Need to find out how to get rid of mosquitoes? We've got the inside scoop.
Mosquitoes are unfortunately one of the downsides of weather you might otherwise be delighted by. And, hearing the whine of a mosquito flying past your ear as you nod off to sleep is not a welcome experience...
Some winged home pests can be merely annoying, while others can be destructive or a health hazard, and our guide to how to get rid of flying insects has all information you need on evicting the invaders of our homes.
Mosquitoes are definitely on the list of house-sharers you don’t want, and if you’re prone to getting bitten, you’ll know why. Mosquito bites can be really itchy, and may even bring you up in blisters.
Martha Stewart explains more: 'Mosquitoes love swampy air and humid weather. They can carry diseases, including West Nile virus, so it's best to take measures to keep them away.'
Fortunately, there are natural repellents, clever buys and smart tactics you might not have thought of to put off these nasties. Can’t wait to rid yourself of these troublesome pests? Read on and head to our cleaning hub for more knowledge on keep your space spick and span.
- Not the insect you're needing rid of? Our guide to How to identify bugs has more on these pesky pests.
1. Trap to kill the mosquitoes
If the mosquitoes are still making it through your defences, think about getting a trap for the inside of your home. Some are heavy duty affairs that aren’t the loveliest items plus they’re nosy, but we like the Adokey Indoor Mosquito Lamp because it’s pretty quiet, and doesn’t use chemicals to do away with the home invaders.
Bob Vila's homemade mosquito trap
Too late for preventative measures and no time for buying this shop bought? No need to fret, we've got a great homemade trap hack.
Here's how to make a mosquito trap via Bob Vila which is meant to attract the mosquitoes with carbon dioxide, prompting them to enter through the funnel, where they’ll then drown in the water:
A cup of hot water
1/4 cup of brown sugar
An empty 2ltr plastic bottle
- Cut the bottle in half around its middle.
- Heat up the water, then add sugar and let dissolve.
- Once the sugar water has cooled, pour the mixture into the bottom half of the bottle, and add the yeast to begin the carbon dioxide reaction.
- Remove the cap, flip the top of the bottle upside down, push it into the bottom half of the bottle to create a funnel, and tape the two pieces together.
- Wrap a black sock or piece of paper around the outside of the bottle.
- Place the trap in a shady part of the yard away from any outdoor seating areas.
- Empty the bottle and add more of the mix every two weeks or as needed.
2. Stop mosquitoes coming in the windows
Obvious, right? But the fact is that if it’s hot overnight you won’t want to prevent the intrusion of mosquitoes by keeping the windows shut. The solution is to fit insect screens to your windows that still allow you to open them.
Even if your windows are made from uPVC it is possible to get interior screens, including roll-down versions that you can move out of the way when you don’t need them.
For a budget solution, you could go for netting you can cut to size and Velcro around the window, such as Moegfy Window Screen Mosquito Netting.
3. Say goodbye to standing water
Mosquitoes breed in stagnant fresh water, so your garden could be the source of the problem.
Don’t think you have any standing water? It could be in a blocked gutter on your house, an old bucket in the garden, a wheelbarrow that’s not tipped up for storage, old pots round the back of your shed, a watering can, and so on. Scour the outside of your home for all the possible sites and get rid of the standing water.
Martha Stewart explains more, 'A container as small as a bottle capful could attract the tiny flyers. If you're planning to spend time on the patio, be sure that any buckets, empty planters, or nooks where water may have pooled are dry.'
If you have a water butt to conserve rainwater, you don’t need to give up on it, but do make sure it has a well-fitting lid.
4. Pay attention to your pond
Yes, we know we said no standing water but there are actually a couple of strategies you can use if your pond is a prime site for mosquitoes. The first is to improve the aeration and water flow of your pond by adding a pump and a feature such as a fountain or a waterfall.
If your pond doesn‘t have fish in it, now’s the time to get some, too. Goldfish and others eat mosquito larvae, so you’ll be feeding your fish and dealing with your mosquito problem.
- Find out how to create a garden pond with our step-by-step guide.
5. Attract bats to your garden
While fish will eat mosquito larvae, bats will eat the adult mosquitoes. But how best to make your garden bat-friendly? You could invest in a bat box – or better several – for your plot.
The best place to position them is in sheltered sunny spots, and at least four to five metres above ground level. Make sure the boxes aren’t located where you or the cat will disturb the bats.
You could also add in flowers, climbers, shrubs and trees that will encourage bats to your garden. There’s plenty of choice, including honeysuckle, buddleia, lavender, sea holly, evening primrose, and tobacco plant, plus hawthorn, hazel, English oak and silver birch.
6. Natural ways to repel mosquitoes
Try growing the plants that are reputed to put off mosquitoes in your garden. These include lavender (which is one of the bat-attracting plants as well, see above, and therefore a double win), basil, eucalyptus, citronella, marigolds, and catnip.
Camphor is also a great natural repellent which can be bought in various forms like camphor tablets which you can add to your garden pond.
You can also try burning the oils in a diffuser or burner which will deter the critters from coming too close.
- Check out our guide to creating a herb garden to repel these winged beasties.
7. Try a fan to keep mosquitoes out
Create a breeze and you can deter mosquitoes, which are apparently relatively weak fliers.
A fan has another advantage: it’ll disperse the carbon dioxide you exhale and which attracts them.
Need a new fan? Use our best fans buying guide to find the one for you.