Repair & Maintenance

Get rid of mosquitoes

By Matt Williamson
Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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Close up of a mosquito on skin
Nothing will spoil a summer evening faster than biting mosquitoes.
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Although it's quite difficult to eliminate mosquitoes completely, there are methods you can use to lessen the number of these annoying insects that get into your house. These simple techniques can help control the nagging mosquito problem; at least in own your backyard. Mosquitoes can transmit harmful substances, including the West Nile Virus, and a few preventative measures are important to your family's safety. By lessening the numbers of mosquitoes in your yard, you will also diminish the chance of them getting in your house. If you've also got an ant problem, read up on how to get rid of ants instead of calling an exterminator.

Follow these tips on how to prevent mosquito breeding around your home:
  • Do not allow standing water to accumulate for more than two days. Common areas to check: old tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools, the base of a flower pot, pet dishes, plastic covers or any container that may collect water.
  • Change the water in birdbaths, fountains and wading pools at least once a week.
  • Clean debris from rain gutters and remove standing water under or around structures.
  • you have a flat roof, check for standing water several days after a rain.
  • Check rain barrels for mosquito larvae. A tight cover will prevent egg laying. A thin layer of oil will kill mosquitoes already present.
  • If you have a pond, birdbath or other water feature on your property, try Mosquito Control Rings containing Bt 'Israelensis,' a naturally occurring bacterium that kills mosquito larvae. They can be used in ponds, water barrels, birdbaths and water gardens and everywhere the insects breed. It is not harmful to birds or other wildlife.
  • Repair leaks or clear away puddles from around faucets and window air conditioning units.
  • Stock ornamental pools with minnows or goldfish (they eat mosquito larvae on the water surface) or treat the pools with biological larvicides (chemicals or natural bacteria that can be used to kill mosquito larvae).


  • Be sure to keep swimming pools, saunas and hot tubs clean and chlorinated. If not in use, keep empty and covered.
  • Empty accumulated water from boats and cargo trailers.
  • Fill or drain large puddles, ditches and swampy areas.
  • Remove, drain or fill tree holes and stumps with mortar.
  • hedges and bushes trimmed to reduce shade.
  • Mow the lawn at least once a week. Mosquitoes can hide in the shade of tall grass.
  • Make sure windows, doors and porches are tightly screened and are free of holes.
  • Seal any exterior holes in your home that might allow mosquitoes in. Pay special attention to areas with utility holes or dryer vents. Seal or screen these openings as appropriate.
  • If you find a large area of standing water where mosquitoes are breeding on public property, notify your area's mosquito control office or health department to get rid of the mosquitoes' breeding grounds.


    Notes and tips:

    General "bug zappers" tend not to kill a lot of mosquitoes, although they may attract them to the area. Testing has also shown that sonic mosquito repellers are ineffective.

    Mosquitoes can carry infectious diseases, including malaria and encephalitis. If you become ill after receiving a mosquito bite, contact your physician immediately.

    Recent studies have shown that catnip oil is actually several times more effective than most mosquito repellants although it is not safe to apply it directly to the skin. It can, however, be applied to clothing and outdoor furniture to control the number of bites your family gets. We haven't been able to find any studies of how catnip oil affects cats, so if you have any felines around, perhaps you should do a test first! Cats generally love catnip plants and dried catnip—so be careful!

    Other effective ways of how to get rid of mosquitoes:

    • Wind produced by an electric fan can keep mosquitoes away.
    • Beer combined with other key ingredients can be sprayed around bushes, and on grass and weeds.
    • Pure vanilla extract and fabric softener sheets are said to get rid of mosquitoes. Dap some extract on your wrists and ankles and try a fabric softener sheet hanging out of your pockets.
    Mosquitoes are a part of summer, but with these tips, you just might suffer with those pesky little insects a bit less this season.

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