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Effective Techniques to Get Rid of Mosquitoes

Sonia Nair
Apart from their nasty bites, mosquitoes are also infamous for the illnesses they spread. Here is a compilation of some effective techniques to get rid of these insects.
Get an electric mosquito mat heating device and replace the mat with orange peels. Cut orange peels into rectangular pieces that fit into the device properly. Citrusy smell repels mosquitoes.
With an array of deadly diseases they spread, mosquitoes are dangerous for the mankind. Though all mosquitoes are not dangerous, you can't distinguish harmless ones from the disease-carrying types. So eradication of mosquitoes from your surroundings is the safest method. If you are facing a mosquito menace, you must take immediate measures to eliminate them.
While the market is flooded with a host of mosquito repellant products and devices, there are some natural methods that are also effective to a certain extent. If you are worried about the chemicals in store-bought products, you may use homemade traps and repellents.
However, there is no single solution to get rid of these bloodsuckers. It is always advisable to try a combination of different methods, so as to eliminate mosquitoes effectively.

DIY Mosquito Traps

Box Fan Mosquito Trap

Get a high volume box fan and cover its front part with a fine wire mesh. You may use regular mosquito netting instead of the wire mesh. Secure the edges of the mesh to the sides of the fan properly. If the fan has a metal frame, magnets can be used to secure the netting.
The strong air movement will suck in the mosquitoes into the mesh. You may use diluted isopropyl alcohol to kill them. Take a spray bottle and fill three-fourth of it with isopropyl alcohol. Fill the remaining space with water.
Switch off the fan, before spraying the solution on the trapped insects. This homemade mosquito killer is said to be effective in reducing mosquito populations. You may also go in for commercial versions of this trap.

Fish Pond Trap for Larvae

In case of severe mosquito infestation, it is advisable to make a small pond and raise some mosquito killer fish. Get some guppies or mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) that feed on mosquito larvae.
You may use a small glass tank or any other shallow container. Wash the container properly and fill it with dechlorinated tap water. Filtered or spring water can be used instead of tap water. A thin layer of sand or gravel can be used as a substrate. Place a few plants meant for fish tanks.
Once done, release the fish into the water. Place the container outdoors, but ensure that it gets little sunlight to sustain the plants. Feed the fish once in every 2 days, and change the water once a week. While mosquitoes breed in standing water, these fish feed on the larvae. So predator fish are effective for standing water mosquito larvae elimination.

Soda Bottle Trap

Take a soda bottle and cut and remove the top part, so that it can be placed upside down inside the bottom part. Prepare a solution of brown sugar and warm water, along with a small amount of instant yeast. Pour a small amount of this solution into the bottom part of the bottle.
Fix the top part inside the bottom part, with the drinking hole facing downwards (make sure to remove the lid). The solution releases carbon dioxide that attracts mosquitoes. Once the insects enter the bottom part through the drinking hole, it is difficult for them to find the way out. The trapped mosquitoes will die within some time.
Replace the solution once in every two weeks. However, this trap may not be that effective in reducing the mosquito population. It has also been observed that this trap attracts insects like flies and wasps, rather than mosquitoes.

Chemical Products

You may come across a wide range of chemical products that are used for mosquito control. They include insecticides meant for both larvae and adults. Most of the larvicides contain the chemical called methoprene that hinders with the development of mosquito larvae.
Bti toxin is another component that is found in such products. It is a toxin produced by a soil bacterium, and it attacks the digestive tract of the larvae. Both are found to be effective to kill mosquito larvae.
Unlike larvae, detecting the resting places of adult mosquitoes is not that easy. During daytime, they rest in shaded areas. Insecticides can be used to get rid of adult mosquitoes. Usually, pyrethroid sprays are used for this purpose.
Once sprayed, the aerosol droplets remain in the air, and kill mosquitoes on contact. These droplets settle on the ground and other surfaces, and remain intact for one or two days, after which they break down. So, insecticides with this chemical have to be reapplied once in every two days.
Mosquito foggers are useful for getting rid of these insects from your yard. You may also use insecticidal sprays for this purpose. Introducing natural bacteria like Bacillus thuringiensis is effective for killing mosquito larvae in the garden and yard.

Natural Repellents

■ Camphor is said to be an effective mosquito repellent. All you need to do is to crush a piece of camphor and put it in a bowl of water. Place the bowl in a corner of your room.
■ Spray diluted citronella oil to keep mosquitoes away. Even the aroma released from citronella candles is good for repelling these insects.
■ Grow some mosquito repellent plants like tulsi (holy basil), chives, mint, marigold, catnip, and garlic. Alternatively, boil crushed garlic pods in water and spray it in your surroundings.
■ A bowl with a few drops of dish wash soap and water may also work as a mosquito repellent.
■ It is believed that mosquitoes dislike the smell of lemons as well as cloves. So slice some lemons in half and stick some cloves. Place the lemon slices in different parts of your house.
While most of the natural remedies work as repellents, they are not useful for killing mosquitoes. If you want to kill these insects, insecticides with chemicals are the best bet.

Store-bought Devices

When it comes to store-bought devices, those which use ultraviolet light to attract and trap mosquitoes are not that effective. Expensive devices that use attractants like carbon dioxide, may also fail to reduce the population of mosquitoes effectively.
You may come across ultrasonic devices that are meant to scare away mosquitoes by creating sounds. Such devices are also not effective for killing or repelling mosquitoes. When it comes to mosquito control, timed sprays may also not work.
While electric mosquito traps are effective to a certain extent, mosquito bats kill air-borne insects instantly, if used properly. You may also use a vacuum cleaner to suck in these insects.
These are some of the common and effective techniques to kill and repel mosquitoes. Preventive measures too play a major role in controlling mosquitoes effectively. Get rid of standing water in your surroundings.
Trim the plants, trees, and lawn grass. Use mosquito netting and screens. While getting rid of a few mosquitoes may not be a big problem, severe infestation needs to be addressed with different measures.