Summer is upon us and certain sounds can spark feelings of nostalgia. Birds chirping, cicadas singing, bees buzzing, steaks sizzling on the grill… predacious mosquitoes screaming in your ear followed by furious slapping and copious amounts of cursing. 

These annoying blood suckers can really put a damper on your backyard barbecue. With mosquitoes, sometimes the best offense is a good defense. With a little bit of planning and being proactive you can take back your yard and enjoy the outdoors.

How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes From Your Backyard

The first step in backyard mosquito control is identifying and eliminating breeding sites. Adult female mosquitoes lay their eggs in or near a water source. 

The larvae hatch from the eggs and develop underwater. These are the little squiggly things you see dancing around the water in your bird bath. They pupate and then the adult mosquitoes emerge and fly away. 

Males feed on pollen and nectar while the females seek out a blood meal to be able to produce her eggs. They can go from egg to adult in about one to two weeks and only need a small amount of water to do this. 

To stop this process before it starts, follow these simple mosquito control steps as suggested by Kevin Hawthorne (Technical Director for Terminix Service Inc.):

  • Disposing of old tires, buckets, drums, bottles or any water holding containers.
  • Cleaning debris from rain gutters, ditches, culverts and outdoor drains so water can flow properly.
  • Ensuring swimming pools and ornamental ponds are properly maintained and that water in birdbaths, plant pots or drip trays is emptied and replaced after every rainfall.
  • Checking around outdoor faucets, air conditioner units and repair leaks or puddles.
  • Filling in tree holes and hollow stumps that hold water with sand or concrete.
  • Keeping grass cut and shrubs well trimmed where adult mosquitoes may rest.
  • Sealing out mosquitoes by ensuring windows and door screens are in good condition.
  • Wearing light colored clothing, long sleeve shirts and long pants when possible.
  • Using personal insect repellents that contain DEET.

“Mosquitoes are inevitable during warmer months and we encourage everyone to be proactive in protecting themselves from mosquito-borne illness by reducing the mosquito population in their yard,” shares Kevin Hathorne, technical director of Terminix Service, Inc.

Mosquitoes don’t breed well in moving water so if you have a fish pond, you can install a fountain or some kind of agitator to keep the water moving. You can also buy certain types of fish that feed on mosquito larvae. 

Clogged gutters are also notorious for breeding mosquitoes. Regularly clean your gutters or consider installing gutter guards as part of a gutter protection system.

“In addition to minimizing standing water around your home, it’s important to get your yard professionally treated throughout the spring and summer.”

What Are Mosquitos and How Harmful Are They to Your Home and Pets?

Most of us are familiar with mosquitoes, but let’s dive a little deeper to really understand how they operate and how you can protect your home with preventative tips and mosquito spraying.

Mosquitoes are small, flying insects that belong to the family Culicidae. And did you know that there are over 3,000 known species of mosquitoes found all over the world? 

As most of us know, mosquitoes are known for their subtle bites that leave a lasting itch, which they use to feed on the blood of animals, including humans.

Mosquitoes can be harmful to your home, yard, and pets for several reasons. First and foremost, they’re known carriers of many diseases. Innately, that’s something you want to avoid as a pet owner with a little guy who wants to run around and even yourself.

In addition to the potential for disease transmission, mosquitoes can also be a nuisance in your home and yard. Their bites are itchy and can cause irritation and discomfort for both you and your pets.

Mosquitoes can also lay their eggs in standing water, which can be found in pools, bird baths, and even puddles in your yard. The larvae that hatch from these eggs can then develop into adult mosquitoes, which can exacerbate the problem.

Mosquitoes can be a significant issue for both humans and pets, so it’s essential to take steps to control their population and protect yourself and your loved ones from the potential harm they can cause.

DIY Mosquito Treatments

Now that the nearby breeding sites have been eliminated, you have to worry about the adults that will fly in from other areas. There are lots of different types of mosquito control or repellent devices out there, how do you know which ones actually work?

Well, let’s look at some of the most popular devices available.

Ultrasonic Mosquito Repellent Devices

There are many mosquito repellent devices on the market that claim to work by emitting ultrasonic sounds. Do not waste your money on these because they do not work. These are some of the biggest scams around and there should be a law against them.

Bug Zappers

These devices use an ultraviolet light to lure insects to an electrified wire grid that cooks them. Other than providing some entertainment, they are not useful. They attract insects from other areas and they don’t reduce mosquito populations that much. They also kill many beneficial insects. 

If someone gives you a bug zapper as a gift, give it to your neighbor so that it will attract the mosquitoes in your yard over to theirs.

CO2-emitting Machines

These machines use propane to create CO2, which attracts mosquitoes. When they fly close to the machine, it sucks them in with a fan and kills them. They do catch many mosquitoes but they can be expensive. They also need to be placed away from any areas you occupy.

Mosquito Mist Systems

These are a series of misting nozzles connected by tubing and installed along the eaves, fences, and other areas. These systems require a large amount of pesticide to be stored on site. 

They are connected to a timer that is programmed to go off periodically, usually morning and evening. These systems are expensive and are currently scrutinized by the EPA because they tend to affect beneficial insects that may be near the nozzles when they go off.

