Please help me with my serious mosquito problem!
February 16, 2013 3:40 AM   Subscribe

I have a serious mosquito problem in my house, there are literally 10 or so in every room almost all the time. Every night before I go to bed I have to lay there and spray each one as it flies by me, it takes about 5 minutes and the spray smell lingers for ages. In the morning they are in the bathroom where the door has been shut and no windows are open, I have no idea where they are getting in. I leave my back door open a crack for my dog at night and I have a mozzie zapper in the laundry where the door is. It doesn't seem to be helping. I also have those plug in mozzie repellers but also not helping and very expensive. I don't have a pool or pond and don't know of any neighbours that do. Please help, this is really getting me down, not only the killing of them but the 30 or so bites I have right now. I am in southern Australia where it's hot now, but not humid.
posted by Youremyworld to Home & Garden (21 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I'd use a flyswatter instead of spray. That'll lessen some of your problems.

It seems very unlikely that you'll be able to eliminate this problem while leaving the door open. Also, is your mosquito zapper the kind that also attracts them? Those can make the immediate area worse and are meant to be set up near, but not in the area you want to reduce the bug population.
posted by Jahaza at 3:49 AM on February 16, 2013

Mozzie coils and nets?
posted by taff at 3:55 AM on February 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

Also....pot plant saucers can be culprits. And bloody bromileads.

Look up dengue prevention for the kinds of places mosquitos breed. I'm not saying you've got dengue, just that lots of dengue prevention advice works for plain old annoying bitey mozzies.

Eg QLD gov site.
posted by taff at 4:02 AM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Let the dog in and out or keep it outside at night until you can install a dog door.
posted by brujita at 4:44 AM on February 16, 2013 [6 favorites]

Better than a flyswatter is the battery-operated kind that electrocutes the mosquitos.

Also, um, if you're leaving unscreened windows and doors open, you're going to have to deal with mosquitoes a lot. Although it looks like the mosquitoes are just appearing each morning, what is most likely happening is that they are flying in at various times of the day, hanging out around the walls of your house, and then becoming active during sunrise/sunset. You might want to invest in some adjustable screens for your windows and stop leaving your door open at night.

Just in case, pour some bleach down your drains (followed by lots of running water), but you should eliminate the most obvious causes before worrying about hidden ones.
posted by zug at 5:06 AM on February 16, 2013 [4 favorites]

I have no idea where they are getting in. I leave my back door open a crack for my dog at night

Unless your dog is smaller than a mosquito, this is where they're getting in.

And Jahaza is right: swat instead of spray.
posted by Specklet at 5:21 AM on February 16, 2013 [9 favorites]

Also you can put mosquito netting over your bed. This will prevent them from getting to you.
posted by DoubleLune at 7:17 AM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Mosquito netting! We had a water leak under our apartment building and had a plague of mosquitos. I would wake up in the morning and there would be a bunch just hanging out on the outside of the net, right above our heads.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:36 AM on February 16, 2013

Best answer: As for how to not get eaten alive, I have always been a magnet for the suckers in the summer and since someone clued me into lemon eucalyptus extract (you can get it at most health food stores) they totally leave me alone. I dab it in a couple places on my body (no need for dousing)--the smell is strong but not unpleasant, in my opinion. No more bites; I might go so far as to say it changed my life.
posted by lovableiago at 9:38 AM on February 16, 2013 [6 favorites]

Remove all sources of water from the rooms including half full glasses of water or plants w water in saucers etc as these are breeding grounds. Keep closed lid bottles of water by your bedside if you need it there for drinking.

Use incense or smoke of any kind in each room each day, it's one of the best repellents. Get the room corners with the sticks.

Mosquitos seem to be able to penetrate even our fly screens, shut your doors & windows well before dusk!
posted by Under the Sea at 9:51 AM on February 16, 2013

Oh, & always keep toilet lid down after use, another open water source & potential breeding ground
posted by Under the Sea at 10:01 AM on February 16, 2013

Mosquitos are active at night. Close your door.
posted by rr at 10:33 AM on February 16, 2013

The toilet is only going to be a breeding ground if you don't flush it for - oh 10 days! the time it takes an adult mosquito to develop.

