Repelling Mosquitoes: What Works and What Doesn’t

Finding the perfect insect repellant becomes almost an obsession in the heat and humidity of summertime when mosquitoes are at their most active stage. Unfortunately, there are lots of products out there that promise to do the trick but are actually little more than gimmicks. Here are a few to avoid:

  • Citronella candles: While they might smell nice, citronella candles do virtually nothing to repel mosquitoes. In fact, a recent study proved they’re no different than using no protection at all! And while the torches might give off what feels like more powerful smoke, they only repel within a few feet. Once a breeze kicks up, you’ve lost any benefit.

  • Mosquito-repellent plants: Plants like Citrosa Geranium, Marigolds, and even garlic have been touted as warding off mosquitoes. Unfortunately, there’s zero evidence they do anything of the sort. In fact, one recent study showed that test subjects who put their arms into crates next to supposedly repellant plants were just as likely to get bitten.  

  • Bug zappers: These got hugely popular back in the 70s and have stayed popular; and while they do manage to kill some mosquitoes, they mostly attract hundreds of non-biting insects instead. Mosquitoes are attracted to smell, not light, so the way these zappers work is pretty pointless as far as this breed of insect.

  • Mosquito coils: These are a lot less costly than bug zappers, and do manage to throw off enough smoke to confuse mosquitoes’ sense of smell. But they lose their effectiveness when it’s breezy, and they actually pose a potential health hazard. One mosquito coil is thought to produce as much particulate matter as about 100 lit cigarettes!

As for what DOES work? We always tell our customers to clear areas of standing water, cover up, and use DEET-based spray repellent. But honestly, nothing beats a professional barrier treatment for any meaningful protection against mosquitoes. Our team is available anytime to answer your questions or come to your home to provide a free estimate. Call us today at 877.628.7837!