It’s that time of year again when outdoor activities end in a frenzied search for the best mosquito killer.
Over the years, mosquitoes have morphed from minor nuisances into major health concerns. Diseases like West Nile Virus, Zika and encephalitis plague countries around the world, but now even the United States is seeing a rise in mosquito-borne illnesses.
To keep you and your family safe this summer, we’ve pulled together a list of the best mosquito killers. Every family, yard and circumstance is different, so take those aspects into consideration when choosing the best mosquito control option for you.
Best Mosquito Killer Options in 2017
1. Yard Treatments
A yard treatment is meant to fog an entire area to keep mosquitoes out of a particular section of yard or garden. These treatments are great for families planning backyard parties, families that spend a lot of time outdoors or families who are going camping and wish to set up a mosquito-free area.
Another yard option is a spray that’s applied to shrubbery, trees and fences around the yard’s perimeter, forming a barrier against mosquitoes. This treatment, usually made with mosquito-repelling oils, can also be applied in granular form. Many pest professionals believe this option to be the best mosquito killer for yards as it is effective without having to be applied directly where your children and pets play.
2. Water Treatments
Yards with standing water (like ponds) may benefit from Bacillus thuringiensis doughnuts or granular treatments. These mosquito repellents can be placed directly in water and last up to 30 days. If you have bird baths or a fish-stocked pond, this option may be a good fit as it’s considered safe for fish and birds.
3. Mosquito Traps
Traps actually do the opposite of yard treatments. Rather than repel the mosquitoes, traps lure them into a device where they are killed. A variety of traps exist, offering a decent option for every budget.
Some mosquito traps use a sticky substance to physically trap the mosquito while others suck in mosquitoes using a small fan that moves them into a net where they’re destroyed.
More expensive units, called mosquito magnets, use propane burners to create carbon dioxide. Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide, believing it’s been produced by a mammal. Of course, once lured inside, they are destroyed within the device.
Carbon dioxide burning traps are especially appropriate for those wishing to preserve other insects as this type of mosquito trap attracts only blood-sucking bugs.
However, some homeowners and scientists believe that they actually attract more mosquitoes into an area than were there originally. You’ll certainly want to take that into consideration if you decide to control your mosquito population with traps.
4. Mosquito-Repelling Candles
Nearly everyone has heard of citronella candles that produce a mosquito-repelling odor. Many naturalists insist that the best homemade mosquito killer is a candle made with essential oils like lemongrass or spearmint, which are known to repel mosquitoes.
Others buy from popular brands or choose patio torches that burn citronella oil. These must be carefully chosen based on how much smoke they produce and how effective they actually are.
5. Chemical Spray Repellents
Many individuals believe that the best mosquito killer is a spray repellent that’s applied to the skin and clothing. They certainly keep mosquitoes from biting you, but they often do so with a chemical known as DEET. This chemical is believed to be the most effective substance for confusing mosquitoes and deterring them from landing.
Another chemical commonly found in insect repellents is picaridin. Both substances have sparked great debate over their safety and related health risks for humans.
6. Natural Spray Repellents
People who wish to harness the insect-fighting power of sprays while avoiding their associated toxins may find a happy medium in natural mosquito repellents. These often use essential oils, such as lemongrass, to repel mosquitoes through scent. Other effective oils include eucalyptus oil, lavender oil, thyme and tea tree oil.
7. Mosquito Wristbands
There are many mosquito-repelling wristbands on the market today. They’re often designed without DEET and are said to be safe for children over the age of 6 months. However, protection against mosquito bites is not as complete with these bands as it is with other repellents, such as sprays that cover all exposed skin.
If you want an all-natural way of getting mosquitoes out of the garden without the use of spray or traps, try planting certain bushes and flowers that are natural repellents. Many of these options grow easily in most areas of the United States, making this a viable option for nearly any community.
Common plant types include citronella, marigolds and catnip. While not effective in complete eradication, they certainly help reduce the overall number of mosquitoes and other pests.
Due to rising mosquito concerns, several companies have created clothing that’s supposed to repel mosquitoes without no need for additional topical sprays. This type of clothing is treated with permethrin, which is produced by chrysanthemums and kills mosquitoes once they land on the clothing. However, in some studies, these shirts, hats and pants weren’t nearly as effective as DEET-containing products. While they protected against some bites, they were not foolproof.
There are certainly more than 9 ways to repel this flying nuisance, but this quick list reviews your top options for the best mosquito killer. Take a look at the pros and cons of each, and choose the best option for your unique needs.