What is the Best Way to Eliminate Mosquitoes from my Home?

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick
Mosquitoes often live around old tires.
Mosquitoes often live around old tires.

In an ideal world, the best way to eliminate mosquitoes would be to stop breathing, sweating, exposing your skin, wearing cologne or perfume or using outdoor lighting. Of course, you would be too busy re-applying DEET inside your net-covered home even to notice all the smokepots burning in your cement-encased backyard. In a more practical world, the best way to eliminate mosquitoes is to use all these methods in moderation. The fact is that there are a lot more mosquitoes than humans out there, and they are driven to make even more mosquitoes.

Mosquito about to bite.
Mosquito about to bite.

One of the best ways to eliminate mosquitoes from your home is to eliminate their preferred breeding grounds — standing, stagnant water. This means keeping the gutters free of debris so water cannot collect. Children's swimming or wading pools should be emptied and cleaned weekly. Low-lying areas which tend to pool up after rain events should be modified to improve drainage. Birdbaths should be scrubbed out often, and the water should be pumped out.

Look for any old tires or empty flowerpots which may collect water. Store these containers upside-down whenever possible. Mosquitoes like to lay their eggs in standing water or along the sides of containers which may collect rainwater later.

A citronella candle.
A citronella candle.

Another way to eliminate mosquitoes from your home is to place mosquito attractants around the perimeter of your property. Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide emissions, which is why they can zero in on a breathing human being. Candles containing citronella oil were once popular as mosquito repellents, but have since been proven to be ineffective. One mechanism of burning candles which can be used to eliminate mosquitoes is the production of carbon dioxide as they burn. If you want to reduce or eliminate mosquitoes during an outdoor event, place candles around the perimeter to draw them away from human targets. Don't place candles or smudgepots in the center of everything.

Bats may help eliminate mosquitoes.
Bats may help eliminate mosquitoes.

In the realm of mosquito repellents, any commercial product containing high percentages of DEET should eliminate mosquitoes for several hours at a time. A spray repellent such as Deep Woods OFF can contain up to 24% DEET and work effectively for five hours or more. Other products which claim to eliminate mosquitoes may not be nearly as effective as DEET, but should perform adequately with frequent re-applications. Mosquito repellents don't actually repel mosquitoes as much as they make the wearer less visible to a mosquito's tracking devices. To aid in the battle to eliminate mosquitoes, people should also avoid wearing floral-scented perfumes or colognes, exposing too much untreated skin and wearing dark clothing.

Mosquitoes live, eat, breed and die according to a cycle. In order to eliminate mosquitoes, people must work diligently to break up that cycle whenever possible. Sources of standing water must be eliminated or treated chemically to prevent egg growth. Beneficial animals, such as bats, should be encouraged to take up residency near mosquito-infested areas. With the increased risk of mosquitoes transmitting the West Nile virus, the need to eliminate mosquitoes from inhabited areas has also increased significantly.

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick

A regular wiseGEEK contributor, Michael enjoys doing research in order to satisfy his wide-ranging curiosity about a variety of arcane topics. Before becoming a professional writer, Michael worked as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.

Michael Pollick
Michael Pollick

A regular wiseGEEK contributor, Michael enjoys doing research in order to satisfy his wide-ranging curiosity about a variety of arcane topics. Before becoming a professional writer, Michael worked as an English tutor, poet, voice-over artist, and DJ.

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Discussion Comments

mikeJC

The mosquito-slayer trap is the real deal - it actually works because it targets the female mosquitoes which can lay thousands of eggs each in their lifetime. This trap reduces the mosquito population around you and is available in most parts of the world. It is the only trap I'm aware of that is guaranteed to work and catch mosquitoes. These really catch mosquitoes and midge black fly and no see-ums too.

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    • Mosquitoes often live around old tires.
      Mosquitoes often live around old tires.
    • Mosquito about to bite.
      Mosquito about to bite.
    • A citronella candle.
      A citronella candle.
    • Bats may help eliminate mosquitoes.
      Bats may help eliminate mosquitoes.