Summer is the best time for outdoor activities. However, this is also an active season for one of the most dangerous insects – the mosquito. This little flying insect is more than just annoying, it is a well-known disease carrier, which makes it a serious threat to folks in Australia.

Mosquitoes can turn out to be a real plague, infesting backyards and homes, so ignoring the problem is not a good idea. Therefore, we’ve prepared this guide, where you can find all you need to protect yourself and your family, from causes and signs of a mosquito infestation to effective ways to get rid of the mozzies.

Table of Contents:

What causes a mosquito infestation?

Mosquitoes thrive when it’s hot and humid. Therefore, the chance of a rise in the mozzie population increases when there are excessive amounts of rainfall or floods in the spring. As these insects need water to live and breed, these factors inevitably contribute to the fast-growing number of mosquitoes in the following summer days.

A mosquito infestation is most likely to appear close to water sources, so homes situated nearby lakes, rivers, etc, are at a higher risk. However, this doesn’t mean that they are the only ones, prone to suffer from mozzie issues. Stagnant water can easily form pretty much anywhere, with water-collecting containers, birdbaths, paddling pools and the likes being the most common attractants for the blood-sucking critters in yards and gardens.

How do you know that you have a mosquito infestation?

Well, there are some distinctive signs that you won’t be able to miss, as long as you pay attention. And we suggest you do, as this may help avoid more serious consequences.

Here are some common signs of a mosquito infestation to look out for:

  • An increasing number of adult mosquitoes – It may sound obvious, but it’s surprising how often people miss on noticing the little buggers. So, keep an eye on any moisture-rich areas in and around the house that might be a suitable place for the mozzies to breed. Since they are mostly active at dusk and evening, you can take the time to inspect then.
  • Stale water with growing larvae inside – Like we’ve already mentioned, still water is what attracts mozzies the most. They can lay eggs in even the smallest amount of H2O, so pay attention to ponds, watering cans and other unprotected objects that are left outdoors. If you notice small worm-like insects moving inside, then these are probably mosquito larvae. It is important to kill the larvae, so they don’t have the chance to grow into adults.
  • Buzzing noises – Mosquitoes can linger outside homes, normally in shady places during the day, as well as infest the property on the inside. It’s easy for them to get in through open net-free windows and doors, as well as small cracks and gaps. You can either notice them around bins and food, feeding on nectar, or hear the all too familiar buzzing sound at night.
  • Multiple and consistent bites – Redness and itching are two of the most definitive signs of a mosquito bite. Getting bitten once or twice is normal during a mosquito season. However, if there is a high number of bites all over the body and they appear to be consistent, then you probably have an active mosquito infestation on your hands.

How to get rid of mosquitoes (Indoor & outdoor tips)

Mosquitoes can grow in numbers quite fast, especially in a damp and warm environment. So, as soon as you notice the first signs of an infestation, it is best to act on it straight away. Since you can be as vulnerable inside your home as when being outdoors, we suggest you take extra precautions about getting rid of the mozzies indoors, as well.

How to kill mosquitoes with traps

There are many options available out there. Some mosquito traps work by mimicking a breathing creature. They spread CO2, and are a pretty good way to control the vampire insects. Mosquitoes are attracted to these devices and get easily trapped. Other types of traps use LED light to attract the blood-sucking insects and stop them from spreading.

The good news is that most of these devices can be used to get rid of mosquitoes both indoors and outdoors. However, one of the downsides is that some of the traps may attract other animals or pets, too.

Also, keep in mind that a mosquito trap isn’t going to be all that effective for larger infestations. In this case, you will need a stronger insect killer or the help of a certified pest controller who can locate and kill all mosquitoes at once.

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Using short-term foggers and insecticides

As we’ve mentioned above, the size of the infestation plays an important role when selecting an effective mosquito control method. If you notice a small number of mozzies in the backyard that you want to take care of, you can try using a milder yard insecticide.

Such products are usually made of a citronella extract. Mosquitoes loathe the smell of this plant. Keep in mind, though, that foggers and insecticides should not be used outside on windy days. This will prevent them from achieving the desired result and there is a chance of affecting adversely wildlife by mistake. This should be taken into consideration if you are living in a windy area.

