What You Can Do To Control Mosquitoes

For general information about mosquitoes go to our Mosquito Info page.

For the best defense against mosquitoes and other biting insects:

Wear light colored clothing.  Don't drink alcohol. Don't use cologne or a fragrance. Use an oscillating fan or fans to cover your seating area.

Use the right mosquito traps and area repellents. 

See the recommendations page for a guide.

When you are away from home or in unprotected areas, use the non-toxic Mosquito Patch personal repellent.

If you have an area covering many acres, consider placing mosquito traps that emit CO2 on the border about 150 feet apart. Neighborhoods, parks and golf courses should use this strategy to reduce the number of mosquitoes over time. It can be very effective.

We do not recommend insecticide sprays. They kill many beneficial insects and are toxic to all creatures including humans.

Other actions you can take

1. Eliminate mosquito growing places. All experts agree that mosquitoes must have standing water (as little as a tablespoon) to grow. Most eggs are laid in water and develop there. Consequently, get rid of anything in your area that can contain even a small amount of standing water, such as tires, pails, unused flower pots, etc. Clean clogged gutters. Change the water in the bird bath often. Patch holes in trees that capture water.

2. If you are near a wetland, or have standing or still water, use a larvacide containing Bti. It should be available at your local hardware store in briquette form, often shaped like a doughnut. You just toss them in the water.

3. If you are outdoors in an unprotected area, use a personal repellent such as the Mosquito Patch with 300 mg. of Vitamin B1 (some on the market have less). Don't take chances, particularly with children and older folks. The bite of some mosquitoes can cause death.

The Mosquito Patch is not toxic, smelly, oily or greasy, and lasts 36 hours. Your skin absorbs vitamin B1 which repels mosquitoes. If you do not have Mosquito patches, get a lotion or spray containing Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. 


Cutter Advanced is a relatively new product that works as well or better than DEET (which can be harmful). It contains Picaridin, a mosquito repellent. Reapply as needed, but at least every 5 hours.

Most of the other lotions such as Skin So Soft are marginally effective if at all. Remember that they all wash off in water and diminish over time, so follow the directions for use and reapplication.

You can also spray your clothing with Permethrin, which is used by the US military to spray on uniforms. Do not use on your skin or inhale. Clothing only.

4. Protect your animals and pets with medication. Heartworm in dogs is caused by mosquitoes. It is a very serious disease which can be fatal to dogs if left untreated. Heartworm pills are available from your veterinarian that will protect your dog. Once a problem only in coastal areas, dog heartworm is now found in every state in the United States. Remember that some diseases can be passed from an animal to a human.

What Doesn't Work in Controlling Mosquitoes

1. Birds and bats. Installing houses for certain birds or bats will not significantly affect your mosquito population. They don't make up a high percentage of their diet.

2. Electronic bug zappers. These annoying devices mainly kill moths, beetles and other beneficial insects, but very few mosquitoes.

3. Lotions or sprays that do not contain DEET or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. This includes Skin So Soft, Listerine and Lemon Fresh Joy.


4. Electronic devices that claim to emit ultrasonic sound to repel mosquitoes. They don't work.

5. The citrosa plant (also called the Mosquito Plant) contains citronella, but not enough to have much effect. Mosquitoes land on it.