Mosquitoes are pesky insects that are attracted to humans and animals from over 75 feet away. Keeping them away is very important, but you may need much more than an over-the-counter mosquito repellent to do the job. An effective mosquito killer will help to keep you, your family, and pets safe. Let’s look at some of the most effective types you can use.
Seriously Horrible Pests
Mosquitoes really are awful insects, aren’t they? Their whine can keep you awake at night, and their bites are itchy and annoying. The females are the ones that bite in order to use the protein from our blood to form healthy eggs. Even worse, these bites can carry dangerous diseases like the West Nile virus, Yellow Fever, or even Zika.
Repellents may be able to keep the bugs away from biting you for a short period of time, but unless you want to smell like citronella all the time, it may not be enough. Nothing is keeping the pests from biting your animals, livestock, or the neighbor kids. And unless you want the problem to grow out of hand quickly, you need a better solution like a mosquito killer.
Why You Need a More Intensive Mosquito Killer
Bites are more than just red, itchy spots that bother you for a few days. These bites can cause serious illnesses, and repellents don’t always work well enough to keep you from getting bitten while you’re spending time outside. These little pests are difficult to avoid, and they can even bite through your clothing if they’re hungry enough. So how can you ensure your safety?
Balance out the mosquito population in your yard and keep them away when you need to so you can remain bite-free and happy. By understanding where these bugs hang out and what they feast on, you can work toward actively keeping them away before an infestation takes over your home.
However, if your yard is the perfect environment for these bugs, they’ll continue to come back. The best way to get rid of the problem is threefold. Repel the bugs from returning, kill larvae AND adults flying around your home, and safeguard your home against these insect invaders.
Encourage Natural Predators to Eat the Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes thrive in places that have stagnant water, and use these areas as breeding grounds. As a result, you may attract more buts if you have a pool, fountain, or buckets of water sitting around your yard. Unfortunately, gardeners often have many areas like this around the home in the form of unused planters, plant trays, and buckets. Dog bowls and livestock watering troughs can also become breeding grounds.
Eliminating the pests in their breeding locations will defend your home, and keep your animals safe. This means if you live near a pond or lake, you may also have to contend with this issue. You can’t eliminate a pond from existence, so you’ll need to take other steps instead. If this is the case for you, take advantage of natural predator-prey dynamics.
For example, fish that eat these insects can help naturally keep the population from reaching an extreme level. If you have a pond or water feature, consider adding a few of them to eliminate insects.
The following fish species love to feed on mosquito larvae:
- Bottom-feeding catfish
Birds are another natural predator, which is why birdbaths don’t often cause a rise in your yard’s mosquito population. Bats are great allies as well! In fact, a North American little brown bat can eat over 1,000 mosquitoes in an hour. Encourage them to stick around with bat houses, and they’ll help reduce bug numbers significantly.
The 5 Best Types of Mosquito Killer
These types of mosquito killer are long-term solutions for your pest problem. Each is well-known to work well, and a combination of them may be used to offer full protection for serious mosquito invasions.
1. Bug Zappers
Electrocuters and bug zappers use things like carbon dioxide, octenol, heat, and blacklight to both attract mosquitoes, and zap them to death. Although most zappers aren’t the most attractive-looking machines to hang around your yard, they’re effective. They’ll lure in tons of mosquitoes, thus keeping them away from you.
Just note that they won’t be able to kill off all the mosquitoes in your yard. Some zappers are more effective than others, as there are many different options to choose from. Do some research to determine which is best for your needs.
Mosquito larvae feed on the bacteria that grows in freestanding water. As such, you can use a larvicide such as the BTI bacterium to kill the larvae in the water before they can reach maturity. They also add insect growth regulators to the water, which this is the first thing you need to do if you have a pond on your property. All you do is dissolve these chemicals in the water to treat it, and the larvae die.
Note: you must carefully read the packaging to ensure the chemicals are safe for fish, pets, and other wildlife. Most are safe for use in livestock watering barrels, and they may even keep fungus gnats and black flies at bay as well.
Lures work the same way that zappers do, attracting mosquitoes using scents or pheromones that mimic things they enjoy feasting on, such as human blood and breath. That’s why some people get bitten more often: It’s all in how we sweat, and the amount of carbon dioxide we exhale.
Once a mosquito gets close enough, the device captures it before they it get away. Most end up dying from starvation inside that trap’s containment unit, which can either be a box, or a sticky trap.
Unlike a bug zapper, not all lure requires electricity to work. Some do use a fan to pull the bugs inside the trap, while others only release scents that the pests can’t resist. Typically, the cartridges are replaceable, so you can switch out the lure when it’s full.
In terms of effectiveness, these lures tend to work well. However, it can take some trial and error before you can find the right type of bait for the mosquitoes in your area.
4. Sprays and Foggers
The EPA has several registered sprays and foggers that work by spreading toxins outside. Some of these chemicals are safe, while others might pose some health risks. Consider using neem oil, which is a natural chemical that’s as effective as an insecticide.
This solution is easy to spray to ward off common pests like spider mites, aphids, and more, but won’t hurt mammals in the area. Other blends of plant oils commonly used include:
Oils like these will break down in just a few days, however, so you need to reapply them frequently, and especially after it rains. Garlic spray is another effective tool to keep mosquitoes from your garden.
Permethrin and pyrethrin are also sprays used to kill off larger pest populations, but they can cause damage to beneficial insects as well. As a result, they must be used sparingly, and with care. Foggers are a similar short-term defence: they mist the area, coating plants to kill off any pests hiding nearby.
Both sprays and foggers are effective as a mosquito killer, but you should limit their use. They’re also only meant for lawns and ornamental plants, so make sure not to spray them on edible or medicinal plants. If you’re growing your own vegetables and herbs, for example, this isn’t a good option for you to use.
High-tech traps are easy to set around your yard, and they use both scent and heat to simulate a person to attract mosquitoes. When the insects get close, the trap will suck them up using a built-in vacuum, and trap them in a chamber to die.
Just note that this solution may cost significantly more, depending on how many traps you need in your yard.
Consider a Mosquito Repellent
If you only need to keep the mosquitoes at bay for a short period of time, a mosquito repellent may be the better choice for you. They’re more limited in how long they can keep the bugs away and the amount of space they cover, making them perfect for the time you spend on the patio. Rather than kill the insects, the repellents usually use scent to merely keep them away.
Repellents come in spray form, candles, large torches, and foggers. You can also set potted plants like catnip, rosemary, or citrosa around your yard to keep these pests from biting you or your family.
These are short-term options, whereas the aforementioned solutions keep the bugs away for good. This may be better for you if mosquitoes are a particular problem in your area. If you have a severe pest problem, a combination of repellents and killers may be most effective.
In addition, make sure the bugs can’t get through the screens of your outdoor porches or patios. As an extra precaution, hang mosquito netting around beds to keep these biting jerks from attacking you at night.