How do you keep the mosquitoes out of your apartment?
June 25, 2009 9:21 AM   Subscribe

Mosquitoes in Manhattan: how do you keep them out of your apartment? Screens are not an option for me. I have heard recommendations from citronella candles to garlic powder mixed with water. What works for you?
posted by helios410 to Home & Garden (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Why aren't screens an option? The only thing that works outside of screens, for me, is having a fan blowing strongly outward pretty much all the time so that they cant fly in. Everything else just moves them around once they're in.
posted by jessamyn at 9:24 AM on June 25, 2009

Can you fake screens using mosquito netting taped/stapled/otherwise adhered around the windows?
posted by olinerd at 9:32 AM on June 25, 2009

I live in mosquito paradise, and nothing really work apart from screens. I tried them all, citronella, those Raid spirals (hello burning chemicals), the blue zapping light of death, etc. You could put some insect repellant like Muskol on yourself, but then you'll stink!
If it is a matter of not installing permanent screens on the windows, you can buy screen on a roll and fix it with tape.
posted by ddaavviidd at 9:32 AM on June 25, 2009

If the OP has the same problem I do... screens really aren't an option. I have old casement windows that swing outward. I can't put a screen on the outside... the window won't open. I can't put a screen on the inside because I won't be able to unlatch the window.

I have a set of curtains, and then a set of thin window sheers. I generally keep my sheers pulled over the windows when they are open to keep the buggers from having an direct access to the apartment. I still get light and air.
posted by kimdog at 9:52 AM on June 25, 2009

Can you fake screens using mosquito netting taped/stapled/otherwise adhered around the windows?

I think you could totally rock this with Velcro.
posted by COBRA! at 10:02 AM on June 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Buy plastic screening, cut to fit and tape to window edges. If it's a casement window, they do make screens for them. I saw a product for doors that secures to the top of the door frame, then hangs in overlapping sheets, like the plastic strips on a big cooler, only wide. I intend to make one for my door that can't be properly screened.

Or a mosquito net for the bed.
posted by theora55 at 10:27 AM on June 25, 2009

posted by msconduct at 10:36 AM on June 25, 2009

Google "adjustable window screens".
posted by rikschell at 10:37 AM on June 25, 2009

i think you could significantly cut down on the number of mosquitoes if you are able to hang some kind of sheers, like kimdog said. something like lace or even the netting that is used to make bed mosquito nets would likely let in the most light and air. the latter material should be available by the bolt at a fabric store.
posted by penchant at 10:55 AM on June 25, 2009

We had a mosquito net for the bed during a particularly bad summer. I would wake up in the morning and there would be a dozen mosquitos sitting on the outside of it, right above my head. It generally worked quite well, but any little crack and they would get in. They went away for the most part when we got the landlord to fix our drippy radiator and a clogged roof gutter.

As others have said, the only way to keep mosquitoes out is with screens.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:08 AM on June 25, 2009

I don't really have an answer, although buying some very fine mesh fabric and hanging that (even just taped up) might work. It's about as high tech as I get about it for summer evenings.

My only real comment is that citronella is foul! Ymmv, but I just can't stand the smell of the stuff, certainly not in closed spaces. Incense sticks might work about as well, due to the smoke, and smell preferable. But I've also never erally seen citronella work...
posted by opsin at 11:25 AM on June 25, 2009

nthing velcro. i just bought a new storm door that uses a velcro hooks to hold the screen directly in place. works really well.
posted by lester at 11:25 AM on June 25, 2009

nthing mosquito net. I've slept under them in Africa and came home without a single bite.
posted by jacquilinala at 12:38 PM on June 25, 2009

Casement windows may work if you buy a roll of fiberglass screen, cut to size and adhear with magnets.I did this in my old apartment.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:16 PM on June 25, 2009

I have a similar problem in my rented apartment. My down and dirty cheap solution is some sheer curtains I got at the thrift shop and some of that blue painter's tape to hold them where they need to be without doing damage to walls.
posted by mareli at 1:22 PM on June 25, 2009

Try to find out whether there's standing water outside your window where mosquitoes can breed. Maybe you can get your super or the neighboring building's super to get rid of it. I found this to be a temporary solution at best, but if screens aren't an option it might be worth pursuing.

Also, some people claim large doses of vitamin B1 make you less appetizing to mosquitoes.

You know what was the best? In 1999-2001, when West Nile virus was new, and the city went on a massive mosquito eradication spree. I didn't get any bites those summers.
posted by jillsy_sloper at 1:22 PM on June 25, 2009

citronella body cream works for me, and it smells nice
posted by Sijeka at 1:57 PM on June 25, 2009

nthing the screens. We burned coils (ick!) which helped a bit, but putting up the screens was the only way to bring bites to zero. I folded over and stapled the screens to wood, then attached magnets to the wood where it could contact metal to hold up the screen. Worked great, no holes!

Also, with your windows, can you simply fasten a little more permanatly at the top, then just tape the edges down when you are going to sleep etc, so you can open / close the window other times?
posted by defcom1 at 9:40 PM on June 25, 2009

« Older Help me wander (a portion of) the Earth   |   What TV show was this? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.