Mosquitoes are ubiquitous during the warm summer months, and many regions of the U.S. stay temperate enough year-round to make mosquitoes a perennial problem. Thus, no matter where you live, it’s likely that you’ll encounter these annoying bloodsuckers at some point when you’re outside doing yard work or relaxing on your patio. Most people have a mosquito-repelling trick or two up their sleeves: They might spray themselves down with bug repellent, or light citronella candles or tiki torches to keep these insects and their itchy bites at bay. The associated smoke, chemicals and pungent scents are too harsh for indoors, however, so what to do when you find that mosquitoes have moved inside? The next question you might ask yourself is how long do mosquitoes live indoors, anyway?
The short answer to the second question is that the average mosquito lifespan lasts between four days and a month, although most mosquitoes live about two weeks, which can seem like an eternity when dealing with these pesky pests. Also, keep in mind that once a female mosquito bites, it can lay up to 300 eggs at a time, given the proper circumstances, so what could be one mosquito making its way inside could quickly become a big problem. Let’s find out more about these irritating pests that definitely do not make good houseguests.
Why Are Mosquitoes In My House?
Picture this: You’re relaxing on your couch or in bed, reading a book or watching TV, when you hear the telltale, annoying, high-pitched whine of a mosquito—or, worse, you start smacking at your skin because you feel the tiny sting of a bite in progress. If an evening spent safely indoors leads to multiple red, itchy welts on your skin, you might find yourself wondering, “Why are mosquitoes in my house?”
The answer is relatively straightforward: Mosquitoes gravitate toward dark, warm, moist places where they have access to water, and this can include laundry rooms and bathrooms inside our homes. Anytime you enter or exit your home, especially on a warm, humid night, you’re giving mosquitoes an opportunity to slip through the open door into your house. Unfortunately, if these pests take up residence inside your home, getting rid of your unwelcome visitors may take some know-how and vigilance.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mosquitoes
Before we get into more details about what mosquitoes do in certain parts of your home, let’s go over some of the basic questions most homeowners have about mosquitoes.
What Attracts Mosquitoes?
One of the most perplexing questions many of us have is why mosquitoes would choose inside to outdoors. Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide, which means they often come inside looking for a blood meal from the home’s human inhabitants. For this reason, some people like to build simple mosquito traps using a large soda bottle, cut in half, with the bottom section of the bottle filled with water, some sugar and a bit of yeast. When the yeast reacts with the sugar, this mixture emits carbon dioxide, drawing mosquitoes near. Sliding the top of the bottle upside-down into the bottom section creates a funnel that mosquitoes can easily fly into, but can’t easily get back out of. Once inside, the insects will drown in the sugar-water solution.
How Do I Know When Mosquitoes Are Around?
The easiest way to know mosquitoes are around is when you feel and see their irritating bites or spot them flying through the air, perching on a nearby wall or hanging out elsewhere in your home. These aren’t the only ways to know you might get bitten soon, however. You’ll also know mosquitoes are around when you spot their larvae wiggling in water in your home or yard, such as in a flower pot filled with standing rainwater or in a pet’s water bowl. Look for something twitching and worm-like that is very small—less than a quarter-inch long and only about a millimeter wide.
How Can I Get Rid Of Mosquitoes In My Home, And How Can I Keep Them From Coming Back?
As elusive as these pests can sometimes seem, homeowners aren’t powerless against mosquitoes. Here are a few things you can do to evict mosquitoes from your house and keep them away:
- Keep your exterior doors closed as much as possible.
- Use window screens that are properly installed and repair any rips or holes.
- If you are leaving exterior doors open to let in light and air, install a well-fitting screen door that latches shut to keep insects out.
- Since mosquitoes love warm, humid climates, use your air conditioner whenever you can to reduce humidity indoors.
- Dump out (and refresh, if needed) any standing water in vases, saucers holding flower pots and so on inside your home.
- Consider using mosquito-repellent products in the warmer, damper areas of your home, such as the laundry room or the bathroom.
- Refresh your pets’ water bowls regularly, scrubbing them out to eliminate any mosquito eggs or larvae before refilling with fresh water.
Where Do Mosquitoes Hide In Your Room?
