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How To Deter Mosquitoes

a mosquito on skin

Warm and sunny days are perfect for beach trips, hikes, picnics and barbeques. Unfortunately, mosquitoes can ruin all the fun. These common, flying insects prefer to breed in hot and humid weather, feasting on human blood to create healthy eggs.

Mosquito bites are itchy and annoying, but that’s the least of your concerns. They transmit various diseases, some of which can be fatal to humans. That’s why you should protect yourself and your family from these pests.

To help you, here’s a guide on how to deter mosquitoes. If they’ve already taken over your property, you should contact a pest control professional to safeguard you and your family.

How to Prevent Indoor Mosquitoes

Your home should be a stress-free zone, but mosquitoes can destroy your peace. They are especially bothersome at night, buzzing around and biting when you’re trying to get some sleep. Here are steps to prevent indoor mosquitoes.

Fly Screens

Equip all your windows and doors with fly screens to keep mosquitoes from entering your home. You can also add one to your chimney and vents to be extra safe. Ensure that all your fly screens fit well and that there are no gaps where mosquitoes can squeeze in. Immediately fix or replace any screens that are ill-fitting or have holes.

Oscillating Fans

Mosquitoes are weak fliers and have no power against the wind. By placing oscillating fans in your home, they will find it extremely hard to fly around and bite you. It is best to face your fans toward exterior doorways so mosquitoes can’t wander into your home when people come in and out. Another reason why fans work is that they disperse the carbon dioxide in the air, which mosquitoes use to locate their hosts.

Air Conditioning

Not only does air conditioning relieve us on hot days, but it also creates an environment that mosquitoes find unappealing. When you blast the AC, your room will turn cold and dry, which is the opposite of what these pests prefer: warm and damp.

Similar to fans, the AC also hinders them from flying in a straight line and landing on their target. In addition, it dilutes the carbon dioxide in the air, making it harder for mosquitoes to pinpoint us. Lastly, our bodies are colder in an air-conditioned room and more undetectable. However, having the AC on all day can hike up the electricity bill, so it is not a permanent solution.

Mosquito Nets

If you want to save on electricity, mosquito nets can be a low-cost alternative to air-conditioning. Those pre-treated with insecticide or insect repellant are even more effective in preventing mosquito bites. They’re one of the most trusted ways to reduce malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases. However, the downside is that they tear easily. You have to replace them once they get holes, but it shouldn’t be too burdensome, given their affordability.

Insect Repellents

Insect repellents are highly effective in keeping mosquitoes away from you. You can choose from various kinds, including sprays, plug-in vaporizers and diffusers. You must read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and follow them for the best results. However, insect repellents can cause side effects in humans and can be toxic to pets. It’s best to vacate the area you are spraying and air it out to remove any lingering chemicals.

How to Prevent Mosquitoes in Your Yard

Your efforts to keep mosquitoes from coming into your home will be in vain if your yard is buzzing with them. You can make it an unpleasant place for these pests with the following steps.

Trim Your Hedges and Mow Your Lawn

The midday heat is harsh on everyone, including mosquitoes. These pests like to take refuge from the sun in hedges and under tall grass, which is why you must tend to your yard. Keep everything trimmed and neat so that they have fewer shady spots to have out in. It’s a good idea to mow the yard, trim the bushes and remove weeds at least once a week. Encourage your neighbors to do the same to repel mosquitoes.

Remove Still Water

Mosquitoes don’t need a lot of still water to breed. They can make do with as little as a quarter of an inch of water, laying a hundred eggs at a time. That means even small amounts of water can lead to a massive problem. To prevent these pests from breeding, eliminate any still water outside your home. Check pots, old tires, buckets and anything else that can hold water. You can turn these items over so water can’t pool in them. Additionally, fix any drainage and gutter issues so water can flow freely.

Manage Water Features

If you have a pond and other water features in your garden that you can’t get rid of, there are ways to make them mosquito-proof. You can add fish and other aquatic creatures that prey on mosquito larvae. You can also create movement in the water by adding fountains, bubblers or water wigglers. Lastly, regularly skim the water and remove any excess greenery so mosquito larvae won’t have any access to food or shelter.

Contact a Pest Control Expert

For mosquito problems, it’s best to leave the situation to the experts. The most that homeowners can do is employ short-term solutions, but these won’t be enough to eliminate the growing population in your yard. That’s why it’s best to contact pest control professionals to deal with mosquitoes.

a citronella plant

Does Citronella Repel Mosquitoes?

Many who don’t know how to deter mosquitoes will fall for the citronella hype. They will invest in citronella plants only to be disappointed with the lack of results. So why don’t these plants work? The essential oil from citronella plants can temporarily repel mosquitoes when you put it on your skin. However, the plant itself will do nothing to deter these pests unless you have a field of them in your garden. Its repellent properties are too weak, so you’re better off using regular insect repellent.

What about citronella torches and candles? They have more potent repelling properties but don’t expect them to solve the mosquito infestation in your home. Mosquitoes don’t like the smell, but it won’t kill them or stop them from biting you and sucking your blood. There are more effective ways to get rid of the mosquito population in your home, including hiring a professional. With the help of a pest control expert, you can enjoy a safer and more peaceful home environment.

How Harmful Are Mosquito Bites?

The most common misconception is that mosquitoes suck blood to satiate their hunger. But in reality, only the females feast on blood, and it’s for the nourishment of their eggs. Human blood is an excellent source of protein for their babies, so they’ll target exposed skin, pierce it with their needle-like mouthpiece and get drinking. As it does, it injects your skin with its saliva.

Mosquito bites can materialize into an itchy bump after a few minutes and might turn into a painful hive within 24 hours. In more severe reactions, the bump can swell up and become inflamed. But those are the less worrisome effects of mosquito bites. They are more dangerous consequences, such as the following:

  • Malaria is a life-threatening disease that can lead to health complications and death if left untreated.
  • The Zika virus can pass down from an infected mother to her fetus, causing birth complications.
  • The dengue virus causes fever and flu-like symptoms in mild cases and internal bleeding and organ failure in severe cases.
  • The West Nile virus causes a slew of symptoms like fever, headache, body aches and convulsions.

If you have a mosquito infestation at home, don’t take it lightly because it can lead to severe health issues. Your best bet for getting rid of mosquitoes is to contact a pest control specialist.

mosquito eggs

How Long Does It Take for Mosquito Eggs to Hatch?

The reason mosquitoes can populate an area so quickly is because of their fast life cycle. Females will lay a hundred eggs at once, and these will usually hatch within 24 to 48 hours if the conditions are ideal. The larvae will then grow into full-grown adults within 8 to 10 days. If it’s too cold or the environment isn’t suitable for the eggs, they can lay dormant for several months and will hatch once it becomes warm and humid. No matter which stage of life they are in, pest control experts can kill mosquitoes in your home and make sure they don’t reproduce.

The Bottom Line

Knowing how to deter mosquitoes is a crucial part of safeguarding your family. There are various ways to prevent them from populating your yard and coming into your home. However, most of these are short-term solutions. If you’re dealing with a mosquito infestation at home, don’t attempt to solve the issue yourself. Contact a pest control specialist before the mosquitoes can cause you or your loved ones any harm.

ABC Can Reduce Mosquito Populations on Your Property

If you’re ready for relief from mosquitoes, contact ABC Home & Commercial Services. Our professionals will create a customized mosquito control plan. This way, you and your family members can feel more at ease in your outside space again.

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