9 ways to get rid your home of mosquitoes

These little bloodsuckers are annoying. They cause discomfort, harass you when you try to sleep, and can get you really sick. There are many ways to avoid getting mosquito bites at home, like wearing long-sleeved tops and long pants, sleeping under a mosquito net and spraying insect repellent. However, these solutions are not solving the real problem: Mosquitoes invading your home.

Don't let the mosquitoes feel comfortable at home. Picture: iProperty

Don’t let the mosquitoes feel comfortable at home. Picture: iProperty

Well, lucky for you, we know exactly how to chase them away!

#1 Coffee Grounds

Don’t trash your coffee grounds after brewing your morning coffee. Instead, dry it out and use them as a mosquito repellent. Place the dry coffee grounds on an aluminium or heatproof container and burn the grounds like you burn incense. The smoke will repel mosquitoes from your home. For extra power, add bay leaves to the coffee grounds.

#2 Essential oils

essential oils on the scientific sheet with medicinal herbs

Bottles of essential oils. Picture: Getty

There are a few types of essential oils that are effective in fighting mosquitoes:

  • Lavender Oil – The oil is distilled from the plant Lavandula angustifolia. Other than repelling mosquitoes, it also promotes relaxation and is believed to relax the mind, treat fungal infections, alleviate allergies, and help with insomnia.
  • Peppermint / Peppermint Essential Oil: You can either place real mint plants around your house, or use Peppermint essential oil. Peppermint is usually used with Oregano essential oil to give a more refreshing, woody fragrance.
  • Catnip Essential Oil: Catnip plants belong to the mint family. The oil is extracted from Nepeta Cataria and is considered to be a very effective way to stave off mosquitoes, roaches, and other pests.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Other than using it as an insect repellent, it is also an excellent antiseptic with anti-inflammatory properties, making it a great choice for treating bug bites.

All the above can be used in the following ways:

  • Spray: Add 25 to 40 drops of essential oil into a spray bottle and fill ¾ of the bottle with distilled water. Then top up the rest of the bottle with Witch Hazel and mix them up. You can mix different essential oils for a variety of aromas.
  • Diffuser: You can add a few drops of one or more essential oil to your room diffuser and the vapour will keep the mosquito at bay.

#3 DIY Mosquito Trap

If you don’t want to use oils, you can make your own mosquito trap! First, cut a plastic bottle into half. Dissolve 2 ounces of sugar with about 7 ounces of normal tap water and sprinkle some yeast into the bottle. The yeast will produce carbon dioxide upon mixing with the sugar mixture. Wrap the sides of the bottle in black paper or cloth and then slide the top of the bottle upside down inside the bottom part.

As mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide, they will fly through the funnel into the trap and drown in the water.

You can also use dry ice as bait because it produces Carbon Dioxide as it “melts”. Just be careful when handling dry ice as it can burn your hand.

#4 Garlic Spray

Yes, garlic works against bloodsuckers other than vampires. Mince a few cloves of garlic and soak them with sunflower or canola oil. Remove the garlic chuck after soaking for at least 24 hours. Finally, mix the oil with 2 cups water and 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and transfer to a spray bottle.

Use the garlic water around your house, over your plants and stagnant water. Garlic has natural sulphur which repels mosquitoes. When sprayed over stagnant water, the garlic spray is said to form a barrier which suffocates mosquito larvae.

#5 Window screens

Can’t afford to switch on air conditioner 24/7 but need to keep the windows open under Singapore’s sweltering weather? Install window screens that prevent mosquito and other unwanted pests from entering your home. These screens can be found at hardware stores and are easy to install. There are even magnetic window screens that save you the trouble of drilling holes and climbing up and down.

#6 Basil Plant

Place a basil plant on your dining table. Picture: Getty

Place a basil plant on your dining table. Picture: Getty

Basil plants are helpful in keeping mosquitoes away. Simply place a basil plant near your window and the smell of basil will prevent mosquitoes from entering your house. Other than getting rid of mosquitoes, you can use the fresh basil in your dishes too, though you have to be mindful to leave some of the plant intact to serve its mosquito repelling purpose.

#7 Electronic Pest Repellent with chemicals

These devices are fixed with a chemical repellent that is released upon heating or circulation by the device’s fan, depending on the model. They are said to be effective, as the chemicals deter mosquitoes from coming around. One popular model is the Thermacell Patio Shield Mosquito Repeller, which promises to keep mosquitoes at bay for 12 hours before needing a refill.

However, chemical repellents might not be ideal for young infants or people who have breathing problems, so be careful when you use them.

#8 Bug Zapping Lamp

Bug zapping lamps attract insects using ultraviolet light, emitted by a light fixture that is then surrounded by a low-voltage current mesh cage. Insects that are drawn to the UV light get electrocuted when they attempt to pass through the electrified mesh. There are claims that these lamps are effective against mosquitoes. The lamp would be most effective when placed in rooms with fewer people, as mosquitoes will be distracted by people’s body heat and the carbon dioxide they exhale, and will therefore not go towards the lamp.

#9 Remove stagnant water

While you can’t control the exterior environment, you can make sure that there is no stagnant water in your home, balcony and outside corridor. Water pools as small as a 20 cent coin can breed mosquito larvae, so be sure to remove or cover any stagnant water, and remove any debris or trash that might clog your drains.

That’s our list of mosquito fighting tips. If you have more tips and tricks to get rid of these pesky insects, feel free to let us know!