The answer to “Can I DIY (do-it-yourself) mosquito control?” is yes. Will it involve a substantial amount of time and effort? Yes. Will I be out-of-pocket buying supplies? Yes.
And after all that, will it work? Probably not. It might make a dent, but sometimes it’s best to examine the reasons why you have a mosquito problem. Prevention is the best mosquito control, but some things can’t be prevented.
Safe, Sustainable Mosquito Control Home Remedies
West Nile virus is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States. And it’s been found in every state, including Arizona. For us, the highest concentration of West Nile is in and just south of Phoenix.
There are lots of creative and toxic ways to handle a mosquito problem. But let’s avoid blowtorches and products that will kill mosquitos (and plants, pets, children, neighbors…).
We’ve shared DIY home solutions for mosquito control but here’s some new information. The effectiveness of these and other mosquito control DIYs is iffy at best:
- Citronella – Many say citronella is as effective as DEET (a brand name for N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide). In countries like Panama (especially near the canal), the mosquitoes drink DEET at cocktail hour.
Citronella is a natural ingredient and this year your backyard is possibly decorated in Early American Citronella. Candles are good, but it’s actually a great idea to plant citronella throughout your yard. There are few Phoenix-area nurseries that still carry the plant. It takes root after 2 weeks. If you have a mosquito control problem now, that’s going to be a very long two weeks.
- Citronella/lemon – The ratio is 30 drops of citronella to every 10 drops of lemon eucalyptus oil mixed into equal parts water and witch hazel. You can wear it or spray it.
- Foggers – For any backyard event, fogging is great for temporary mosquito control. Professional mosquito fogging is recommended. You can buy a small electric fogger for about $60 but you’ll likely want an easy-to-use backpack machine. They sell for between $100-$900. You’ll need a lot of equipment and specialized tools if you actually want to make your own fogger, but the ingredients are simply garlic and water.
- Garlic – You can buy a garlic “barrier” spray for about $80 online. One quart will cover approximately 10,000 square feet for 3 weeks.
- Plants – Mosquitos don’t like the chemical Geraniol and vinegar. Vinegar is a weed- and grass-killer, so be careful if you use it as an ingredient in your mosquito control menus. Mosquito-repellant plants include:
- Tea tree
- Tiki oil – There are mosquito repellant tiki torch oils, but they only work when you’re actually using them.
Budget Brothers Mosquito Control for Maricopa County, Arizona
Again, preventing a mosquito problem is the best action you can take. But this year has been especially problematic because our “monsoon season” was particularly active. We had 17 days of measurable rainfall by the end of August. Standing water has been an issue. And standing water is where mosquitos breed.
Your safety is our priority. Use toxin-free personal insect repellents carefully but use them. Dress your kids in long sleeves and long pants when possible. Walk around your yard, looking for possible standing water and mosquito breeding sites.
If you have a need for mosquito control but are budget-challenged this time of year, remember: A phone call costs nothing. Before you invest the time and money required for DIY mosquito control, call Budget Brothers Termite & Pest Elimination. Let’s discuss your options. Mosquito control may be more affordable – and certainly more effective – than home remedies.