How To Get Rid of Mosquitoes? 14 Best Tips

Mosquitoes are tiny flying insects that seem to be blood-sucking bugs but they are more dangerous than we think. They are the major cause of many illnesses such as dengue, malaria, encephalitis1, etc. So, what excites these mosquitoes to bite us, and how to get rid of mosquitoes? Let us explore everything.

1. What Are These So-Called Mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes belong to the Culicidae family which comprises more than 3600 species. The word mosquito is derived from the Spanish meaning little fly. These mosquitoes have slender segmented bodies, tiny hair-like legs (3 pairs), a pair of wings, and specialized organs in their proboscis which are adapted to pierce through animal skin and suck blood through it.

These pesky insects are very common across the globe and they can be seen both indoors and outdoors. Although mosquitoes can be active day and night, the majority of the mosquito population of the species gives trouble during late evening and night.

It is interesting to know that not all mosquitoes bite human beings or animals, only female mosquitoes bite people to nourish their eggs.

2. Life Cycle Of Mosquitoes?

The life cycle of mosquito proceeds in 4 stages, namely:

  1. Eggs: Adult female mosquitoes lay approximately 100 eggs in standing water, wet and shady areas. The mosquito eggs stay just above the water’s surface and look like black dirt. These can survive up to 8 months without getting dried out. Standing water easily attracts mosquitoes, particularly female mosquitoes, like rainwater collected in the garbage, flower pots, old tires, etc., and starts to lay eggs.
  2. Mosquito larvae: The larvae hatch out if the water covers the whole egg which means, the mosquito larvae are triggered to come out only when there is an optimum condition occurs, which may be due to rainfall, rising levels of drainage, etc.
  3. Pupa: The larvae generally feed on the microorganism present inside the water. These mosquitoes achieve the pupa stage after moulting 3 times. Pupae will continuously develop until it becomes a fully grown mosquito that leaves the pupal skin and water.
  4. Adult mosquitoes: This is the last stage of the mosquito life cycle where a single mosquito survives and reproduces. Male mosquitoes feed on nectar as their proboscis is not strong enough to pierce human skin but female mosquitoes bite people because they need protein to develop eggs.

3. Why are mosquitoes dangerous and what are their types?

These mosquitoes seem normal and harmless because they just bite and suck the blood out. Still, they are the potential vectors of various diseases like malaria, yellow fever, dengue, and different types of encephalitis, and as per a review in 2021, there are 2400 human infections due to the west nile virus out of which 165 died in the United States.

It is necessary to identify which species of mosquito is a vector for the respective mosquito-borne illnesses. There are 3 most common types of mosquitoes which spread disease in people are:

3.1 Anopheles Mosquitoes

How to get rid of mosquitoes
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These are the primary vectors of malaria. About 460 species are found to be anopheles and more than 100 can transmit malarial fever which is caused by parasites of the genus Plasmodium2. They resemble brown and dark brown in color.

3.2 Culex Mosquitoes

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White stripes on the proboscis and abdomen are the identification marker for these mosquitoes and breed in freshwater sources such as pools, ponds, and on sewage treatment plants. Culex mosquitoes are potential vectors for the west nile virus and encephalitis.

3.3 Aedes Mosquitoes

How to get rid of mosquitoes

Image by FotoshopTofs from Pixabay copyrights 2016Also known as the Asian Tiger Mosquito which can be identified with the pattern of black and white stripes on the body and legs. Aedes mosquitoes prefer humans over any other animals and are known to transmit yellow fever and Zika virus.

4. How Mosquitoes Find Us?

There are many ways in which mosquitoes find us, they are:

  1. Release of carbon dioxide: Mosquitoes are sensitive to carbon dioxide, therefore, they locate us with it.
  2. Body temperature: It is also a factor that draws mosquitoes and they are likely to land on spots wherever body temperature is high but there is still no evidence supporting it.
  3. Sweat: Sweat is linked with body temperature which is due to our body’s cooling mechanism. Studies reveal that mosquitoes are not attracted to sweat but the lactic acid and ammonia.
  4. Body odor: Body odor occurs due to the living bacteria on our body interacting with the sweat and producing various odorous substances which are known to attract mosquitoes naturally.

