Your home is normally the best place to relax and unwind. But recently, just when you were decompressing after a long day, you heard it. That ominous buzzing in your ear that tells you that there’s a mosquito nearby.
Nothing interrupts your moment of Zen quite like hunting down one of these bloodsucking pests so that you can avoid getting bitten. Naturally, after one of these experiences, you’re left wondering how to get rid of mosquitoes in the house. In this blog post, we will explore why mosquitoes may decide your humble abode is a perfect place to stick around, and provide you with tips on how to keep these pesky pests in their natural environment.
Steps You Can Take To Reduce Your Indoor Mosquito Population
Do you constantly feel like you are swatting away mosquitoes, even when you are inside? When trying to control an indoor mosquito problem, the following do-it-yourself methods can temporarily keep these annoying biting insects away:
Remove Water Sources
Stagnant water is a mosquito nursery, so you’ll want to remove anything in which water can collect. Pet bowls, vases, you name it! If you have pets, consider draining their bowls and adding new water daily to prevent mosquito larvae from having the chance to develop. Be careful about overwatering your plants, by the same token, so that water doesn’t drain in your pot and collect in saucers.
Mosquitoes can breed in even the smallest collections of water—all these irritating insects need is a bottle cap’s worth to lay hundreds of eggs. Depending on the environmental conditions, mosquito eggs can hatch in anywhere from a few days to a month’s time.
If your problem is severe, you can try cleaning your drains, as well, so water won’t collect in them. Fix all leaking taps and check bathrooms you might not use often, since these common problem areas can make you more vulnerable to a growing mosquito population.
Use Air Conditioning And Fans
Here’s something you’d probably like permission to do anyways in the summer months when mosquitoes are most active: blast your AC and turn your fans on high. Mosquitoes aren’t particularly strong flyers. Therefore, a stream of air from a fan or your air conditioner will likely knock them off course.
Keep Mosquitoes From Coming In
Mosquitoes often enter your home through open doors and holes in window and door screens. To keep them out of your living spaces, be vigilant about keeping your doors closed as much as possible when mosquitoes are active. If you have a screen door or screened-in porch, repair any holes and check your window screens for signs of damage.
The larger your outdoor population, the more likely it is that mosquitoes will invade your home. For that reason, you’ll want to watch for standing water in your yard, keep your yard from becoming overgrown and have routine treatment to address common problem areas where mosquitoes are known to rest and breed.
Use Insect Repellents
If you’re really desperate, consider DEET-based repellents that have proven to be effective at keeping mosquitoes from biting.
If you feel like none of these methods are working, it may be time to take a different approach and call in a pest control professional to pinpoint the source of your infestation. You may want a few other of your questions answered first, however.
Why Are Mosquitoes In My Home?
As we’d already alluded to, if you leave your door wide open—especially at certain times of the day—you’re bound to get a number of insect visitors. However, there are several other specific reasons why mosquitoes might try to get into your house as opposed to your next door neighbor’s.
The first thing to consider is a mosquito’s life cycle. Female mosquitoes need to feed on blood in order to become mature enough to lay eggs. This means that they are most likely the ones venturing indoors to bite you.
How do they know to come inside? There are a number of different theories out there trying to explain exactly how mosquitoes find their hosts.
The most universally recognized one suggests that the carbon dioxide we produce when we breathe guides mosquitoes to us. According to this theory, mosquitoes can sense carbon dioxide and are drawn to it from up to 38 yards away.
In other words, if they’re near your house at all, they can sense you in there.
As for actually getting in, it’s pretty simple. Over time, the mosquito species that bite humans have become quite adept at entering houses via any available entry point. They could, for example, sneak in through a broken window screen, as we’ve already said, or by sneaking in through your bathroom exhaust vents or even your attic soffits.
Other things that don’t help:
- Dense vegetation in your yard (or in your neighborhood) where mosquitoes can hide and breed.
- Dirty gutters (out of sight, out of mind, right?) or drains.
- Having standing water outside, such as in bird baths, children’s toys, buckets and other containers.
Mosquitoes In House At Night: What To Do?
Different types of mosquitoes will bite and attack humans at different times of the day. That being said, almost all mosquito species are most active at dusk and dawn.
