Asking how to kill mosquitoes is a tricky question because there are so many ways that you can do it. You can get rid of them naturally or chemically. It really just depends on what treatments you choose.
So to help you with that, we’ve covered several methods that can potentially turn your house mosquito-free.
Common Types of Mosquitoes
Before you dive into the world of killing mosquitoes, you have to know first what you’re dealing with. And learning about their kind can absolutely help you in your quest to control their population.
Top DIY Mosquito Solutions
The Culex pipiens is 3 to 7 millimeters long. It has a light brown color and white or beige stripes on its elongated abdomen. It also has brown transparent wings that sometimes give out a rainbow sheen because it’s made out of thin chitin.
This insect is spread throughout the northern side of the United States. And you often see them in polluted stagnant waters like storm drains, water collected by tires in junkyards, gutters, rain buckets and in empty flowerpots.
Meanwhile, the Culex restuants has the same size, appearance and habits. However, it’s more common in the central and eastern parts of the country. It thrives in these areas during spring and summer, but it’s population eventually dwindles down as the cold season hits.
Yellow Fever Mosquito
This mosquito has been around for a very long time, transmitting the serious and deadly flu-like disease that it’s known for – yellow fever.
Aedes aegypti is 1.67 to 3.83 millimeters in length. It’s jet black with visible white stripes on its legs and abdomen. You can identify it through the white scales that form a pattern of a violin or a lyre on the top surface of its thorax.
What makes this bug dangerous is that it doesn’t just carry yellow fever. It also spreads dengue fever, Mayaro, chikungunya, Zika fever and other fatal diseases. So one bite from this insect can potentially send you to the emergency room.
The yellow fever mosquito originally inhabited Africa but has since lived in other countries around the world. In the US, it mostly lives in the South and the East Coast.
Asian Tiger Mosquito
The Aedes albopictus or the forest mosquito is a close relative of the yellow fever mosquito.
This insect grows from 2 millimeters to a huge 10 when it’s favored by its environment. The biggest ones usually live in the forest where they can reproduce abundantly.
Since it’s a close relative of the yellow fever mosquito, it’s nearly identical to it. However, it has a mark that sets it apart. While the yellow fever mosquitoes have a white lyre or violin shaped pattern on the top of their thorax, the tiger mosquito only has a vertical white line that slashes down the middle.
This insect is also very common in the tropical parts of the world. Unfortunately, transporting people and goods for travel and trade has introduced this species to other countries as well. This has made it possible for the insect to infect thousands with at least 30 kinds of viruses throughout the years.
The Anopheles gambiae or quads is not just one mosquito. It’s a species that groups 7 mosquitoes which are indistinguishable from each other.
They come in musty brown, with abdomens that have a darker shade. These bugs’ unique physical feature is found on their wings. They’re light brown that have dark, thin and irregularly shaped stripes at the edges.
These mosquitoes got their name from transporting Plasmodium falciparum. It’s a microscopic parasite that causes malaria, a life-threatening disease that leads to impaired consciousness, bleeding, organ dysfunction and more severe symptoms.
It should be noted that while some mosquitoes like to lay their eggs in small puddles of water, this species breeds in larger areas like swamps, lakes, reservoir and even in rivers.
Winter mosquitoes are one of the most unique ones out there. That’s because while others of its kind need humidity and heat to survive, this species can stand almost frigid temperatures.
Culiseta is a genus of mosquitoes that come in various colors. Some of them are brown, and some of them are black, although not as black as the Aedes mosquitoes.
They also have tiny stripes all over their bodies that don’t resemble much to the naked eye. And on their thorax, they have three vertical lines, two short ones that look like capital letter Ls that are placed upside-down and a long one in the middle.
You can see this type of mosquito in bogs, marshes, streams and even in rock pools.
Why You Should Take Mosquitoes Seriously
Diseases – It’s that simple.
This is the main reason why we should take this insect very seriously.