Here comes the doubt, why am I getting bitten more compared to others in my room? That is because of the following reasons:

  • Varying size may be a reason to get mosquito bites. Larger body size releases more carbon dioxide and hence attracts mosquitoes.
  • Pregnant women are more likely to attract mosquitoes than non-pregnant women. A study was conducted on 72 women out of which 36 were pregnant in Gambia. The study concluded that pregnant women are twice more prone to mosquito bites.
  • Diet may have an effect on increasing metabolic rates which in turn increase body temperature and sweat, eventually mosquitoes bite but the research is limited.
  • Alcohol consumption is associated with drawing mosquitoes, studies reveal that the person who consumes more alcohol, especially beer, is more likely to get bitten by mosquitoes.

5. How To Get Rid Of Mosquitoes Naturally?

The following context focuses on how to get rid of mosquitoes with the kinds of stuff available in our homes, they are:

5.1. Use Of Camphor

Camphor is widely used to relieve cold symptoms, it does so by the pungent smell which clears the nasal passage covered with mucous membrane. The same smell is used as an effective measure in repelling mosquitoes. So, camphor is a natural mosquito repellant but how to get rid of mosquitoes?

There are two ways to use camphor. One is the burning version of camphor and it works faster, you need to close all the doors and windows and light the camphor, and within half an hour there will not be any clue of any mosquitoes present inside the room. These bloody mosquitoes are unable to tolerate the heavy pungent smell.

Another way is to buy camphor tablets, put some in a water bowl, and place them under your bed. It is easy to use and handle, replace the camphor and water after a while. (Make sure that it is away from pets and children as it is poisonous).

5.2. Garlic

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If you are looking for how to get rid of mosquitoes, the best way is hidden in your kitchen, that is Garlic. The reason behind mosquitoes staying away from garlic is the presence of sulfur content.

Now, we know that garlic will drive away mosquitoes but how to get rid of mosquitoes with garlic?

The answer draw mosquitoes is simple, in boiling water, add crushed cloves of garlic and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray the solution wherever the mosquito bites, mosquitoes torcher a lot.

5.3. Lemon And Clove

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Lemon and clove are easily available in the kitchen. The odor of citrus and clove is really a trouble to indoor mosquitoes. Slice some lemons into half and poke cloves and that’s it. Leave it in the bedroom for a while then the fragrance will chase all the mosquitoes away.

5.4. Coffee Grounds to Control

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Coffee grounds are easily available in almost everyone’s house. It is one of the best ways how to get rid of mosquitoes as it can kill both adult mosquitoes and mosquito larvae.

The flying pests can be controlled by burning coffee grounds in a canister, the smoke chases away the mosquitoes. For outdoors, instead of a canister try a firepit, the smoke from the wood also helps in controlling mosquitoes3. The best time to proceed is in the evening.

On standing water, sprinkle some coffee grounds, and the mosquito larvae rise up to the surface and die due to oxygen insufficiency.

5.5. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is one of the essential oils which has anti-bacterial properties that can benefit us in treating wounds. The aroma is exceptionally good for us but the same is not for the pesky mosquitoes.

You can make your own mosquito repellent spray by adding a few drops of tea tree oil in water, mixing it well, and spraying it on mosquito-prone areas such as shoe-rack, beneath the bed, and corners. There won’t be any mosquitoes buzzing around.

5.6. Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is a popular essential oil well-known for its pleasant smell but how to get rid of mosquitoes? Mosquitoes cannot tolerate the strong scent of lavender oil and stay away from it, this gives us a way in eliminating mosquitoes.

Spray the places in and out of the home and garden stores around the house where these flying pests accumulate more. Moreover, there is an advantage to avoiding mosquito bites, just apply lavender oil on your skin, no need to combat mosquitoes overnight.

5.7. Mint

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Mint also has a strong fragrance, which mosquitoes hate very much. Like lavender oil, mint can also control mosquitoes. Hence, place some fresh mint leaves or spray mint oil around the home pest control yourself.

5.8. Soap Water

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Soap water is an easy method how to get rid of mosquitoes. In this method, the bloody mosquitoes are trapped.

These pesky insects usually swirl around water traces for breeding, hence, in this mosquito control treatment, they can be easily fooled with soap water, the soapy-lather film catches the mosquitoes which land on it.

It works best with soap or liquid which lathers a lot. Replace the solution regularly (once a day) and this method works on other insects too.

5.9. Apple Cider Vinegar

These components individually have no effect in repelling mosquitoes but when they are combined, the mixture becomes natural mosquito repellent. Here is the recipe for how to get rid of mosquitoes with apple cider vinegar.

