Hmmmmmrrrrmmmm . . . No one enjoys being awakened by the sound of a mosquito buzzing in their ear. What a nuisance! How did a mosquito get in the house, anyway? Where do they come from? And what trouble do they cause? And most importantly: what should you do about mosquito control?
Meet the Mosquito
Believe it or not, male and female mosquitoes actually feed on flower nectar for their energy.1 But when it comes to biting, you can blame all the trouble on the females. To their defense, female mosquitoes are merely seeking a protein source for their baby mosquitoes, but in our defense, nobody likes mosquito bites! The mosquito eggs hatch into wiggly larvae that live in standing water until they become flying adults. Mosquitoes thrive in warm, humid environments and are particularly active at dawn, dusk, and in shaded areas.
Why Mosquitoes Are a Problem
The saliva of a biting mosquito is left behind with the bite,2 often causing a local reaction of redness, pain, and that familiar "summertime-campout" itchiness. But mosquitoes may also be responsible for several serious health issues.
How Mosquitoes Affect Your Pet
- Your pet is a prime target for mosquitoes since they usually seek out warm-blooded creatures to bite.
- Mosquitoes can be quite aggravating to pets. Beside the bites, which can cause redness and itching, mosquitoes landing on and flying around your pet can be stressful if the dog or cat can't get away.
- Your pet may have an allergic reaction to the mosquito bites, or potentially suffer from other mosquito-related health issues.
How Mosquitoes Affect Your Home
- Why are mosquitoes in my house? Mosquitoes that wander indoors probably aren't seeking a permanent home, but they are looking to take advantage of the situation by seeking out a warm body to bite, like you or your family.
- Besides the uncomfortable and itchy bite, mosquitoes can cause various other health issues in humans.
- Mosquitoes don't really damage property the way insects like ants or termites might.
- They might try to lay eggs in stopped-up rain gutters.
How Mosquitoes Affect Your Yard
- Some of the most pleasant opportunities to enjoy your yard, like outdoor parties, can be ruined by miserable mosquitoes driving everyone crazy.
- Mosquitoes may attempt to lay eggs in standing water sources like birdbaths, puddles, ponds, or even stray containers that collect rainwater.
How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are incredibly stubborn and populous, so you may not be able to defeat every last one. That said, there is plenty you can do to keep mosquito numbers under control.
- Don't collect water. Many things collect rainwater and inadvertently attract mosquitos,3 like a plastic tote, the lid to a coffee can, a toy bucket in a sandbox, an old tire, or a plastic pool for the dog. Take a walk around your outdoor space and try to eliminate these types of environments.
- Protect your pet. Your dog or cat doesn't need to suffer from itchy mosquito bites. Besides keeping your pet indoors as much as possible when mosquitoes are prevalent, you have plenty of product options to try. A pyrethrin dip like Adams Plus Pyrethrin Dip is an easy way to kill and repel mosquitoes around your pet. Another handy mosquito repellent is Adams Plus Flea and Tick Spray, while Adams Flea and Tick Collar Plus for Dogs & Puppies repels mosquitoes* for up to six months. Or try a simple application of a canine spot-on treatment like Adams Plus Flea and Tick Prevention Spot On for Dogs to protect your dog instead.
- Protect yourself. Mosquito repellents made for use by people, along with proper protective clothing, can help keep mosquitoes off you if you're outdoors during peak mosquito times.
- Repair your screens. Even a tiny rip or tear in a window screen is like a giant "enter here" sign for mosquitoes. Keep screens and other cracks and crevices around your house in good repair.
- Limit time with the door open. During peak times of mosquito activity (dawn and dusk in the summer), try not to linger in the doorway. Encourage family members to quickly enter and shut the door before the mosquitoes pour in.
- Protect your home. A mosquito spray designed for home use, like Adams Flea & Tick Home Spray, kills mosquitoes by contact, plus it dries quickly, and it doesn't stain carpets or upholstery.
- Protect your yard. Stopping mosquitoes where they start—outside—is preferable to using a mosquito spray indoors. An outdoor mosquito spray for your yard, like Adams Plus Yard Spray, can be used to cover large areas.
Mosquitoes are no fun, but you can limit their impact on your summer fun with a bit of know-how and a few tools at your side.
1. Gray, Elmer, and Ray Noblet. University of Georgia, Cooperative Extension Service and Department of Entomology. "Controlling Mosquitoes," 31 May 2016. https://ent.uga.edu/extension/controlling-mosquitoes.html
2. Allsup, Kelly. Illinois Extension. "Don't get bugged; eliminate mosquito breeding habitats," 15 July 2020. https://extension.illinois.edu/news-releases/dont-get-bugged-eliminate-mosquito-breeding-habitats
3. Houseman, Richard M. University of Missouri Extension. "Mosquitoes," https://extension.missouri.edu/publications/g7400