Protecting your home from mosquitoes

Photo by Kwangmoozaa /

Recent extreme temperatures around the globe have required everyone to seek respite from the uncomfortable heat and humidity when at home. That often requires sleeping with the windows open so you can cool the house at night. While that might be more comfortable, it also may come at a price. The cost is annoying mosquito bites!

Cooking at the barbeque later in the evening and eating outside allows you to take advantage of any breeze that might be blowing but it also means you are a target for mosquitoes. There are ways you can protect yourself from getting bitten and even reduce the population around your home. Here are some helpful tips you may want to consider.

Limit breeding

  • Remove anything where water can collect in your yard (such as buckets, empty pots…).
  • Cover outdoor tools like wheelbarrows and storage bins.
  • Clean your gutters and drains often.
  • Make sure your taps are not leaking.
  • Change pet drinking water often.
  • Change birdbaths at least once per week and more often during warm weather cycles.
  • Put sand around the base of your pots.
  • Keep lawns and gardens trimmed (this is where mosquitoes like to rest).

Limit access to your house

Photo by ronstik /
  • Get fly screens for your windows at a local German hardware store (it is a myth that Germans don’t use screens).
  • Get a magnetic closing screen for your patio doorway (there are clever screens that open in the middle and come together automatically with magnets).
  • Make sure the gaps at the bottom of your doors are sealed.

Try a safe repellent alternative

  • Use citronella candles when sitting around the table outside.
  • Instead of chemical repellents, try “oil of lemon eucalyptus.” This is a natural oil which comes from the Lemon Eucalyptus tree and is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control as an alternative to DEET.
  • Ultrasonic bug repellers have been around for some time. These will emit a radio frequency that bugs and mice do not like. It is also not picked up by humans and most animals.
  • Camphor oil is supposed to be the longest-lasting repellent. If you light camphor for 15-20 minutes in a closed room (and you should leave the room), it is said the room will be mosquito-free.
  • Use garlic. Crush a few garlic cloves and boil them in water. Once cooled, put the water in a spray bottle and spray around the room.
  • Use coffee grounds to kill mosquito eggs. Wherever you have stagnant water around your house, sprinkle coffee grounds in it. The grounds will force the eggs to float and they will be deprived of oxygen. This will kill them before they have a chance to hatch.

As always, you should seek professional advice for any method you are not already familiar or comfortable with.