In a spray bottle, add one-quarter of hazel and apple cider vinegar, then mix essential oils such as eucalyptus. You are ready to spray wherever the mosquito population infests.

5.10. Mosquito Repellent Plants

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How to get rid of mosquitoes by planting indoor plants? keeping indoor mosquito-repellent plants can help to get rid of mosquitoes.

These insect-repellent plants create an unpleasant environment for these mosquitoes. Moreover, these plants provide fresh oxygen indoors and can be kept at ease. Mosquito-repellent plants include marigolds, tulsi, lemongrass, and citronella4 (need cold climates to survive).

5.11. Dry Ice

How to get rid of mosquitoes
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The dry ice method is the time taking method in context with how to get rid of mosquitoes and it takes some effort too. Just place the dry ice inside mosquito traps or any container, and the mosquitoes will rush toward it, eventually killing mosquitoes.

The reason behind this is, carbon dioxide emission, these carbon dioxide gases attract mosquitoes into the traps and prevent us from mosquito bites.

You must be very cautious while handling dry ice since it is very cold and can damage your skin if it is in contact for a long time. It is recommended to wear gloves while setting up dry ice.

5.12. Insect Repellents

To make it more familiar, an insect repellent is also called Bug spray which can be applied on the skin, clothes, and other surrounding surfaces to prevent mosquitoes, even other insects, from landing on our skin and bites. These insect repellents play a vital role to get rid of mosquitoes and major diseases like the west nile virus, dengue, and malaria.

Many commercial bug spray bottles available in the market can effectively kill mosquitoes at the same time they have side effects. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers guidelines while using these repellents, they are:

  • The repellents must be used on overexposed parts of the body and should not be applied under the clothes
  • Applying near eyes and mouths is strictly not recommended as there is a chance for the chemicals to enter our body
  • If you are using sprays then do not spray directly into the face, instead, you can spray it on your hand and then apply it on your face
  • Avoid direct application of repellent on children as they can get allergies. Hence, the safe side is to apply on their clothes

5.13. Sleeping Under Mosquito Net

How to get rid of mosquitoes
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This is the most affordable method how to get rid of mosquitoes, especially when you are sleeping. Mosquito nets are grids of thin strings of small pores to provide ventilation and the pores are too small for mosquitoes, hence they cannot enter inside the mosquito net.

5.14. Natural Predators

How to get rid of mosquitoes
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You can get the help of birds to stop mosquitoes, simply add a bird feeder on the porch and balcony. Slowly more birds will come to eat food meanwhile they peck at the mosquitoes. Even bats eat mosquitoes and if bats are to help then there will be trouble controlling them too.

6. Other ways to get rid of mosquitoes

6.1. Bug Zappers

Bug zappers are mosquito control devices that kill mosquitoes when they come in contact. American Mosquito Control Association concluded that these bug zappers are not effective in preventing biting mosquitoes because most of the bugs they killed were beneficial insects. Therefore, bug zappers are advised to keep inside the house.

6.2. Mosquito Traps

Mosquito traps are the most viable method how to get rid of mosquitoes, these traps attract mosquitoes by faking the smell and visual stimuli as our bodies attract mosquitoes.

In the market, there are lots of different, professional mosquito control traps available, some have a sticky surface to trap and prevent mosquitoes from landing on it while other traps have electric grids that destroy the mosquitoes which come in contact.

These traps are helpful in killing mosquitoes when there are more in number and you may need to move these traps to where you can find them.

6.3. Burning Candles

Burning Lavender candles can actually keep the mosquito away from us, the reason is the same as that of essential oils, the fragrance drives them out of reach. So, burning a few candles on the porch, backyard, and balcony can prevent mosquitoes from entering the house.

6.4. Use Of Electric Fan

How to get rid of mosquitoes
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There may be situations where natural methods and chemical mosquito repellents are unavailable. In that situation, how to get rid of mosquitoes? The answer is just switching on the fan and keeping it at high speed.

Although mosquitoes are flying insects they cannot reach you unless they fly against the fast breeze of air. The best approach to stop mosquitoes is using an oscillating fan because they cover your whole body.

6.5. Seal The Gaps And Openings

Blocking the ways through which mosquitoes enter could possibly reduce the chances of mosquito infestation inside the home. Properly close all the windows, doors, smoke outlets, etc.

