mosquitoes, Nextgen Pest Solutions can be your partner in the process. Call our team at (866) 591-3637, fill out our contact form, or chat with us. We are available to answer your mosquito questions and assist you in finding the most successful way to eliminate mosquitoes on your property.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does it Cost to Get Rid of Mosquitoes?
The cost of mosquito control ranges depending on how much area is being treated, which methods are used, how many mosquitoes are present, and how often treatment is needed. Rates are also subject to your location. On average, regular treatment of a ½ acre yard from May to September is approximately $500. Smaller yards will be less, and larger yards can run into the thousands. A one time treatment typically costs around $200, again depending on the size of the yard.
The cost and installation of mosquito mist devices often averages around $2,500, but can vary between $1,500 and $4,000 depending on type and scale of the misting system. The daily cost to run it after installation is approximately $2 to $3 per day during high season, and will vary based on the brand of insecticides used.
Many companies offer mosquito control, but the effectiveness can vary based on their equipment, products, and skill. Because the cost makes this a significant investment for many families, and the risks of mosquito bites can be high, it is best to take the time to figure out which company will provide the best results, even at a slightly higher cost.
Do Mosquitoes Bite Some People More than Others?
They do, but scientists aren’t entirely sure why. Some of it is because of attractive smells, such as soaps and sweat, that mosquitoes are attracted to. Dark colored clothing is also attractive because it resembles the shady spaces mosquitoes hide. Mosquitoes are also drawn to carbon dioxide, so those that exhale greater amounts of CO2 tend to get bitten more. Other factors of body composition, such as folic acid, cholesterol, and body temperature can impact a person’s risk for mosquito bites as well.
What Is the Best Treatment for a Mosquito Bite?
The average mosquito bite is harmless. It can itch, for which the best relief is a topical antihistamine applied according to the package directions. You should avoid scratching a mosquito bite as this can cause it to become inflamed, making the pain and itching worse. In rare cases, scratching can also cause an open wound that becomes infected.
The cases where a mosquito bites becomes harmful are when the mosquito transmits a disease into the wound site. Those who are symptomatic often experience fever, headache, muscle pain, rash, joint pain, vomiting, and other flu-like symptoms. You should seek medical attention if you experience these symptoms after a mosquito bite, especially if you have recently been traveling in mosquito dense countries.
Can I Get Rid of Mosquitoes at My Business With These Methods?
Yes. The same techniques that work on a private property can work at a business, apartment, condo, event space, and more. If your business has any outdoor space or frequently deals with mosquitoes insides, these methods can be helpful in mitigating issues, keeping customers and employees more comfortable. A larger space will need more extensive measures, whether through treatment or habitat management, which can involve more time and cost with DIY methods.
Additionally, many business owners need a more immediate solution and do not necessarily have the time for ongoing mosquito control themselves. This prompts businesses to often choose professional seasonal mosquito control instead.