How to Keep Mosquitoes Away from Your Home

Learn how to safeguard your home, lawn and landscape from mosquitoes.

As anyone who has ever spent a summer evening in the open air knows, mosquitoes are a nuisance. With their whining buzz and relentless search for blood, they can drive even the hardiest outdoor lovers indoors with ease. They can also pose a health risk. From the Zika and West Nile viruses to yellow fever and malaria, diseases spread by mosquitoes can be extremely serious and sometimes even deadly.

Learning how to control mosquitoes is an important step toward safeguarding your home, lawn, and landscape, and Ortho® Home Defense® has a line of products that provides outdoor mosquito control in a few easy steps. Follow these tips to repel and control mosquitoes and help prevent future problems.

Kill and Repel Mosquitoes

Kill mosquitoes on the lawn.

Treating your yard is a tried-and-true method for reducing mosquito infestations. Kill mosquitoes (including those that may transmit the West Nile and Zika viruses) in your lawn and landscape beds with Ortho® Bugclear™ Insect Killer For Lawns & Landscapes Concentrate. It can be used in a tank sprayer or with the Ortho® Dial N Spray® Hose End Sprayer to kill mosquitoes by contact. When treating your lawn, focus on the perimeter of your home and damp, shaded areas of your property–these are where mosquitoes are likely to be resting when they're not buzzing around.

Light candles or lanterns.

Help keep mosquitoes away from your patio and porch by lighting candles or lanterns that contain one or more essential oils known to repel mosquitoes. These oils include:

  • Citronella
  • Clove
  • Cedarwood
  • Lavender
  • Eucalyptus
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Lemongrass
  • Geraniol

Mosquito-repelling candles work best in small areas without a lot of air movement. As a bonus, many of these candles offer a light, refreshing scent that adds to your outdoor experience.

Set mosquito traps.

You can also use mosquito traps to help keep mosquitoes away from your porch or patio. However, it's important to change the traps regularly. If you're having an outdoor party, traps can be an effective way to protect your guests from mosquitoes, especially when used along with other mosquito controls and repellent products.

Spray on personal repellents.

If you plan to do work in your yard or even just sit out on your patio, remember that mosquitoes are most active during early morning and twilight hours. During these times, use an EPA-approved personal repellent designed specifically for humans. These sprays can be highly effective, but they do wear off. So if you plan to be outdoors for a long period of time, be sure to keep your spray handy.

Prevent Future Mosquito Problems

Eliminate standing water.

Many (though not all) female mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Since it only takes about a week for a mosquito to go from egg to adult, getting rid of the standing water on your property can help reduce the number of mosquitoes that will plague your next backyard barbeque.

  • Empty water that has collected in children's toys, garden pots, buckets, trash can lids, wheelbarrows, or other items lying around that could collect water.
  • Inspect gutters for clogs and clean them regularly to prevent water collection.
  • If you have a birdbath, change the water regularly.
  • Walk your property and address any low spots in the lawn that collect water or areas that have poor drainage.

Clean up debris.

A kiddie pool isn't the only thing that can provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Some types of mosquitoes lay their eggs in damp soil or debris, such as decaying logs and leaf piles, so be sure to clear them away. Remember to remove leaves and other debris from gutters, too. If you continue to have a problem with mosquitoes and have a lot of shade in your yard, you may want to consider having your trees trimmed to increase light levels and make your landscape less habitable to these pests.

Plant mosquito-repelling plants.

The potent fragrances and essential oils in some plants, such as lavender, and marigolds, naturally repel mosquitoes. If you enjoy spending time outdoors on your deck or patio, pot up a few of these plants and set them around the perimeter to naturally help keep mosquitoes at bay—and add a little beauty to the setting. Other mosquito-repelling plants include

  • Citronella (and other scented geraniums)
  • Lemongrass
  • Rosemary
  • Catnip
  • Bee balm
  • Ageratum
  • Peppermint
  • Basil
  • Sage 

Brew coffee.

Yes, your morning cup of joe can help keep mosquitoes away! Sprinkled in areas with standing water that you just can't get rid of, coffee grounds can prevent mosquito larvae from growing. It's yet to be determined how or why, but scientists are in the process of studying coffee to find out more about its mosquito-repelling powers. Of course, for maximum effectiveness, you need to sprinkle the coffee grounds in all areas around your home with standing water, but even if you miss a few spots, you're likely to notice a decrease in the mosquito population.

A mosquito bite is definitely annoying, but it's the threat of mosquito-transmitted illness that really makes these insects a serious problem. Many communities spray to help control mosquito populations, but if yours does not, it's even more important to follow these tips for keeping mosquitoes away from your home.

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