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How to Catch or Kill Mosquitoes: 13 Tips & Tricks

close up mosquito

Mosquitos can ruin your backyard event and even spread harmful diseases, so they can be a major concern for anyone who spends a great deal of time outdoors. If you are having problems with these insects, keep reading as we provide you with a list of options that you can try for catching and eliminating them, many of which you might already have the items for, so you can get back to enjoying your time outside.

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The 13 Tips & Tricks to Catch or Kill Mosquitoes

1. Removing Water

Stagnant Water
Image Credit: Giovanni Seabra Baylao, Shutterstock
Reason to Use: Inexpensive

The first step when trying to eliminate mosquitos on your property is to get rid of any water that they can use to breed. They only require a small amount of water, so you will need to eliminate any water that you see. Remove it by any means possible, by dumping it or absorbing it. You can even use a turkey baster to suck it away if you need to. Without water, mosquitos cannot breed, and you won’t see nearly as many on your property.

2. Coffee Grounds

Reason to Use: Inexpensive, as you might already have some

Having stagnant water on your property can be a breeding zone for dangerous mosquitos, so it’s best to empty the water when you find it around your property. However, sometimes eliminating standing water isn’t an option because the object containing it won’t move or is out of reach. In these cases, you can try to prevent the mosquitos from breeding by adding coffee grounds to the water. Walk around your property with the grounds, and add a few teaspoons anywhere you see stagnant water. It will cause the larvae to rise to the surface and die. Repeat every few days for best results.

Burning coffee grounds in incense charcoal can also help repel the insects while you enjoy the outdoors.

3. Pinon Wood

stack of split pinon wood
Image Credit: Doyne and Margaret Loyd, Shutterstock
Reason to Use: Natural mosquito repellent

Pinon wood is pronounced “pinion wood,” and you will see many places that spell it that way. It’s a variety of pine and a natural mosquito repellant that kills them as they fly through the air. You only need to mix a small amount with your regular firewood to see a big reduction in the number of mosquitos on your property. The only downside is that it’s not for indoor use.

4. Camphor

Reason to Use: Natural mosquito repellent

Camphor is a waxy solid with many uses, including eliminating mosquitos when you use it as incense. It can also help reduce the itching from mosquito bites, so it is handy to have on hand. However, it can be dangerous to children and pets if they eat it, so you must keep it out of reach.

5. Garlic

garlic cloves on wooden table
Image By: Anrita1705, Pixabay
Reason to Use: Inexpensive

Garlic is a great option for many people who already have some in the house. Crush up a clove of garlic, and add it to a saucepan with 4 cups of water. Heat to a boil, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Let it cool so it is safe to handle, then move around your property, adding the solution to any stagnant water that you find to kill off the mosquitos.

6. Mosquito Trap

Reason to Use: Traps mosquitos

Creating a mosquito trap is easy and will help keep mosquitos and other insects from bothering you.

  • Cut a 2-liter bottle in half.
  • Remove the cap from the bottle and invert it, so the top is inside the bottom.
  • Add ¼ cup of brown sugar to the bottle, along with 1 cup of warm water.
  • Stir until the sugar dissolves
  • Add 1 teaspoon or packet of yeast to the water, and stir well.
  • Wrap newspaper around the bottle to keep out the light, and tape it in place.
  • Create several traps to place around open windows in your home.

The yeast creates carbon dioxide, attracting mosquitoes, while the sugar water can attract other insects. The upside-down nozzle does a good job of keeping the insects trapped. Replenish the traps every week or two for the best results.

7. Lavender

lavender essential oil
Image By: googlerankfaster, Pixabay
Reason to Use: Attractive and effective

Lavender is a great choice for people looking to naturally keep mosquitos off their property. It works for a large part of the season and is easy to grow. The flowers that it produces are attractive and smell nice, driving away mosquitos and other insects better than many chemical options. Lavender even grows well indoors, and the plants are not harmful to children or pets.

8. Garden Plants

Reason to Use: Attractive and effective

While lavender is the most popular, several other plants can reduce the number of mosquitos that you encounter. Catnip is one such plant, it’s easy to grow and has a pleasant fragrance. Cats also like it and will go out of their way to be around it, which can be good if you own cats but bad if you have strays invading your property. Marigolds also work well to repel mosquitos. These flowers are available in many colors and can grow almost anywhere with little maintenance.

9. Essential Oils

lavender essential oil beside the hand
Image By: Belinda Nash, Pixabay
Reason to Use: Pleasant scent

There are a few essential oils that work well to kill or repel mosquitos. Teatree oil and lavender essential oil work especially well and provide a portable way to repel mosquitos because you can keep a solution with you and apply it to your clothing as needed. The downside to essential oils is that many are toxic to dogs and cats, so you might want to look at other options if you have pets. Other effective essential oils include citronella, cinnamon, and cedar.

10. Dish Soap

Reason to Use: Readily available

Dish soap is a great option to use for killing mosquitos because most people already have some in the house, and only a small amount is needed. Add 1 teaspoon of your favorite dishwashing liquid, preferably with lemon or lavender fragrance, to a spray bottle, and fill the remainder with water. Mix it up, and spray it on any mosquitos that you see to kill them quickly in their tracks. This option works well if you notice many mosquitos in a small area, but it can be messy if you use it indoors.

11. Commercial Mosquito Fogger

aerosol fogger
Image By: Lost_in_the_Midwest, Shutterstock
Reason to Use: Effective

You can use a commercial fogger to kill or repel mosquitos on your property. Some are powerful machines that spread the chemicals a great distance, while more inexpensive brands use aerosol cans to spray the fog over a smaller area, like a campsite or back porch.

12. Commercial Incense Sticks

Reason to Use: Inexpensive

Commercial incense sticks can effectively and easily reduce the mosquito population in a small area, like a patio or porch. Many brands use natural ingredients, and some last for several hours before you need to replace them.

13. Citronella Candles

Citronella candle in a glass jar on a wooden table
Image By: Cmspic, Shutterstock
Reason to Use: Inexpensive

Citronella candles are among the most common ways to eliminate mosquitos from a location where you are trying to enjoy the outdoors. They work especially well in small areas and are easy to find at most grocery stores. The downside to a citronella candle is that the open flame presents a fire hazard, especially if you have children or pets, and the melted wax can also make quite a mess if you knock over the candle while using it.

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Other Tips and Tricks for Avoiding Mosquito Bites

Tips and Tricks

  • Avoid areas where there are large amounts of water, like rivers, streams, and lakes, as it’s easy for standing water to occur in these areas and become breeding spots for mosquitos.
  • Wear clothes that cover your skin when possible. Long sleeves and shoes are especially helpful.
  • Wear light colors, as mosquitos seem to be attracted to darker clothing.
  • Avoid being outdoors during dusk and dawn, as that is when mosquitos are the most active.
  • Check your home to look for any damage to screens or windows that might allow mosquitos inside, and make repairs as needed.

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Removing any standing water is the best way to keep mosquitoes off your property. If you can’t eliminate it all, coffee grounds, garlic, or essential oils can destroy the larvae before they get a chance to grow. Adding plants around your property, like lavender, catnip, and marigolds, will also help drive off mosquitoes for weeks at a time. Candles and incense will help keep them away while you are sitting on the porch, and traps can help keep them from entering your home.

Featured Image Credit: FRANCO PATRIZIA, Pixabay


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