Bugs Begone: 6 Mosquito Control Devices That Work

Kenneth Wilson

Isn’t it annoying when you’re relaxing by the pool or outdoor area and pesky insects are hovering over you?

We’re lucky to have good weather all year long, but it comes with a price - mosquitoes. Our Sunshine State has a warm and moist climate, which mosquitoes love. They thrive in this type of environment, especially in the spring and summer because of the heat and frequent rainfall. 

Since we cannot pinpoint when mosquito season starts or ends, we need to be ready for them all the time. Here are 6 devices you can use to prevent mosquitoes from taking over your home. 

Plug-In Mosquito Repellents

A plug-in mosquito repellent is a device that expels vaporized chemicals from a liquid container or pad into the air after being exposed to heat. It usually contains prallethrin, which is a pyrethroid insecticide used to kill or paralyze mosquitoes. The chemicals used can also be DEET, permethrin, allethrin, or natural oils like citronella.

This device slowly releases the chemical and can be powered by electricity or batteries. The insecticide can also be in tablet form.


  • Low-toxicity effect
  • Can be used within a living space
  • Doesn’t need to be applied on the skin
  • Portable and easy to use
  • Safe to use around children, pregnant women, and pets*

*When used within the recommended standards and depending on the chemical


  • May not be safe for people with asthma or other health conditions
  • Need to refill tablets or liquid and replace batteries for certain units
  • Some units will need a nearby electric source to operate

Mosquito Repellent Coils

A mosquito repellent coil prevents or kills mosquitoes by producing incense smoke as it slowly burns. It is a spiral coil made out of dried pyrethrum powder, which is a chemical that repels mosquitoes. It can also be coated with essential oil extracts such as citronella. These coils often come with a holder that suspends it horizontally in the air.


  • Doesn’t need to be applied on the skin
  • Can be used outdoors
  • Some products can protect a wide area
  • Portable and easy to use
  • Variety of products available


  • Produces smoke
  • Some products emit a strong and unpleasant smell
  • Constantly need to relight a new coil
  • Not recommended for indoor use* 

*Unless in a well-ventilated room

Mosquito Foggers

A mosquito fogger expels a fine mist or fog of insecticide solution that will repel and kill mosquitoes. These almost invisible tiny droplets stick to mosquitoes and won’t let even the tiniest one escape. The droplets will remain in the air until it evaporates or kills a mosquito. 


  • Reduces or thins mosquito population
  • Can prevent mosquitoes up to 12 hours
  • Covers a wide area
  • Does not cause harmful health effects
  • Often odorless
  • Chemicals are cleared by the United States Environmental Protection Agency


  • Will only work against adult mosquitoes
  • Cannot kill mosquitoes in hiding
  • Expensive

Mosquito Traps

Mosquito traps are devices that lure mosquitoes with heat, solution, moisture, chemical odors, carbon dioxide, gases, or ultraviolet light and then kill them by dehydration, zapping, or with poison. Instead of repelling mosquitoes, they attract and lure them into a trap.

These traps are placed between the source or home of the mosquitoes and the area where people are. It catches these pests before they reach the area where the people gather. When the mosquitoes get close to the traps, fans will force them into a bag, catch basin, or sticky board. 


  • Runs continuously
  • Can kill thousands of mosquitoes when placed properly
  • Easy to use
  • Odor-free


  • Need to experiment to find which stimuli attract the local mosquitoes
  • Cannot repel mosquitoes
  • You need to locate the right placement for the trap

Bug Sprays

One of the most common methods of keeping mosquitoes away from you is a bug spray. Mosquitoes are attracted to our skin's smell and carbon dioxide, which is why they bother us. How do we make our smell less attractive? We cover it with an odor that mosquitoes do not like and this smell can be found in bug sprays. 

Even if they are still attracted to carbon dioxide, they would rather stay away because they find the smell worse. Don’t worry, if there are some who manage to look past the smell, they would fly away once they taste your repellent-covered skin. 


  • Easy to use and apply
  • Inexpensive and accessible
  • Variety of products available
  • Has safe chemical alternatives


  • Apply 30 to 45 minutes before going out and then constantly reapply after
  • May stain clothing
  • Some may have an allergic reaction
  • Health risks from certain chemicals

Fix Your Surroundings

Although it’s not a device, one of the best ways to control mosquitoes is to prevent it from breeding. You can do this by making sure your surrounding area is a place where mosquitoes won’t thrive.

Here are some ways you can discourage mosquito population from growing:


Avoid leaving containers filled with standing or stagnant water inside and outside your home. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water and it needs to be still for these to hatch and mature. 


Remove the water collecting in your gutters, tires, birdbaths, outdoor pet dishes, water buckets, wheelbarrows, kiddie pools, and swimming pool covers. If you need water in any of these, always replace it with fresh water. While you’re at it, check the surface of pots and saucers for mosquito larvae. Even if it’s a small amount of water, mosquitoes can still lay their eggs in it.


If you have water features in your home, such as a decorative waterfall or pond, you can use Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis) or other environmentally-friendly botanical products as larvicides. If you can get your hands on Gambusia or mosquito fish, they will also get rid of mosquito larvae.


Get rid of decaying leaves because mosquitoes may hide in these cool and dark patches. They would also gather in bushes, weeds, tall grass, or overgrown trees. Keep your lawn clean to prevent mosquitoes from becoming your new housemates.

You don’t need to empty your lawn, you can plant some mosquito-repelling plants, flowers, and herbs such as lavender, peppermint, chrysanthemums, marigolds, citronella grass, feverfew, pennyroyal, and lemon eucalyptus. 

Kenneth Wilson
November 22, 2019

Kenneth Wilson

Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done. I also operate remodeling design service for homeowners.

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