If you find yourself in a situation where you are face to face with a bunch of mosquitoes, it is frustrating enough. Quite the bothersome pest outside, they’re a whole other ordeal when inside. Just what should you do if you find mosquitoes inside your house?
If you find mosquitoes in your house, stay calm, stay back, watch their movements, and remove them. Using DEET, citronella, mesh screens, air conditioning and making sure windows and doors remain closed are some of the best ways to prevent mosquitoes from getting inside your home.
Throughout my life, I have never met a person who enjoys mosquitoes. I even leave spiders alone as much as possible in my house now to help get any mosquitoes that come inside! So, without further ado, let’s go over what to so if you find a mosquito in your house.
Characteristics of the Mosquito
Mosquitoes (otherwise known scientifically as Culicidae) are small and considered a fly in some cases. The University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Department calls them “small, delicate, 2-winged flies.”
There are multiple types of mosquitoes, over 200 types in the United States and over 50 types in just the state of California alone. They live in all climates, from mountains to beaches, above and below sea level, in the desert, and the cold. Mosquitoes do it all, truly.
They are small insects and they have even smaller wings with even smaller scales on them. Although they are delicate, they pack quite the punch when they bite you, but fun fact: only the females bite. Females will bite humans and livestock for blood, but males are more geared towards plants.
The saliva of the female mosquito causes the raised bump and itchy sensation you experience when you get bit by one. This is because their saliva induces a small allergic reaction according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
While all mosquitoes are annoying, the most annoying one, which also has the most dangerous saliva, is the Asian Tiger Mosquito. So, if you live in an area where they are prevalent, perhaps do some more research on how they can affect you.
Different mosquitoes, just like different humans, all have specific ways they like to live. They have distinct behaviors, habitats, and preferences on who and what they will bite.
Where Do Mosquitoes Usually Live?
If you are trying to avoid mosquitoes while outside, you should probably start by avoiding going outside at twilight into the nighttime. This is when they are the most active and ready to party, according to North Carolina State University. However, when they get into your home, they become daylight-loving creatures.
Mosquitoes also love water. They need it to eat, repopulate and exist. Although all mosquitoes like water, they do not all enjoy the same types of water. Some like puddles, while others like culverts and so on.
They do not enjoy ponds, lakes, and rivers, though. Anything inhabited with fish is not an ideal place for mosquitoes to live because it would leave them, and all of their eggs, super susceptible to being some fish’s midday meal.
Female mosquitoes like to lay their eggs on a raft when they lay them in the water. They lay a lot of eggs, approximately 200, at one time. Therefore, they cannot take the chance of laying them where fish might get them.
Mosquitoes are big fans of places like clogged drain pipes and construction zones, which accumulate water. They also enjoy any sort of debris, like tires, buckets, pots, and bottles, because they can also hold stagnant water.
If you are watering any sort of animal, like birdbaths or dog dishes, they will hang out there too. In nature, they like more natural types of water. Collective places like inside tree cavities, holes, and puddles make them most comfortable.
For even more information on these insects, check out our article: Where Do Mosquitoes Live? 22 Incredible Facts About Mosquitoes.
What To Do If You Find A Mosquito in Your Home
1. Stay Calm
I know, I know. Mosquitoes in your house are a noble reason to not be calm. Especially if they are in your home in large quantities, I would be pretty upset too. But, we need to stay calm so we can follow the next steps.
Also, by staying calm, you reduce your movement. This reduces your chance of being bitten by one of these little pests. So, the calmer you stay, the better off you will be in the long run.
2. Stay Back
When you are dealing with mosquitoes, you want to stay as far away from them as possible because being bitten by one is enough. You do not want to be bitten by multiple or have them follow you around your home.
By keeping your distance, you give yourself some protection while you prepare for the next step and the advantage in the situation.
3. Watch Their Movements
If you have mosquitoes in your house, chances are they came in from outside. You need to keep your distance, but also watch to see if they are coming in through a window or a crack.
Watch them for a moment and try to figure out their point of entry. Then you are much more prepared to eliminate them from your living space. Also, you can prevent it from happening ever again.
You might also have to think about what is outside the house, close to where they are. If there are things like birdbaths or tall grass right next to a window, they are more likely to come inside through the nearby point of entry than to just fly in on a whim. Something is attracting them, whether it is inside or outside.
If you cannot immediately see where you think they might have come from, they might have migrated to find a suitable living place in your home. So, now you need to look for what they are attracted to in the area and move forward with getting rid of them.
Look around where they are. Is there a drain or a spot collecting moisture like a leaky pipe under the sink? Does your fridge have a minor leak? Another spot they love is house plants with moist soil.
Bathrooms and laundry rooms can be a hotspot for them. Are they in those areas or your garage? Do you have a teen who often leaves half-full glasses of water around? These can be factors in why you have mosquitoes in your house.
4. Removing Mosquitoes
North Carolina State University explains you can use pesticides on mosquitoes, but it is not a long-term or permanent solution by any means. They suggest you use integrated pest management for a long-term solution. This involves getting rid of them by eliminating what attracts them and then avoiding attracting them again in the future.
They also claim there might not be a “one and done” solution with mosquitoes. You might have to use more than one method to get rid of them for good because they multiply so quickly and easily. They only take 24-48 hours to hatch 200 eggs, so they can be a big problem fairly quickly.
Our guide: The 15 Best Ways To Keep Mosquitoes Out Of Your House For Good – is a fantastic place to start your research on mosquito prevention methods!