Any source of dampness in your room can provide mosquitoes with an optimal place to hide. This might include a sink drain pipe, especially if the sink is not used very often (since water can sit, stagnant, in the pipe for longer periods of time without being flushed or drained). Houseplants are also preferred hiding spots for mosquitoes, especially plants that require a lot of water. Make sure you don’t overwater your houseplants; not only is this unhealthy for the plant, it also provides the perfect, damp organic matter for mosquitoes to gather and lay eggs.
Mosquitoes In Bathroom Drains
As mentioned above, mosquitoes can live in bathroom and laundry drains, and they might especially prefer drains that aren’t flushed out very often. If you suspect that mosquitoes have been living or laying eggs in a drain in your home, there are a few things you can try to eliminate them. First, try pouring a cup of vinegar down the drain, and then cover the drain with a rag soaked in vinegar. Keep the drain covered for at least a few hours, and up to a day if you can stand the pungent smell. Then rinse the drain thoroughly with the hottest water available. Another method is to pour a cup of bleach down the drain and let it sit for a short period of time before flushing, again with the hottest water possible. Don’t let the bleach sit for too long; its harsh fumes can be corrosive both to plastic pipes as well as to human lungs and nasal passages.
How Long Do Mosquitoes Live After They Bite You?
Interestingly, only adult female mosquitoes bite humans (or other warm-blooded animals) and feed on their blood. As we already mentioned, the lifespan of an adult mosquito can be as long as several weeks up to a couple of months; thus, if a mosquito can find enough food in the form of people to bite (and assuming it can avoid being killed!), it can theoretically bite you again and again for weeks before it finally dies of old age.
Doesn’t sound very appealing, does it? Let’s take a look at the best ways to keep mosquitoes away from your yard and home.
How To Keep Mosquitoes Away From Your Yard
Here are several tips for keeping mosquitoes out of your outdoor living spaces:
First and foremost, do not let water collect. Mosquitoes lay eggs in water, so standing water anywhere in your yard is fair game for these pests to proliferate. How can you address that? On a regular basis, and always after it rains, dump out any standing water from flower pots, planters, tires, buckets, wheelbarrows, swings, toys and any other places in your yard where water might collect. If you have a fish pond or birdbath, refresh the water regularly. You might also want to consider using larvicide pellets to discourage mosquitoes from laying eggs.
If you have a water collection system in your yard such as a rain barrel or cistern, make sure it’s properly and tightly covered so mosquitoes can’t get in to lay eggs. If your system uses an open-topped container, cover it with fine-gauge wire mesh that has holes small enough to keep out mosquitoes.
Since mosquitoes can also live (and lay eggs) in warm, dark, moist areas like piles of wet leaves, rake out dead leaves and underbrush regularly. Keeping your grass mowed and your vines and bushes trimmed will also help reduce the places in your yard where mosquitoes will want to congregate. If you have a septic tank, be sure to keep it sealed and in good repair; use cement to fix any gaps or cracks in its exterior walls, repair and seal any broken pipes or pipe joints, and cover ventilation pipes with fine-gauge wire mesh.
You can also use thermal or aerosol foggers in your yard, but do be aware that both types of foggers can also harm beneficial insects like bees and butterflies. For this reason, it’s best not to use them near flowering plants where bees congregate.
ABC Home & Commercial Can Solve Your Mosquito Problem
If mosquitoes are plaguing your home and yard, you may have a bigger problem on your hands than you can properly handle on your own. Our pest control specialists at ABC Home & Commercial Services are mosquito experts—and we’re also very knowledgeable in how to keep these pests away from your living spaces, both indoors and out. We’ll work with you to determine the optimal treatment plan. This might include treating your home and yard with larvicide or mosquito repellent products, including any dark, damp areas where mosquitoes live or lay eggs. We might also set up a yard maintenance plan to ensure your grass and shrubs stay trim and all dead leaves and undergrowth are removed on a regular basis. We’ll fix any grading issues that your yard may have or recommend drainage elements as needed, in order to address low spots, holes and depressions where water collects. The key is to kill off existing mosquitoes and their eggs, as well as eliminating any and all prime spots where these insects might congregate, so that you can enjoy your yard and your home, insect bite- and worry-free.