What do I know about mosquitoes? They are our constant companion if you live in this temperate part of the world.
A combination of lifestyle tips and remedies for mosquitoes can eliminate mosquitoes significantly or almost entirely if you follow them strictly.
I say almost because as much as you research and put effort into removing these pesky insects from your home, there are factors that are beyond your control.
Such as if you have a neighbor that simply allows their yard to be the neighborhood’s mosquito breeding ground.
Anything short of evicting him from his own home will not solve the problem. But there is a lot that you can do on your own property that will make your home a very uncomfortable place for them.
That way, they simply have to find new breeding grounds elsewhere.
Let us briefly discuss about mosquitoes:
- They are found almost worldwide with the exception of places with extreme weather conditions such as Iceland.
- They are mostly found in warm and tropical climates.
- They are most active at dawn and at dusk during the day
- They are attracted to humans because of the carbon dioxide we breathe out
- Female mosquitoes can lay several hundred eggs at one time which is why control is the most recommended option.
- They are attracted to warm bodies which again points to us humans and other animals.
To begin with, this post is divided into my recommendation for indoors and outdoors mosquito care. Both are necessary if you want to be relieved of mosquitoes soonest.
Indoor Mosquito care
Indoor mosquito strategies are perhaps the most important because I would like to assume that most of us on this blog are not sleeping outside on the yard.
We spend most of time indoors especially from late evening to night time which is when mosquitoes are most active.
Chemical mosquito repellents
Most people use mass-produced insecticides as their mosquito repellent. Though they are effective for indoor mosquito control (not always in my experience), they are harmful to the environment and us humans.
Chemical mosquito sprays are associated with many dermatological, neurological, carcinogenic, respiratory, reproductive, gastrointestinal, etc. effects that have both short-term and long-term consequences.
If you are going to use a chemical mosquito spray, then kindly leave the room for about 20-40 minutes while it takes care of the mosquitoes. Do not continue to stay in space where a chemical insecticide has been sprayed.
This will minimize they harmful effects of the chemicals on your health.
Natural mosquito repellents
For those of us that prefer natural insect repellents such as natural oils and plants, you will need to use a diffuser, vaporiser, burner etc. for the essential oils to reach every part of the room. These essential oils are:
- Neem oil –
- The best natural mosquito repellent that I know.
- Tea tree oil
- Camphor oil
- You can also buy a camphor tablet. Place it in a small bowl of water and keep it in a safe corner of the room. It is best to use natural camphor oil though.
- Lemongrass oil
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus extract (OLE) not the lemon eucalyptus essential oil
- The difference is that the oil of lemon eucalyptus extract is the enriched extract of an ingredient found in the leaves of the plant called para-menthane-3,8-diol (PMD). The essential oil is the oil derived from the leaves, twigs, and stems of the lemon eucalyptus plant.
- You can read more about it on Hebe botanicals and Health line.
- Citronella oil
- Citrus oils e.g lemon, orange.
- Traditionally in my culture, we smoke the peels of citrus fruits on red-hot coal to release their volatile oils and other compounds.] and it works. A modern approach will be to use an oil diffuser.
- A combination of citrus oils is more effective than a single citrus essential oil. I will recommend that you use:
- Lemon – 3 drops
- Orange – 3 drops
- Tangerine – 3 drops
- Feel free to adjust the quantity of any of these citrus oils or combine any 3 citrus oils to your preference.
- You might be interested in this study on citrus oils as successful and practical mosquito repellents
If you don’t have any diffuser, vaporiser, or burner, you can buy candles that contain such essential oils and light them in your living spaces.
Mosquito repellents need to be placed in all living spaces whether they be factory-made or not. This way, the mosquitoes don’t run from one corner of the house to the other.
It will be best if you can close all doors and windows while using these oils to make them more effective. Don’t worry you can stay inside the room when you have applied these essential oil repellents unlike when using chemical repellents.
I know some people are skeptical about abandoning these dangerous chemical insect repellents. Here is a study among many that proves that natural oils do repel mosquitoes just as well as chemical insecticides
- Closing the door and all openings in the evening
Closing the door when mosquitoes are most active to prevent them from entering into your home is very important.
Some of us in temperate countries have two door frames leading to the yard which is the net door and the main metal/wooden door. The net door is to allow us to open the door and enjoy the fresh air while preventing mosquitoes and other insects from getting inside the house.
Being vigilant and closing all windows and doors once evening time arrives will be very helpful in reducing the number of mosquitoes in your home.
This option might be old fashioned, but it works.
They are more commonly used for babies and young children that are vulnerable to mosquito bites and their diseases. Adults use nets too. Its just not very common.
Sleeping with a net overhead ensures a peaceful sleep and keeps you healthy.
Just remember to ensure that you have not let any mosquito into that net or it can be an unpleasant experience for you.
