Mosquitos suck
July 23, 2007 12:03 PM   Subscribe

Mysterious mosquito attacks within a small living space...

We seem to get bitten once every other night, and can kill a mosquito or two once a night. Itching and scratching are getting tedious.

The thing is, we have a really small apartment where it seems impossible to have open, stagnant sources of water. We do, however, have vents in the bathroom, living room and bedroom where we have seen mosquitoes.

• Is it possible for central air vents (running cool air) to contain pockets of water (condensation) to allow mosquitoes to breed?

• How can I phrase my help request with the landlord, in such a way that the problem can be fixed? Taking apart the vents is probably not workable, I assume.

• Failing that, is there a way to kill these pests without chemically treating the apartment?
posted by Blazecock Pileon to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I got myself this small battery operated device that you live on during the night. It drives away mosquitoes for some reason. Very effective, I must add.
posted by markesh at 12:08 PM on July 23, 2007

Markesh, what is it? I've got the same problem as above (without exposed vents, no less!) and would really appreciate an easy solution to constant itchy bites.
posted by undercoverhuwaaah at 12:11 PM on July 23, 2007

Best answer: Mosquitos are attracted to CO2. You can create a trap by wrapping a plastic bottle in black paper, culturing some live bread yeast in warm water inside, and inverting a paper cone into the bottle neck.

The bread yeast will produce a small amount of CO2 as they respire. Mosquitos will fly down into the cone and drown in the water.
posted by breaks the guidelines? at 12:52 PM on July 23, 2007 [11 favorites]

(search for “DIY mosquito trap” for various instructions)
posted by breaks the guidelines? at 12:53 PM on July 23, 2007

A friend who rented an old house in San Antonio had a similar problem. He was going crazy trying to find how the mosqutos were getting into the house. Then one day, in the shower, he looked down and realized he could see gravel through the shower drain opening. Sure enough, the shower drain was open to the underside of the house, not to the pipe.
posted by R. Mutt at 2:02 PM on July 23, 2007

Best answer: Another simple solution: a few feet of mosquito netting (fine metal mesh) and duck tape to cover the vents. If it solves the problem, then you know where they come from.
posted by bluefrog at 2:21 PM on July 23, 2007

are you sure it's mosquitoes? it might be fleas, bedbugs or something else. if it is mosquitoes, check to see how big they are--mosquitoes actually feed off of plant juices, and if they're really tiny, then they aren't getting enough plant food. tiny mosquitoes = bred in apartment. big mosquitoes = bred outside.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 7:01 PM on July 23, 2007

I've never had great success with the DIY mosquito traps, but this:

seems to get good reviews. I haven't tried it yet myself.
posted by srt19170 at 7:18 AM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]

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