The best way to do away with mosquitoes and cope with these nasty bites

Knowing how to get rid of mosquitoes can save you a lot of heartache and frustration. A single bite from one of these flying insects can cause an irritating, itchy rash that can sometimes last for days. In more severe cases, mosquitoes can also transmit deadly diseases such as malaria or dengue fever. So you want to prevent bites as much as possible and keep them out of your home and garden.

The problem is that, much like fruit flies, mosquitoes are in abundance during the summer months and although they make a distinct buzzing noise when approached, it can be difficult to spot and deal with a single insect. Don’t worry though, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide to walk you through the best ways to combat these pests. We’ll also cover what to do if you’ve been bitten. How to get rid of mosquitoes

How to get rid of mosquitoes in your home

Before you take any action, you need to be clear about whether you’re dealing with one mosquito or another, or a full-blown infestation. Mosquitoes love dark, damp environments, so check under sinks and in your laundry room for signs of an infestation. Mosquitoes do not build nests like other insects, but where they breed, there are large numbers of them.

Whether you suspect an infestation or are just dealing with some of these pests, you have several options:

1. Try a Natural Remedy – You don’t have to kill the mosquitoes, especially if you’re only dealing with a handful. You can keep them out of your home instead. Here are some natural remedies that are known to work:

  • Essential Oils – Mix a few drops of essential oils like peppermint or citronella with a cup of water in an empty spray bottle and sprinkle throughout the home to repel mosquitoes. These oils, as well as others like lavender and lemon eucalyptus, can also be applied directly to the skin to repel mosquitoes, although you should do a patch test first.
  • candles — Likewise, you can invest in candles that contain similar scents to keep mosquitoes away. Lavender candles are common and mosquitoes hate the smell. However, do not leave a lit candle unattended and do not leave it burning while you sleep.

A lavender candle that burns alongside lavender oil and lavender flowers

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  • coffee grounds – The smell of burnt coffee grounds is also known to repel mosquitoes. To do this, simply place your coffee grounds in a bowl or tray and light them up like you would incense sticks. Just make sure the room is safe for this method and be careful the smoke doesn’t set off your fire alarm.
  • Turn on fan – Mosquitoes are actually pretty weak at flying, so if there’s a strong breeze blowing through your room, they probably won’t try to fly in it. Turn on your oscillating fan or use one of the best air purifiers as a fan to do two jobs at once.
  • Invest in the right plants — Certain plants contain oils that repel mosquitoes. Strategically place catnip, lemon thyme, spearmint, lavender, rosemary, and citrus fruits around your home to keep mosquitoes at bay.

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A mosquito net surrounding a bed

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  • Put a net around your bed – If you find that you mostly get bitten while you sleep, you can always buy a mosquito net to hang over your bed, like the Even Naturals Luxury Mosquito Net ($24.99, Amazon (opens in new tab)).

2. Buy the right insecticide – If you’re dealing with an abundance of mosquitoes, a dedicated insecticide may be the way to go. You can find indoor foggers and aerosols at most home department stores, some of which are safe to use around children and pets, such as: (opens in new tab)).

3. Break out the fly swatter — If you’re just dealing with the odd mosquito, you can always revert to a manual fly swatter. Bug killers can also be used around the home to get rid of strays, such as bugs. B. the Zap It! Bug Zapper Rechargeable Bug Zapper Bat ($39.99, Amazon (opens in new tab)).

A fly swatter held in one hand

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4. Try a Mosquito Trap – If you don’t have the patience to clap, you can also purchase a dedicated indoor mosquito trap. These devices tend to attract and capture mosquitoes using a combination of light and suction. The Katchy Indoor Bug Trap ($44.99, Amazon (opens in new tab)) is an example of this.

5. Lock down all entrances — Once you have dealt with your mosquito problem, you want to prevent them from coming back. Inspect your doors and windows and block off possible entrances. Replace damaged window screens and invest in screen doors if you don’t already have them.

If none of the above solves your mosquito problem, you may need to call in a professional to help.

How to get rid of mosquitoes in your garden

1. Customize Conditions — You may have an abundance of mosquitoes in your yard as it provides ideal living conditions. Remove standing water, mow your grass and remove any debris. Standing water attracts mosquitoes because that is where they lay their eggs. So empty and clean your bird baths and clear up small puddles.

A bird bath with standing water, with a blue tit perched on the rim

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2. Introduce Predators — Dragonflies are natural enemies of mosquitoes. A water feature will generally help attract dragonflies to your yard, as will rocks for them to bask on.

If you own a pond, certain fish, like goldfish, will also eat mosquito larvae, which can help reduce the population. You can also add a larvicide to the pond water, but make sure it doesn’t harm any existing fish. Also keep the water rotating with a pump to deter mosquitoes.

3. Use Home Remedies – Similar to treating mosquitoes indoors, many of the same techniques can be used outdoors to create a barrier. Lavender candles can effectively deter mosquitoes at close range, while oscillating fans can prevent them from flying. Plants with natural oils that deter mosquitoes can also be in your garden, like spearmint and catnip.

4. Use an insecticide – Outdoor foggers and aerosols can be purchased at most home department stores. We recommend opting for a plant-based formula rather than chemicals, such as: B. the EcoSMART Mosquito Fogger ($13.30, Amazon (opens in new tab)). Whichever insecticide you choose, make sure you follow directions and safety guidelines. Put it where there is likely to be a high mosquito population, such as B. in sheds and garages.

Someone applies mosquito repellent to a child's arm

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5. Protect yourself – Remember to apply mosquito repellent to your skin if needed and reapply when it wears off. The CDC (opens in new tab) recommends using EPA-registered insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants for the best protection.

For children under the age of three, you should not use products that contain lemon eucalyptus oil or para-menthanediol. You should also not apply the repellent to young children’s hands, eyes, mouth, or any other skin area that is injured or irritated.

6. Invest in a Trap – Various types of indoor and outdoor mosquito traps are available in the market. But these usually attract mosquitoes with either light or scent, and then trap or kill them upon contact with electricity. Advanced users will suck in the bugs as they approach.

How to get rid of mosquito bites

Unfortunately, even if you take every precaution to prevent mosquitoes, sometimes one slips through and you can still be bitten. It’s always a terrifying moment when you realize you can’t stop itching in a certain spot and then your skin flares up and you know you have a nasty few days ahead of you.

The good news is that there are certain steps you can take to lessen the effects of mosquito bites. The CDC (opens in new tab) recommends the following steps:

Someone applying an ice gel pack to the ankle

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1. Wash the bite with soapy water and rinse.

2. Hold a fresh ice pack to the bite Reapply for 10 minutes and reapply as needed. This should reduce the swelling and itching.

3. Combine a tablespoon baking soda with a few drops of water to create a paste.

4. Apply this paste to the bite and leave it on for 10 minutes before washing it off.

5. You can also Buy an antihistamine cream at the pharmacy to relieve itching.

See a doctor if symptoms worsen.

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You may also want to check how to get rid of fruit flies quickly if you find any at home. We also covered how to get rid of cockroaches, how to get rid of mosquitoes and how to get rid of ants.

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