Daytime biters include two species of mosquitoes in Texas, that also commonly found in other Southern states: Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti. These species can spread Chikungunya, dengue fever and the Zika virus, so it’s wise to minimize your exposure to these insects. Keep in mind, also, that even though these types of mosquitoes prefer daytime, they have no problem coming out at night for a meal.
Mosquitoes that predominantly bite at night include the Culex species, which is known for transmitting West Nile virus.
If mosquitoes in your house are keeping you up at night, there are several things that you can do to get rid of them and get a better night’s sleep. Many we already mentioned above, but you can try the following tips:
Install Window And Door Screens
This step is more effective to prevent mosquitoes from entering in the first place, but it’s a good idea if you don’t have screens already to keep the problem from getting worse. Check and replace any broken, ripped or non-fitting screens.
Take A Shower Before Bed
One of the things experts believe mosquitoes may be attracted to is the lactic acid in our sweat. Therefore, getting yourself clean and dry before going to sleep may make you less attractive to them.
Wear Long Pajamas
But can mosquitoes bite through clothes? Clothes do offer you some protection, and can make it a little harder for a mosquito to bite you. Some clothes are better at protecting you than others—particularly, loose-fitting clothes—and if you have an infestation on your hands, it’s good information to know.
Put Up A Mosquito Net
If you are covered in bites, you may decide it’s time to get a mosquito net. While you still have to stop these pests from getting in your home, taking this step can minimize your chances of getting bitten while sleeping.
How To Lure A Mosquito Out Of Hiding
Mosquitoes like hiding in dark, humid places. These bothersome creatures can commonly be found hiding in closets, under sinks or beneath furniture—not exactly easy places to look once the sun has gone down.
So, how can you flush the pesky bloodsucker from its hiding place?
- First, turn off all the lights in the room and, if possible, the entire house.
- Next, turn on a single source of light—a phone, lamp or even a candle are good options.
- After a while, the mosquito will fly towards the source of light and land on a nearby surface.
- Once you see the mosquito fly by or hear it buzzing near you, use a flashlight to locate its exact position.
If this sounds like finding a needle in a haystack, well, you are right. In many cases, you’ll have better luck waiting it out than trying to launch a full-scale reconnaissance mission to vanquish one mosquito.
Other ways of luring mosquitoes from their hiding places include using mosquito traps and bug zappers. These solutions are a double-edged sword, however, because they contain elements that “seduce” bugs—meaning you might end up inadvertently attracting more flying annoyances into your home.
If you do corner a mosquito, be cautious about which sprays you use to vanquish your prey, if you choose this method instead of trusting your swatting abilities. Some insecticides contain chemicals with health and environmental risks. You may be better off getting professional advice from a pest control technician on which mosquito abatement methods are the lowest impact to use indoors.
How Long Do Mosquitoes Live In The House?
How long do mosquitoes live indoors? The answer depends on the species, and to some extent, the gender of that mosquito. For example, female mosquitoes generally tend to outlive their male counterparts.
The average lifespan of an adult female mosquito is two to three weeks. Some mosquito species may, however, have prolonged lifespans. A mosquito that spends their winter someplace warm, such as a garage, attic or culvert could, for instance, live for up to six months.
Even with their short lifespans, mosquitoes can quickly become a problem, because of their rapid reproduction cycle and the fact that a single female can lay as many as 300 eggs at once. This is why when talking about mosquito control, emphasis is placed on eliminating the breeding places of these irritating pests.
ABC Can Help You Stop The Swatting
Some homeowners try their best to use the methods discussed above, but it can feel like you’re working tirelessly to barely keep the pests at bay. Also, different treatment methods are needed for different cycles in a mosquitoes life and it’s hard to become an expert on mosquito behavior in your spare time. The professionals at ABC Home & Commercial Services can help you with anything from preventative mosquito control to a full-blown infestation. We even offer free inspections and estimates, so that you can get a better understanding of what exactly is going on in your yard. Our mosquito control program works by neutralizing mosquito breeding grounds, attacking resting areas and ongoing treatment plans to prevent future infestations. When you’re ready to throw in the towel with do-it-yourself mosquito killers, call ABC.