Mosquitoes enter homes looking for a blood meal, as well as shelter from the heat so they don’t dry up. Homes also provide mosquitoes with perfect places to hibernate during the winter. These include dark corners in cellars, basements, and crawl spaces. Mosquitoes entering a home have typically hatched nearby in standing water. But on occasion, mosquitoes may travel up to 10 miles.
Mosquitoes in a house are very irritating. Female mosquitoes require blood meals in order to nourish their eggs. Apart from being painful and itchy, a mosquito bite can also transmit disease. These diseases are viral encephalitides, including West Nile, and they cause inflammation of the brain. West Nile Virus is the most feared mosquito disease in North America. Mosquitoes are able to reproduce very rapidly if they have proper breeding grounds, and can quickly invade a home if left alone.
The first step in reducing the number of mosquitoes in a house is to remove as many breeding sites as possible from the surrounding yard. Mosquitoes must lay their eggs in standing water. To reduce mosquitoes in the home, remove standing water by draining ditches and rain gutters. Keep irrigation free of debris, regularly change the water in bird baths and garden ponds and get rid of cans, abandoned tires, and tree stump holes near the house. Dump out water from children’s pools when not in use. Adult mosquitoes often hide in weeds during the day, so keep grass trimmed. Insecticides that are frequently applied on shrubs may keep mosquitoes away as well. Make sure that all doors have a functioning screen and that screens on windows are properly installed. Inspect around windows for any cracks and seal these with weather strips. To control mosquitoes already inside the home, a fly swatter can be very effective. House aerosols can also be beneficial, but be sure to follow the instructions carefully. Consumer products that bait, trap, or drive mosquitoes away have not proved to be very effective. The exception is candles with citronella oil, but these only cover a small area and must be used in bulk.
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