I know this is not a possible option for many of us because of our preferences in lifestyle, health, and other reasons still, this is a good option to remember.
Other netting options that you should consider is fixing our doors and windows with nets.
Other mosquito repellents
The struggle against mosquitoes has led to the development of many other (but more expensive) options to repel them such as:
- Mosquito lamps that attract and kill them.
- Mosquito bats/swatters can be a good form of exercise though not very effective
- Mosquito traps
- Vacuum insect traps with a backlight suck the bugs and insects into it.
- Electromagnetic pest repellent
- Mosquito net suit which is like pajamas made of net etc.
Check out this post I wrote on how to prevent and treat mosquito bites quickly.
Are these mosquito Natural repellents safe for children and babies?
Children and babies are the most vulnerable group to the dangerous effects of chemical insecticides. There is a need for parents to try as much as possible to use natural mosquito repellents for the sake of their child’s health.
For those with a family history of allergies and skin sensitivity, this becomes even a more important consideration to make for the child’s safety safe and protection.
All of the mentioned natural mosquito repellent oils are safe for children and babies when placed in a diffuser, burner, or candle (if using)
OUTDOOR Mosquito Care
The best method of eliminating mosquitoes is by allowing them no room to breed on your property and making it as uncomfortable as possible for them to exist in your home.
One of the places that best support mosquitoes in your home is the yard or backyard if you have any. For some, it can be your surrounding environment.
We need to remember that most of the time, mosquitoes breed and flourish outside in the backyards before moving into our homes to make our lives miserable. To prevent such, we need to:
Tidy the yard/our surrounding
Different parts of the backyard is usually designated to different purposes such as storage, outdoor living, gardening and garage spaces. We need to make each of these places as neat as possible and getting rid of all junk that is not needed.
Draining stagnant water
By stagnant water we mean water that is not moving but stays in one place such as water in a bowl, pools of water after the rain, etc. We might have small pools of water that we forget about around the backyards that become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
For some of us that rear poultry or pets such as birds, chickens we usually have water for them in containers that can become mosquito homes with time. Unless we are constantly changing the water to avoid any infestation of insects and flies beyond just mosquitoes.
Eliminating or Drying moist soils
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in moist soils and stagnant water so beware especially the gardeners amongst us. Many of us have paved backyards and such so this is not really a major issue.
Try to water your plants/soils before or after the peak time of mosquitoes which is at dusk and at dawn. Do not overdo the watering of the plants so the soil does not stay moist for too long.
Avoiding big trees, unkempt bushes and shrubs
Many of us enjoy having plants whether for decoration, as a hobby, for food, etc. in the back yard or around in house as potted plants.
We need remember to trim and take care of our plants so that we can live comfortably in our homes.
Trim over grown shrubs and cut down weeds. Keep your plants as neat as possible.
The Truth about mosquito repelling plants
There are many articles and requests by people on the internet about plants that repel mosquitoes when planted.
Well, here is the truth guys.
There are no such plants that by simply planting them, mosquitoes will completely avoid you like the plague (sorry to be the bearer of bad news).
Science has showed that all the plants that you see being praised for their insect repelling powers such as lemongrass, neem, basil need to be burned, squeezed, fanned etc. before they can be effective.
It doesn’t happen just by sitting in your garden or plant pot.
I am not saying these plants have not mosquito-repelling property. They do. But they require additional effort beyond just sitting in the soil.
You can get some leaves of the lemon grass plants for example and place them on the hot coals after a berbeque. That will work.
You will even be able to smell the volatile oils as it burns and wards off mosquitoes.
Here are some of the plants you can try planting while incorporating additional measures to make sure they do help you clear mosquitoes from your home. They include:
- peppermint etc
You can read more on plant repelling mosquitoes on gopests.com.
Update: I have recently written an article on natural mosquito repellents that are very effective and safe. You are welcome to check it out here.
That is it. All the ways which you can protect yourself and your family from these dreadful insects. You can now live a happy and healthy life.
It is best to use a combination of both indoor and outdoor measures. One method will not be enough to eradicate mosquitoes.
For those with a big backyard/garden, sometimes fumigation is an option to consider but take care and select a good fumigation company to ensure the chemicals they use will not destroy your plants and other good insects like butterflies.
The summer is already here. Now is the time to be most vigilant and practice the most mosquito care. This will protect you from their bite while you sleep and in turn, protect you from itchy and painful bites at best and at worst, malaria and other diseases.
When bitten by a mosquito, use these recommended remedies that will clear all pain and irritation on your skin fast.
I hope you enjoyed your time here on this blog. Feel free to share your experience with mosquitoes in the comments and subscribe if you would like to be notified the next time I publish more articles on health care through natural means.
Good luck with the mosquitoes and bye for now!