Having traveled around the world, mosquitoes have spread illnesses to millions of people. As we mentioned earlier, they carry malaria, yellow fever, Mayaro, Zika fever and dengue fever. And just recently they’ve been discovered to also cause viral encephalitides, a relatively new illness that leads to severe brain inflammation.
Aside from bacteria and viruses, mosquitoes also carry worms. Heartworms or Dirofilariasis, for example, cause major health issues for our pets. This results into coughing, fainting spells and even severe anemia. For humans, some mosquito species transmit filariasis worms. Even though this parasite isn’t fatal, it can cause extreme disfiguration on isolated body parts, swelling them and turning them big and disproportional. Worldwide, there are about 40 million people who live with this disease.
How to Kill Mosquitoes
Now that you have some idea about the mosquitoes that stay in your house, here’s a quick list on how you can get rid of them. We’ve also included a few points that you have to remember when applying one of these treatments.
When it comes to mosquitos, the most obvious solution would be bug sprays.
What you need is something that can kill on contact, but it should still be safe for your family to use. There are some common products like the Cutter Backyard Bug Control Outdoor Fogger which is good for keeping your backyard mosquito-free. But we recommend all-natural killers like this bug spray from Killer Green. It’s generally safe and formulated to break down any insect’s exoskeleton without using harmful chemicals.
So remember that…
- You should look for bug sprays that don’t sacrifice your family’s health. And lucky for us, eco-friendly and natural ones are available online and in local stores.
- You should also look for ones that not only kill adult mosquitoes, they should be able to get rid of larvae and pupae as well.
Like hornets, mosquitoes can also be trapped. And all it takes is just a couple of soda bottles.
Hornet and mosquito traps are very similar. Just take a 2-liter or 1-liter plastic soda bottle, and cut out its neck. Once the neck is separated from the rest of the bottle, turn it upside down and insert it back in. If you’re not sure how this goes or what this looks like, imagine a funnel stuck inside the bottle. You can also look at the in this post.
Now to lure the bugs in, you need something that mimics what they typically eat. And it’s actually quite simple. Just mix yeast, water and brown sugar together, and you’ll have an irresistible bait that will lead these annoying insects to their doom.
So remember that…
- This treatment only works for adult mosquitoes. You have to pair it with other methods that target larvae and pupae.
- If you’re looking for more detailed instructions on this trap, head on to our post here.
Learning how to kill mosquitoes means you should know a thing or two about bug zappers.
And there are two kinds, stationary zappers and the hand-held ones.
Stationary bug zappers are very popular. These lamp-like things have a wider coverage which makes it ideal for outdoor installations. The Flowtron BK-15D Electronic Insect Killer, in particular, is said to have a 1/2-acre coverage. That’s a potential 21,000-foot mosquito-free zone, as long as you have a power source that it can plug into.
Meanwhile, hand-held zappers like the Tennis Racket Zapper don’t need plugs. They run on batteries which makes them accessible anytime and anywhere. What’s not appealing though is that they only work like fly swatters. That means you actually have to be where the bugs are in order to get them.
So remember that…
- Zappers only solve immediate mosquito problems. They don’t get rid of entire populations.
- Not all zappers are created equal. When buying one, look for reviews that talk about how good they are. Cheaper products tend to fail expectations and get scrapped right away.
- Like traps, these devices only kill adult mosquitoes. So once again, you have to apply other treatments to eradicate larvae and pupae.
Mosquito Bits and Dunks
Bits and dunks are pest control products that you place in mosquito breeding grounds. And if you haven’t heard of these yet, here’s what you need to know:
These products are like Insect Growth Regulators for fleas. They only kill mosquitoes that are specifically in their larval stage, effectively cutting down their population.
You let them sit in notorious mosquito breeding areas like in bird baths, old tires, puddles and ponds. The dunks and bits then slowly dissolve away, releasing a special bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis. The larvae love to eat this microorganism, but it eventually kills them off.