Its the open door. they are getting in that way and may hide out in places in the bathroom. And I really cant believe that you use a chemical spray to get them while in bed?! That would freak me out. I"m more scared of those chemicals than the mosquitos.
posted by mary8nne at 10:41 AM on February 16, 2013 [2 favorites]

You may have a wee bit of standing water somewhere in your house. That's where they were coming from when I had a similar issue. Do you have an access panel behind your bathroom fixtures to check for dampness? Also seconding to check your drains, and remove any standing water from plant saucers.
posted by desuetude at 11:20 AM on February 16, 2013

I put a spray nozzle onto a bottle of 91% Rubbing Alcohol and use the diffuse spray setting. It knocks them out of the air and they die. You can also squish them on the floor for more satisfaction. Bonus: using the more concentrated spray setting is great for killing roaches. The alcohol dries quickly and doesn't leave a smell or residue.

And do shut that door.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 12:15 PM on February 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Keep the outside door shut, but also keep your bedroom doors shut. If you have flyscreens make sure they are not ripped anywhere.

Spray the whole bedroom with fly spray about 20 minutes before you go to bed shut the door and give it time to disperse and to kill everything before you go to bed, that should solve your problem if you keep the door shut during the night. Make sure to use a fly spry for flying pests or specifically for misquitos as you want to use as little as possible, there are some good pyrethrum based ones if you are worried about the poisons. I've survived many an Australian summer in a house with no flyscreens by doing that every night before bed and it saves the whole laying there trying to squirt them all one by one before you fall asleep.
posted by wwax at 1:49 PM on February 16, 2013

Shut all doors and windows unless they are screened, use mosquito nets, light a coil before you go to bed, and put it out once you're in bed.

You may end up with a couple inside the net, but they are trivially easy to destroy with hands compared to ones flying about the house. Alternately, if you have white celings, close up the bedroom door and go hunting with a well-aimed pillow to hurl at the ceiling before lights-out. The stans left behind are annoying, yet satisfying at the same time.
posted by smoke at 2:36 PM on February 16, 2013

Response by poster: Reply from OP

Thanks everyone! Obviously the door open is the biggest issue but I was hoping to get around it with the zapper, however that seems unlikely. So it's door shut from now on and hopefully the dog will adjust.

Lol, Specklet, I meant into the bathroom with the door closed, not the house :)

Arming myself with a fly swatter, some sandalwood mozzie repellent incense and continuing with the pyrethrum spray.

Also going to try the lemon eucalyptus!
posted by Youremyworld at 7:00 PM on February 16, 2013

I had mosquitoes breeding under the track that the shower door rested on. Some of the sealant came off, and the little buggers got under to lay their eggs then were hatching out. Look at your shower and see if this might be the case with you. New sealant helped to stop this.

To keep them from biting you at night, run a fan. Do a ceiling fan, or a rotating or box fan directed at your bed. Mosquitoes do not do well with moving air (which is why they come out at dusk and dawn when it is calm.) Also, the sound of the fan will mask the sound of the mosquitoes.

Wife of 445supermag.
posted by 445supermag at 7:47 PM on February 16, 2013

Sydneysider here. You really do have do be draconian about the windows and doors. I noticed the last time I was at IKEA that they are selling the mosquito netting and braces that hang over your bed. That could be a cheap and easy way to not have them bother you while you sleep.
posted by amusebuche at 10:49 PM on February 16, 2013

At the cottage the doors were open and closed all day with people and pets going in and out so mosquitoes were a big problem. What really helped was going around the house with all the lights on and a big vacuum with no head on, just the round opening, after we had closed the doors for the day. We found that most of the buggers just hung around on the walls around 10 pm waiting for the buffet to open. The vacuum was powerful enough to suck them up but not leave marks on the wall. This combined with a ceiling fan set to medium or high made a huge improvement.
posted by saradarlin at 1:29 AM on February 18, 2013

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