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How to eliminate mosquitoes

How to eliminate mosquitoes

While it's a great reminder that small things can make big differences, there is nothing worse than a mosquito pestering you all night while you are trying to sleep

The best way to deal with any pest is to deal with it at the source so you never have to deal with them hunting for you as a food source and avoid the ethical dilemma of killing them. In the case of mosquitoes, this means looking at where they breed. Mosquitoes need very little water in which to breed. The water just needs to be still, so your bucket with leftover water from the last rain shower, blocked gutter, random container, are all perfect.

How mosquitoes breed

First, the female mosquito lays her eggs in the water. The eggs turn into larva within 48 hours. The larva turns into a pupa and the pupa into an adult (in much the same was as a caterpillar turns into a butterfly). The adult mosquito then mates within a few days and the cycle starts again.

Finding your back yard and balcony 'breeding grounds'

As noted above, the first thing to do is to identify every possible source for breeding. Is there anywhere around your property where water can sit - even the smallest amount? Think buckets, any kind of small container, bird baths that don't get many birds visiting, pot plant water catchers.

If you have a still water pond, make sure you add fish or frogs to the water so the larvae is eaten. Don't stress about swimming pools as the water is too hostile for any animal to live there.

Once water sources are identified, then try this

There are a number of actions you can take around the house and in your garden - all pretty simple. If you can do them all, you are well and truly on your way to a good, unpest-ered night's sleep. 

Cut off mossies at the source:

  1. Grow citronella and society garlic.
  2. If you have old tyres, wading pools, pot plants, gutters, bird baths, tins or anything that holds water after rain, empty them and put them away.
  3. Clean blocked gutters and downpipes.
  4. Keep your grass cut.

Protect yourself from mossies:

  1. Screen all windows and doors and make sure your screens are shut from just before sundown.
  2. Put mosquito nets over your beds.

Deadly girls

It is the female mosquito who sucks your blood and transmits disease. Female mosquitoes are attracted to CO2 as it is generally the signal that food ('blood dinner') is nearby.

Mosquitoes actually kill more people than any other animal on the planet. They can carry a range of diseases and parasites, but notably Dengue fever, Ross River fever, Encephalitis and Yellow Fever. 

There are a number of effective mosquito traps that lure mosquitoes with CO2 and of course you can easily repel them with this DIY Mosquito Repellent hack. For ant problems see 6 Ways to Get Rid of Ants.

Image: Unsplash | Jane Stroebel

Something incorrect here? Suggest an update below:
Penelope M

I have also noticed that even small things like the lid on my compost bin holds water after the rain so I have to empty that after rain as well Thursday, 12 November 2015

Penelope M

Good point Lee, I can imagine it would be the same Thursday, 12 November 2015

Lee C
Food Lover

I think it is the same for those old swing sets? We had one in the backyard that never drained the water and mosquitos always bred in it Thursday, 12 November 2015

Penelope M

Funnily enough we were struggling for a long time with mosquitos, did all of the above, only to find out that our trampoline was actually holding water in the metal outside part and they were breeding in there. So for anyone else struggling with mosquitos that has a trampoline - try tipping the trampoline on its side and let the water drain out after rain. Hope that can help anyone else as well. Thursday, 12 November 2015