The dunks are used for prolonged protection since they can last for 30 days. The bits, on the other hand, are often used to kill larvae right after you’ve treated the water.
So remember that…
- Bits and dunks may be toxic to mosquito larvae, but they’re relatively safe when they’ve been thoroughly mixed in the water. But you should never let your pets eat them while they’re still in their solid forms. That can cause health problems like nausea and stomach pain. For more info on how these products affect pets, click here.
- For us humans, we should keep the bits and dunks away from our eyes and open wounds. We don’t want the bacterium getting inside our bodies.
- Pairing this method with mosquito traps and zappers can do wonders to your pest problems. Check out more detailed instructions here.
Mosquito Eating Insects
Fight fire with fire and insects with…. Yes, other insects!
Dragonflies, in particular, are what we call “mosquito hawks”. That’s because they have a shiny reputation of being able to kill thousands of mosquitoes over time. We’re not sure if this is true. But whatever the case, there’s no mistaking that you can use this to your advantage.
Set up a habitat that’s friendly to dragonflies and damselflies by creating a huge and stagnant water feature. While it may seem counterintuitive because mosquitoes are also known to thrive in this kind of environment, dragonflies and damselflies also lay their eggs in watery places. So you can have them eat the mosquitoes that will stay there.
According to Miracle Gro, you have to build a water feature that’s at least 2 feet deep with a lot of water plants and rocks inside it. Do not put fish into it as they eat dragonfly nymphs. If you want to have fish, you have to decide between getting them or having the dragonflies instead.
So remember that…
- Dragonflies and damselflies take time to attract. So don’t expect them to come to your house right after you’ve set up a mini habitat.
- There are places in the states that may not have these insects, research about your place first before doing anything.
- If you really want to have them, know that there are local stores that sell nymphs.
- Dragonflies and damselflies are not pets. They should be free to do their business in your yard. After all, they’re staying there for your home’s benefit.
- For more mosquito-eating insects, read our post here.
Lastly, we have this best alternative ever.
Fish in your ponds are not just beautiful and calming to look at. They can wipe out an entire population of mosquitoes.
Fish love to eat mosquito larvae and pupae. Just put several of them in your existing water features and clean all the other places where those insects can lay their eggs. This way, the mosquitoes won’t have a choice but to breed where fish are present.
So remember that…
- Fish actively hunt for larvae and pupae almost all of the time, so you’ll have mosquito-free water in no time.
- Keeping fish as pets can be more expensive than buying commercial insecticides.
Mosquitoes can be a handful. But we hope that we’ve answered some of the burning questions that you have when it comes to knowing how to kill them. But to make your treatments even more effective, here are some tips that can help you.
- Repelling is not killing. It seems easy to understand. But believe it or not, some homeowners are confused about this. If you’re one of them, do remember that when you repel mosquitoes, you just drive them away. Read the labels on the bug products that you plan on buying. You just could be purchasing a repellent rather than a bug killer.
- Clean your surroundings. The mosquito’s greatest ally is a dirty environment. And when we say dirty, we mean a place that’s full of moisture and plenty of stagnant water. Cleaning an area can drastically decrease their chances of breeding.
- Check your water features. If you’re not interested on the dragonfly and fish ideas, regularly clean the water in your fountains or place dunks in your ponds.
- Trim shrubs and vegetation. Mosquitoes love the darkness, so it makes sense for them to like shaded areas. And there are plenty of shade underneath overgrown shrubs, branches and plants.
- Lastly, use screen doors and windows. To stop mosquitoes from entering your home, install fine screens on your doors and windows. They may not look fancy, but they can sure keep the bugs out.
Learning how to kill mosquitoes is a hard task. But when you really think about it, it can be fun when you inject some creativity into the methods you’re trying out.
Raising fish and dragonflies and setting up traps can be fun activities for you and your family. So you’ll not only get rid of these pesky insects; you’ll also be giving your yard a nice make over and your family a time to get together.
If you want to learn more mosquito treatments, check out our other post here.