Myth Busting: DIY Mosquito Control


DIY Mosquito Control

The longer days and warmer weather mean that mosquito season is forcing its way upon us. A mosquito problem in your home and/or business can be a stressful situation. Not only do these flying insects pack an irritating bite, but they are also known vectors of diseases such as malaria and the Zika virus.

Mosquito bites

Find out everything you need to know about mosquito bites

As with any pest infestation, the appearance of mosquitoes often leads people to try and control the problem themselves without the assistance of a professional exterminator.

Although there are a lot of discussions online on how you can get rid of mosquitoes yourself, a lot of them aren’t effective.

Luckily, we have compiled a list of popular do it yourself mosquito control options which are proven to be ineffective against these biting insects. This will help to save you time, effort and cost and identify the best solution for your mosquito problem.

DIY Mosquito control

Below are some common DIY mosquito control myths which have been proven to be unsuccessful in getting rid of mosquitoes.

Citronella plants

Citronella mosquitoes

In some instances, companion planting specific plants can help repel pests in the garden. However, the idea of citronella plants repelling mosquitoes is actually a myth!

It is believed that the aroma of the citronella plant repels mosquitoes. The fact of the matter is that the chemicals given off by citronella plants which are believed to ward off mosquitoes are very small. For this DIY mosquito control method to work effectively, you would have to immerse yourself in a jungle of citronella plants.

It is also believed that using the oil extracted from the leaves of citronella plants and rubbing it into the skin can be a good DIY mosquito repellent.

Although some research conducted by North America has confirmed the success of this method, studies in the EU failed to validate this technique. To add to this the EU have also banned the use of citronella oil as an insecticide. This concludes this DIY mosquito control option as an ineffective solution.


Garlic home remedy for mosquitoes

Many people believe that the pungent smell of garlic can help repel mosquitoes. It is suggested that eating garlic, taking garlic pills, and using a garlic spray is a good DIY control method for mosquitoes.

In 2005 the University of Connecticut Health Centre carried out a study to determine if eating garlic is a legitimate natural mosquito repellent. Their research took place by asking a group of subjects to consume large amounts of garlic, and a placebo on others and exposed them to mosquitoes each day. The results of the experiment showed no difference in the number of mosquitoes that fed on them or the number of bites they suffered.

Washing up liquid

dish soap to control mosquitoes

A solution of lemon scented washing up liquid and water is believed to be an effective DIY technique for mosquitoes.

This DIY control method is thought to both repel mosquitoes and exterminate them. Like the rest of the remedies in this blog, this is actually a myth.

In fact, laying out bowls and plates of washing up liquid in your home and garden actually attracts mosquitoes to your home or business as these biting insects are attracted to moisture, and in particular stagnant water.

However, some studies have shown that a high concentration of washing liquid can trap mosquitoes due to the biting insect unknowingly coating themselves in a substance that can prevent them from flying.

It’s important to note that even though this DIY technique might show some success in particular circumstances it is not a proven method to completely control a mosquito problem.


use mouthwash to treat mosquitoes

It is believed that mouthwash, and in particular ones which contain eucalyptol, can be used to treat a mosquito problem. However, once again this is also a DIY myth.

There is no scientific evidence to support the success of using mouthwash as both a pesticide and a method to control mosquitoes. Although it gives the appearance of working, the mosquitoes often recover from the incident. It is believed that the initial spray knocks them out, but once their wings have dried they can take flight again and proceed with their annoying biting habits.

Citronella candles

citronella candles to repel mosquitoes

The concept of using citronella candles as a natural repellent for mosquitos stems from the use of citronella plants to help get rid of mosquitoes. As you know, the plants themselves have a limited effect against mosquitoes, but what about the candles?

A study carried out by the University of Guelph investigated the success of using citronella as a natural mosquito repellent. The results showed a decrease in bites when subjects were around citronella scented candles. However, this was only by 42.3%. Although this is a decrease, being under 50% this isn’t a foolproof solution to help get rid of mosquitoes.

Dryer sheets

One DIY mosquito control myth which a handful of people swear by is the use of dryer sheets. There are two options for using dryer sheets to repel mosquitoes, they are:

  1. Placing a dryer sheet in your pocket
  2. Wipe a dry sheet along the exposed areas of your body.

Unfortunately, both these methods are ineffective solutions for mosquitoes and do not contribute to repelling these biting insects.

Although there have been studies around using dryer sheets to repel insects, which have concluded they are successful, these studies were conducted using fungus gnats as opposed to mosquitoes.

Just because one home remedy works for one type of insect, it doesn’t mean it works for them all.

Best way to keep mosquitoes away

The main issue with DIY mosquito control techniques is that, although some of them, on occasion, can seem to exterminate mosquitoes, they aren’t 100% successful.

What you may find when opting to control mosquitoes yourself is these biting insects returning to your property, this is because the DIY options don’t fully resolve your mosquito problem. DIY solutions may be able to get rid of the adult mosquitoes, but the larvae and eggs are often left untouched, resulting in another mosquito problem arising.

Mosquito prevention tips

If you are keen on getting rid of mosquitoes yourself, there a couple of prevention tips you can enlist which have a proven track record of reducing the presence of mosquitoes.

  1. Keep air circulated using fans.
  2. Install fine mesh screens on doors and windows
  3. Remove standing water from your garden
  4. Maintain your gutter (by removing blockages and the risk of standing water)
  5. Change pet water dishes regularly
  6. Keep grass and weeds trimmed and under control

Noticed an increasing presence of mosquitoes in your home and/or business? Worried about an infestation? Get in contact with Rentokil today!

diy pest control

Want to know more about the common myths around DIY pest control? Click here.