Spring is just around the corner, which means it's almost time for outside playtime, picnics, backyard BBQs and, yes, pesky mosquitoes. It's a no-brainer to keep a bottle of mosquito repellent around for these activities, but which repellents work best?

how to choose mosquito repellent

It's a no-brainer to keep a bottle of mosquito repellent around for these activities, but which repellents work best? And what other steps can you take to help control mosquitoes?

What Kind of Mosquito Repellent Should You Use?

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), products containing the following active ingredients typically provide reasonably long-lasting protection:

  • DEET
  • Picaridin
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD
  • IR3535

How Does Mosquito Repellent Work?

Though DEET is often referred to as a repellent, it really is used to confuse the mosquitoes. DEET is an active ingredient used in many mosquito repellents. To fight off mosquitoes and ticks, an estimated one-third of people in the United States use DEET products in some variety, whether it's liquid, lotion, spray or some other form. DEET is designed to be applied directly on a person's skin. It works by making it difficult for biting bugs, like mosquitoes, to detect a person.

Ways to Help Prevent Mosquito Bites

You shouldn't solely rely on repellent to help fight off mosquitoes in and around your home. Mosquitoes can multiply quickly, so it's important to take the necessary steps to help control them. But as with most pests, control begins with prevention. Here are some steps you can take to help prevent mosquitoes on your property and in your home:

Remove water sources

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing fresh water, so any stagnant water sources — even those as small as a bottle cap — are potential breeding grounds. That can include clogged gutters, old tires, garbage cans, tarps, dripping outdoor faucets and more. You'll want to take any steps you can to help reduce mosquito habitat on your property.

Change out water sources routinely

There may be some purposeful water sources around your home that you don't want to eliminate, like pet bowls, birdbaths and fountains. You can routinely change out these water sources so that mosquito larvae have a difficult time developing.

Replace Outdoor Lighting

Like many other insects, mosquitoes are attracted to some frequencies of light. You can replace your outdoor lighting with yellow "bug lights" that insects tend to find unattractive. This can help your home attract fewer mosquitoes

Seal and Screen Entry Points

Mosquitoes can find their way into your home through tiny openings. Check to make sure your doors and windows are properly sealed and also have your doors and porches properly screened to help keep pests out of your home.

How to Help Control Mosquitoes

DIY mosquito control and prevention can be a tall order. Fortunately, pest control professionals are trained to locate mosquito hiding spots and know the effective ways to help control their populations. Terminix Mosquito Control uses a dual-action approach to help keep the pests away. To get started, contact Terminix today.

Learn more on how you can prepare for mosquito season.