Tiki torches are one of the most popular mosquito repellents for backyard get-togethers. If you’ve been in the Southeast for any amount of time, you’ve probably encountered this seemingly ubiquitous backyard mosquito control solution.

Popular for the ambiance they provide and a staple of the ‘summer party’ aesthetic, citronella candles are a common sight during the warmer months in the Carolinas and Georgia. 

But how effective are tiki torches, really? What sort of pests do they help deter? Find these and the answers to the most frequently asked tiki torch questions below.

Mosquito FAQs

Do Citronella Torches Work?

Citronella candles and smoke do repel mosquitoes. However, their effective range is limited to only in the immediate vicinity. Unless you are standing directly above or in front of the flame, they vary in their effectiveness.

Do Tiki Torches Keep Mosquitoes Away?

Tiki torches keep mosquitoes away only somewhat effectively. To work, the torches must be lit, and even then the most reliable protection is limited to the area immediately around the flame and smoke.

Do Tiki Torches Keep Flies Away?

Yes, the fumes and smoke from the citronella tiki torches repels flies just as well as it does mosquitos. Similarly, the effect is limited to a relatively small area around the citronella candle itself.

How Do Tiki Torches Work?

Tiki torches are one of the most popular mosquito repellents for backyard get-togethers. If you’ve been in the Southeast for any amount of time, you’ve probably encountered this seemingly ubiquitous backyard mosquito control solution.

Popular for the ambiance they provide and a staple of the ‘summer party’ aesthetic, citronella candles are a common sight during the warmer months in the Carolinas and Georgia. 

But how effective are tiki torches, really? What sort of pests do they help deter? 

Tiki torches contain citronella oil, which is released while burning. The pungent smoke the oil gives off overwhelms a mosquito’s senses, making it unable to find people (and their blood) to feed on.

Other measures to keep mosquitoes out of your backyard this year

You can also help keep mosquitoes from nibbling on you while outdoors by using personal and tabletop fans. Even on low settings, using fans can help keep your tables and personal space pest-free, because mosquitoes are not good fliers in windy conditions. 

You can also encourage mosquito-eating animals to live nearby. Both dragonflies and bats, for instance, eat tons of mosquitoes. Hang bat roosting boxes around your yard (away from the house, of course!) to entice bats to stick around. Spiders, frogs, and lizards also like to eat mosquitoes, but most people try not to keep these critters around.

When you’re ready to reclaim your yard for good, trust Terminix to help. Our approach to mosquito control and prevention combines both treating adult mosquito resting sites and the larval breeding areas. Plus, it’s backed by the strongest guarantee in the industry.

During the heat of the day, the adult mosquitoes rest in low-lying shady areas such as under the leaves in bushes and under decks. These areas are treated once a month for mosquitoes, spraying from a backpack power mist blower.

Mosquito breeding sites that cannot be eliminated are treated with an insect growth regulator that will not affect other animals. This seems to be an effective program based on the positive feedback from our customers.

Hopefully you can enjoy the outdoors this summer by using this information to keep those nasty skeeters away. Now you just have to worry about the heat—and when to flip the burgers.


Believe it or not, the plants you have in your yard can play a big role in helping keep mosquitoes out of your hair. The scents given off by certain plants are naturally repulsive to mosquitoes, providing a limited buffer against the warm-weather pests.

 Keep in mind, these plants are just one more tool in the fight against skeeters. Their potency decreases dramatically as you move further away from them, so you’ll still need to stay proactive during mosquito season.

All over the world, there are numerous plant species that are natural mosquito repellents—and plenty of them grow and propagate well here in the Southeast. Keep reading to find out more about the best plants for keeping mosquitoes out of your South Carolina, North Carolina, or Georgia home and yard.

Southeastern Plants that Keep Mosquitoes Away

You’re probably already familiar with the effects of citronella plants—or at least the candles and torches made with their oil that, when burned, clouds the mosquitoes’ senses. But citronella isn’t the only plant that can boast anti-mosquito properties.

If you’ve got a green thumb and the inclination, check out these flowering plants that flourish in the Southeast that act as additional buffers to mosquito activity, as well as add some vibrant color and texture to your garden:

  • Citronella Grass 
  • Marigold
  • Lavender
  • Catnip
  • Scented Geranium (especially orange- and lemon-scented varietals)

There are also several herbs and plants used in cooking that are thought to be effective in combating mosquitoes. And with these, you get the added benefit of having fresh ingredients on hand for cooking:

  • Garlic
  • Lemon Balm
  • Lemongrass 
  • Peppermint
  • Pennyroyal
  • Rosemary
  • Basil

When used in conjunction with the other tips mentioned in this blog, these plants can help you enjoy more of the great outdoors without looking over your shoulder for mosquitoes.

Call Terminix Today to Help Get Rid of Mosquitoes in Your Backyard

Don’t let pesky mosquitoes ruin your outdoor experience any longer. Take action now and call Terminix today to reclaim your backyard from these buzzing pests. Say goodbye to itchy bites and hello to a backyard oasis!

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