How To Get Rid Of Mosquitoes
Overall, some great ways to get rid of mosquitoes include:
- Getting rid of attractive sites
- Mesh Screens
- BTI and Fish
- Use your AC
1. Get Rid Of The Things Attracting Mosquitoes
First thing is first, you need to get rid of anything mosquitoes find attractive when they are shopping for a home. There are a lot of things you might not think of right away, but there is a lot you can look for.
The Department of Health and Environmental Control points out mosquitoes love anything that collects water, so the first recommendation is to do the “tip and toss” method. Go outside around your home (and inside your home) and tip over anything collecting water. Check on things you need (birdbaths, buckets, flower pots, etc) and toss anything you do not (like old water bottles, garbage, etc).
Next, you can look for things meant to collect water and make sure they are sealed tightly. This might include rain buckets or things like compost bins. If you can make sure they are sealed well, then mosquitoes will not try very hard to get into them and will go elsewhere.
If your plants are being over-watered, make sure you are letting them dry out before you add more water. Moist soil in plants is a perfect spot for mosquitoes. Make sure you are not drenching your plants in water every day and if you have to, put them somewhere mosquitoes cannot easily access them.
Clean anything holding water regularly. Monitor birdbaths, gutters, and any other water containers. Keep them as dry as possible when not in use.
Keep boats dry so they do not attract mosquitoes. When I was a kid, we used to store our canoes upside down so they dried out completely and did not collect mold. Now I know this also helped us keep mosquito populations away from them.
You can correct any drainage issues in your yard and make sure any drains or culverts stay clean and easy flowing. By doing this, you are saving yourself a lot of time and effort.
2. Use DEET To Repel Mosquitoes
While I know I just said pesticides are not an all-around solution, they can be helpful in initially removing these pests from your house. You can also use them with other methods to ensure they stay away.
DEET is a great option many people recommend. It is a relative of the diethyltoluamide family and its presence masks the scent of whatever it’s on, causing mosquitoes to not be able to sense their food source (you.)
As far as effectiveness is concerned, the EPA has concluded that there are no risks of concern for DEET when used as a dermally applied insect repellent.
Coleman 100 Max Mosquito Repellent is 100% DEET and at a great price point, it is an excellent option to try. You can use deet on your clothes to avoid bugs, but you can also spray it around your home to help keep mosquitoes away.
You can also use foggers around the outside of your home to get rid of mosquitoes. Spray shrubs and trees to get along the edges of your home. Consult a professional before doing so.
3. Citronella Deters Mosquitoes
The University of California explains you can use citronella to get rid of mosquitoes, but you need to be mindful of a few things.
Citronella comes in candle form and if it is windy, it won’t do much to keep the bugs away because they can easily avoid the scent. If it isn’t windy, these candles are much more useful to you and your mosquito problem.
These Tealight Citronella Candles are great because they come with 50 to a pack so you can spread them out around the property. They burn for 4 hours each, so you have a lot of hours you can burn these to prolong the exposure.
When using citronella candles, always ensure you can put them out before going in for the night. They can be a fire hazard if not properly put out, but otherwise, they are a great option.
Citronella is not the only scent mosquitoes despise. You can learn more about scent based mosquito repellents in our article about the scents that mosquitoes hate.
4. Mesh Screens Can Keep Mosquitoes Out
You can use fine mesh screens on doors and windows to help keep the mosquitoes out once they are out of your house. Just make sure the mesh is very fine since these pests are tiny. You can replace your regular window screen with it or you can supplement it with another screen.
You can also use fine mesh over things like drains leading into your home and vents (like for your dryer) to help reduce the level of entry that the mosquitoes can have.
BTI and Fish Help Get Rid Of Mosquitoes
If you have mosquitoes in the water near your house, like a fish-less pond or just free-standing water, you can treat it with BTI (Bacillus Thuringiensis Israelensis). BTI is a treatment for water, which reduces a bug’s chance of survival and how attractive the body of water is to pests.
SUMMIT CHEMICAL Mosquito Bits are a great option because they come in a nice-sized bag, have a fair price point, and help your plants along with also being effective against fungus gnat larvae!
If you want a more earthy solution, you can put fish in your pond. Fish love mosquitoes and they will gobble them right up. This might be more of a pricey option, but if you’ve ever wanted a koi pond, now is your chance!
Use AC To Repel Mosquitoes
The CDC recommends you use your air conditioning when possible to keep mosquitoes away. Air conditioning will essentially dry out your home and create a colder climate inside. Although mosquitoes can survive, they will not enjoy it and they would honestly probably rather be flying around outside than deal with it.
If you have an AC window unit, make sure you seal it tightly to avoid another means of entry for mosquitoes.
That’s A Wrap!
Overall, nobody in their right mind wants to deal with mosquitoes in their home or even outside. No one wants to deal with them, period. If you can, remember to stay calm and to stay away from them in your house. Also, their entry point and what they want inside your home.
Once you figure it out, you can eliminate them and prevent them from coming back. No one likes to be itchy, so make sure you are taking care of yourself and keeping mosquitoes where they belong, far away from you.
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Chandra, G., et al. “Mosquito control by larvivorous fish.” Indian Journal of Medical Research 127.1 (2008): 13.
Federici, B. A., et al. “Recombinant bacteria for mosquito control.” Journal of Experimental Biology 206.21 (2003): 3877-3885.
Kline, Daniel L. “Traps and trapping techniques for adult mosquito control.” Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association 22.3 (2006): 490-496.
MacCurdy, Jack E. “Mosquitos and Their Control in the Greater Miami Area.” The American Biology Teacher (1963): 285-288.