7. How To Relieve A Mosquito Bite?

Whenever a mosquito bites, it pierces through the skin and sucks the blood, we feel sharp pain, itch, and that area develops inflammation due to one’s immune system. This causes the skin to become red and even itchier. Here are 6 things you can do to relieve a mosquito bite:

  1. Normal ice: Generally, inflammation reduces in cold temperatures, therefore, placing crushed ice wrapped in a cloth or an ice bag over the bump can reduce inflammation firmly. It is recommended not to apply ice directly on the skin.
  2. Honey: Honey is traditionally used to relieve sore throat and dry skin. It possesses antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, so it can be applied to the skin.
  3. Basil: Basil is used in treating skin problems. It is loaded with antioxidants which help reduce inflammation. The procedure is simple, take some fresh basil leaves and chop them, gently rub them on the skin.
  4. Onion: Naturally onion has antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce skin irritation. Take a sliced onion, apply it straight to the skin for a while, and wash it thoroughly with water.
  5. Aloe vera: Aloe vera is known to be a skin moisturizer that is used to treat various skin ailments. Applying aloe vera gel over mosquito bites and gently scrubbing the area, can potentially reduce inflammation and itch.
  6. Vinegar: Vinegar can be a better option to treat mosquito bites, it can reduce burning pain and itching sensation. Also, vinegar is a natural disinfectant that can stop you from scratching.

8. Methods To Control Mosquito Breeding

8.1. Eliminate Standing Water

How to get rid of mosquitoes
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As female mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water and later the hatchlings become adult mosquitoes. These eggs cannot survive without water, so, find the sources of standing water such as old tires, broken buckets, potted plants, and ditches, and then empty them.

Those who raise pets should monitor pet bowls as they are used to keep water and regularly replace it with fresh water.

8.2. Treat Water Sources

For a small amount of water, it is easy to eliminate them but large water storages like lakes, ponds, and swimming pools can only be treated.

8.2.1. Lakes and ponds

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  • Larvicides can be used to kill mosquito larvae if it is ingested but it is doesn’t harm other creatures in the water.
  • Raising fish breeds, like Gambusia affinis5, can help control the mosquito population. They feed on mosquito larvae, so, it is a beneficial way how to get rid of mosquitoes in large water bodies.

8.2.2. Swimming Pools and Tanks

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In swimming pools, factors like algae and bacteria growth promote mosquito breeding. To prevent the mosquitoes breed from laying eggs in the pool, you should:

  • Treat the swimming pool regularly with chemicals.
  • Clean the whole pool or tank thoroughly.
  • Cover the entire pool at night and whenever is of no use. Install a filtration system in accordance with the volume.

8.3. Maintaining Proper Drainage

A proper drainage system eliminates standing water and prevents mosquito breeding. Avoid using plastic bags such as polythene bags which can block drainage and eventually makes it a mosquito breeding ground.

Care must be given to the garden, especially on rainy days, because the water log can draw mosquitoes.

9. Conclusion

Mosquitoes may become the biggest threat if the appropriate measure is not taken in advance. All the above methods on how to get rid of mosquitoes are really lifesaving, but the major concern is to keep the surroundings clean and eliminate all the chances of mosquito infestation.

As these mosquitoes are potential vectors for various diseases, children and elderly people should be very careful. Particularly children should be given extra care because children are more vulnerable to mosquito-borne illnesses6. It is very easy to stay safe from mosquitoes with few daily routines such as monitoring water leakage, maintaining drainage, and keeping the garden clean.

  1. Roos, Karen L. “Encephalitis.” Neurologic clinics 17.4 (1999): 813-833. ↩︎
  2. Collins, William E., and Geoffrey M. Jeffery. “Plasmodium malariae: parasite and disease.” Clinical microbiology reviews 20.4 (2007): 579-592. ↩︎
  3. Wooding, Madelien, et al. “Controlling mosquitoes with semiochemicals: a review.” Parasites & Vectors 13 (2020): 1-20. ↩︎
  4. Wany, Aakanksha, et al. “Chemical analysis and therapeutic uses of citronella oil from Cymbopogon winterianus: A short review.” International Journal of Advanced Research 1.6 (2013): 504-521. ↩︎
  5. Pyke, Graham H. “A review of the biology of Gambusia affinis and G. holbrooki.” Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 15 (2005): 339-365. ↩︎
  6. Tolle, Michael A. “Mosquito-borne diseases.” Current problems in pediatric and adolescent health care 39.4 (2009): 97-140. ↩︎

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