If there’s one insect that is universally despised more than any other, it is probably the mosquito. These blood-sucking monsters, members of the insect family Culicidae, feed on human blood as part of their reproductive cycle, spreading diseases in their wake and producing itchy, painful welts.
Mosquitoes don’t just bite people by chance. Their senses are designed to seek us out by detecting our body heat, perspiration, and the carbon dioxide we breathe out.
The skill with which mosquitoes can find people means that we have to be extra vigilant when trying to repel them, especially indoors, where close quarters make it easier for mosquitoes living inside to track us down. We’re here to tell you the best ways to repel mosquitoes indoors, though most of these methods work outdoors as well.
6 Ways to Repel Mosquitoes Indoors
1) Use repellent sprays
Repellent sprays come in a variety of different formulas, so it may take some testing to find the product that works best for you. Most standard mosquito repellents contain DEET, which is the source of that classic “bug spray” smell.
While DEET is considered safe by the EPA, some people do have concerns about applying it to their skin. For people who want to avoid DEET, picaridin is an odor-free alternative. There are also a variety of plant-based ingredients that can be used to repel mosquitoes like lemon eucalyptus oil, lavender, and citronella.
2) Use traps in your home
Traps are a great way to keep mosquitoes out of your home. If you only have a mild mosquito problem, generic light traps may do the trick. However, if you want a trap that really means business, you might want to consider a Dynatrap.
These traps incorporate a special paint coating meant to attract mosquitoes and a vacuum component that sucks mosquitoes in from the air and have been demonstrated in studies to be more effective than standard traps.
The Dynatrap Mosquito Trap 1/4 Acre is a quiet but powerful portable trap that attracts and kills pesky flying insects without zapping. It traps mosquitoes, wasps, stink bugs, Asian beetles, and biting flies.
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3) Use mosquito netting
Sleeping under mosquito netting is a simple and cost-effective way to keep mosquitoes from biting you at night. It may not be necessary for smaller infestations inside a house, but this strategy is invaluable for sleeping outdoors in a tent, especially in tropical areas where mosquito-borne diseases run rampant.
You can also use mosquito net hats, nets around patio furniture, and more to effectively keep mosquitoes away.
4) Use an electric flyswatter
An electric flyswatter is a device that looks a bit like a tennis racket. As you move it through the air and target mosquitoes, it shocks them, killing them instantly.
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While they aren’t the easiest to use on regular flies, who move too fast to be easily caught, they’re ideal for mosquitoes, who fly much more slowly.
5) Use repellent-infused clothing
Clothing infused with permethrin, a common pesticide and insect repellent, is a great passive defense against mosquitoes and ticks. The effects generally last for up to 70 washes, though this might vary slightly depending on the specific product used to treat it.
While you can buy clothing that is already permethrin-treated, you can also treat clothes yourself with permethrin sprays like this one. Just keep in mind that permethrin is not like other insect repellents – it should never be used on skin, only on clothing, gear, or tents.
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- Permethrin spray bonds to fabric fibers for up to 6 weeks or through 6 washings (whichever comes first) and won't stain...
6) Use a fan
Mosquitoes are not great fliers. It doesn’t take much to derail them. Blowing a fan on you at night is not only a great way to keep cool, but it should also make it much harder for mosquitoes to get close to you and land on you to bite.
Tips for Keeping Mosquitoes from Getting Inside to Begin With
The best way to not get bitten by mosquitoes in your home is not to keep them out of the house to begin with.
Your first line of defense is not leaving any windows or doors open and checking all your screens for holes. Having proper sealant and caulking around windows and doors and weatherstripping any remaining gaps is also important, as it doesn’t take much space for insects like mosquitoes to work their way in.
Mosquitoes can also breed indoors (though rare), which can cause a worse infestation than flying in through windows and doors. Mosquitoes cannot breed without a source of standing water, so make sure to promptly seek out and treat all plumbing leaks and keep standing water out of house plants.
For outside your home, consider using mosquito dunks in any ponds or birdbaths. These are a dissolvable formulation of Bti, a pesticide that kills mosquito larvae but is harmless to other organisms in the water.
Finally, treating your vegetation with either a mosquito fogger or a mosquito misting system can keep mosquitoes away from your property and less likely to enter your home. Which of these systems is best for you can depend on your property and needs, so be sure to read the posts we’ve linked to for all the information you need to make the right choice.
Mosquito Repellant FAQ
Can I use an ultrasonic mosquito repeller?
No. Ultrasonic mosquito repellers are a scam that don’t work. The theory is that they produce waves at a frequency that disrupts mosquitoes, but there is no evidence that these devices do anything. There are many studies showing they don’t work at all, or even attract more mosquitoes.
Can I use a Thermacell indoors?
A Thermacell should not be used indoors. Thermacells use a combination of heat and chemical insect repellents to generate a safety zone around the device of around 15 feet. And while they work very well outdoors, the EPA does not consider them safe to use indoors, so we do not recommend using this strategy in your house.