Long-term insecticides against mosquitoes

In the case of a more serious infestation, you can try a stronger product. Long-term insecticides against mosquitoes can achieve some positive results. Lambda-cyhalothrin or cyfluthrin are two of the available options and they are often used for mosquito control. You need to spray the chemical onto man-made objects like your deck and other areas around your house.

Larvicides and insect growth inhibitors

These mosquito control products are also very effective, as they are designed to stop the onset of a full-blown infestation at the larval stage of the critters’ development. A larvicide will kill outright the larvae, whereas a larval growth inhibitor will stop the larvae from maturing into mosquito adults.

warning

In case you decide to try using insecticides and larvicidal agents, be extra careful and take the necessary precautions. Wear gloves and a mask to prevent inhaling the pesticide yourself, read the label and instructions carefully before purchasing a certain product and take the weather conditions into account to protect the environment, pets and other animals.

Additional mosquito prevention tips:

  • In case you do not have protective netting on your windows, we suggest you have them installed before the summer. And if you already have them fitted, clean and maintain the nets properly to prevent holes from appearing, which can help mosquitoes get into your home.
  • What we also recommend is that you remove any containers that can get filled easily with water in your yard. Objects like old tires, unused pools, birdbaths, buckets, flowerpots and anything that can collect water needs to be removed or flipped over to prevent water accumulation.
  • Any large water-collecting objects that cannot be removed can be covered with a tarp when not in use. Cover them tightly to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs inside.
  • Check flowers in pots that you keep indoors, too. Stagnant water can also form pot trays and saucers, which the mosquitoes can use to breed indoors undetected.

Some natural ways to get rid of the mozzies

If you prefer to try getting rid of the mosquitoes naturally, then there are some things you can test and try out, including:

Natural plant repellents for the garden

If you are looking for the best natural garden protection against mozzies that works and it’s safe for you and your family, then you may want to look into some plants. Here’s what you can plant in your garden to keep the mosquitoes away:

  • Lavender
  • Basil
  • Lemon Weed
  • Rosemary
  • Peppermint
  • Pitcher Plant
  • Marigold
  • Lemon Eucalyptus
  • Catnip
  • Garlic
  • Pennyroyal
  • Citronella
  • Cedar
  • Lemon Thyme

Planting these can be very beneficial, as some of them can help repel other insects, as well. More about their qualities and how to look after them you can learn from our post 13 Mosquito Repellent Plants You Need in Your Home and Backyard.

Homemade mosquito repellents

Some of the above-mentioned plants are used for making beneficial essential oils that can do more than just relieve you from stress. In fact, lavender, tea tree, mint and lemon are only some of the oils that you can use around the house to keep the mosquitoes at bay. Boiled garlic water is also a popular mosquito repellent that is harmless and very easy to make.

You can release the oils’ aroma through a diffuser, mix and prepare some eco-friendly sprays or simply apply a few oil drops on cotton balls and leave them in locations where you’ve seen mosquitoes fly.

warning

Some people even choose to directly apply the oils to their skin before going outdoors. However, we recommend to take caution, as allergic reactions are not uncommon among kids and people with sensitive skin type.

Candles and torches

Scented candles can deter mosquitoes, although they may not work as well as the essential oils. Nevertheless, if you have a lavender-scented candle lying around, you can light it in the evenings in your kitchen or bedroom where mozzies may most likely bother you.

As for torches, they are ideal outdoor protective devices that can keep you safe against mosquito attacks. Still, it’s good to keep these supervised as they burn, keep them away from objects and clean fuel spills to prevent fire accidents.

Takeaways:

  • It’s easier for a mosquito infestation to develop in proximity to water, especially stagnant water that is often collected in objects around homes’ backyards.
  • A high number of mosquitoes, consistent biting, buzzing noises and larvae swimming in water-collecting pots and the likes are the most telling signs of a place being infested.
  • Chemical pesticides are most effective against mosquitoes, however, they can be also dangerous to both people and animals, so they need to be used with caution.
  • It’s worth trying to get rid of a smaller mosquito population with natural remedies.

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Image by MIA Studio from Shutterstock

  • Last update: March 23, 2021

Posted in All Articles, Pest Issues