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“Is anyone else already experiencing unbearable mosquitos?”

by Prince Of Petworth June 7, 2016 at 2:05 pm 50 Comments

mosquito bag

“Dear PoPville,

We are getting hit hard by mosquitos already. They seem to be concentrated around our front door, however, there are no visible pools of water or any other insect-attractors. Any thoughts from PoPville community on how to deal? Is anyone else experiencing unbearable mosquitos? It’s too early to have mosquitos inside and outside of the house!”

  • transplanted

    It rained for approximately four hundred days straight, so you don’t exactly need to have puddles of water on your porch acting as a breeding ground. They’ve got plenty of breeding grounds right now. We’re all getting hit with unbearable mosquitoes.

  • neighbor

    It’s that time of year. There doesn’t need to be a pool, just moisture. I’d recommend treating any outdoor area you frequent.
    Get ready for the year of the congressionally created zika outbreak.

  • jaanku

    Mosquitoes dont need a lot of water to breed. A bottle cap worth of standing water is enough for them to reproduce.

  • textdoc

    On the troubleshooting front:
    Do you have a roofed front porch? Does the porch roof have gutters? Have they been cleaned? How about the regular roof gutters?
    Do you have any potted plants with saucers near the door?
    Is there an area near the door where a corrugated metal drainpipe goes into a circular cement drain-hole thing? (I don’t know how best to describe it.)

    • “I was walking by and noticed that your gutter is clogged, but if you give me $100, I can come back with my ladder and fix it.”

    • OP

      No potted plants in the front but we may have roof gutters worth investigating. It’s very strange because we don’t seem to be getting the mosquitos as bad in the backyard or near the back door, even though we have a tiny, very grassy backyard. They just swarm around the front gate and door.

      I don’t know if we have one of those drainpipe hole things but I will check.

      • Glen

        Do you have a front porch with a dark, moist area underneath it?

    • Herewegoagain

      Plus1000. Gutters, people! And super cans. And English ivy (yes, check health department and extension service’ websites.). But really, gutters.

    • anon

      Don’t forget to empty out birdbaths or keep ponds clean and running.

      • Anon

        Good tips. These urban backyard ponds sure are a hassle.

        • anon

          Agree! I bought a house with a non-working pond (non-working for the last 12 years!). Luckily, it didn’t take much to get it up and running again. The neighbors told my husband that they would pour DEET in there every year to keep mosquitoes away. We drained it, thoroughly cleaned it and have the water continuously running. Added fish too and now looking into fish that eat mosquitoes to see if that will help.

          • Anon

            LOL I was joking. You actually have a pond?

          • Anon

            Also how can a pond be non-working?

          • textdoc

            You wouldn’t believe how lazy some ponds can be.

          • anon

            Oops, didn’t get the joke…. Yes, we actually have two ponds, a small one that flows underground and into a larger one. By not working, I meant the pumps were broken and it was a filthy stagnant water mosquito disaster.

          • Anon

            Maybe I’m thinking of a different thing than you are. My best friend growing up had a pond, that you could canoe on in the summer and ice skate on in the winter, with a gaggle of geese and ducks that lived there. I don’t think there were any pumps involved and it’s the sort of thing that requires at least a few acres of land.

    • K

      I’d add those corrugated plastic downspout extension things that direct the gutter water away from your house

      The first summer after we bought our house I could not figure out why we were swamped in mosquitos. After a lot of searching for standing water (gutters, container garden, window wells, etc) we finally moved one of the gutter extender things and out poured a lot of stank rain water and a bunch of mosquitos.

      • anon

        You could also try rainbarrels on the gutters. DC has a great program. I think they run around $50 each through the program and installation is provided. As long as the barrels are installed and used properly, I don’t think it attracts mosquitoes and it eliminates the puddles of standing water.

  • Smittty

    It’s bad in my very tiny backyard. Any suggestions for treatment? We don’t have a yard, it’s and enclosed space with a wooden patio. I suspect they may be coming from under the patio.

    • NWDC

      Try a strong oscillating fan. That can help.

      • anon

        Agree with the fan(s). For a covered deck, install outdoor ceiling fans and get a small or medium floor fan. If you already have lighting there, it should be an easy and inexpensive switch.

    • Truxton Thomas

      Seems likely. I’ve found them to be really bad under mulch, which covers our neighbor’s yard. I unload a fogger every few weeks in the summer, so you might try that under the patio.

      • textdoc

        “I’ve found them to be really bad under mulch, which covers our neighbor’s yard.” Ohhh! I wonder if that’s why they’re so bad in my yard. (They don’t yet seem to be out in full force, but previous summers have been mosquito-plagued.)

        • Truxton Thomas

          Absolutely—it’s my #1 mosquito issue. I realized this at our old apartment: anytime I’d go into the garden or tree box for the briefest moment, I’d be covered. I realized I was just stirring them up out of the mulch—they weren’t coming from the drains. That remains the case in our current setting, which is a funky duplex setup with grass on our side and mulch on our neighbor’s. So every now and then I just nail his side with a fogger and by breaking up some of those doughnut-shaped mosquito dunks, per advice from Logan Hardware. It helps for a while, but we also use spray and candles. I hate tiger mosquitos!

    • neighbor

      In addition to other suggestions, buy the Ortho stuff at Home Depot. Actual pesticides help a lot.

  • sd

    Weirdly enough, it’s been fine out my way. I’ve eaten dinner on my porch nearly every night and haven’t had much of a problem.

    • Anonymous

      Same here, and we’re usually beset by the little fukcers this time of year. Not sure what’s going on, but we’re not complaining.

      • SteveD

        Me too in H Street area. So far much less compared to last year at this time.

  • Josh

    Did you try leaving them a note?

    • ajr


    • LOL,
      Angry Brazilian Mosquito
      -may contain contagious disease if perturbed-

  • Colhi

    If you live in a traditional rowhouse and you have a basement door, there is usually a drain right in front of it. We kept getting mosquitoes from the drain at the house next door where they seemed to have a drainage problem. You can buy pellets to put in the drain to treat for mosquitoes.

    • Anon

      Thank you for reminding me to research this. My drain seems to attract insects (mostly flies and gnat-like things) and I was wondering if there was anything that could be done about it.

    • textdoc

      +1. I use Mosquito Bits for this. (Ordered a bottle off Amazon.) They’re small enough that you can shake the container over the gap between the side of the drainpipe and the side of the drain entrance.

      • Anon

        Thank you! We have a basement drain with a lot of flies AND a pond in our yard that seems to breed generations mosquitoes daily. I’ve never heard of this, but I will definitely be ordering ASAP.

      • Anon

        Thanks! Ordered! Great reviews on Amazon, btw

    • KenyonDweller

      You can also pour vinegar in the drain to kill the larvae.

    • textdoc

      Also, if your outdoor drain is clogged or semi-clogged, you might need to get a plumber to fix it.
      The drain that my drainpipe empties into at the front of the house would back up and overflow when there was rain. I bought a plumber’s auger (different than a toilet auger/snake) in the hope of fixing it myself, but the auger didn’t have enough force to penetrate the blockage. So when I had to call a plumber for something more urgent, I had them unclog that drain too. The thing they used was sort of like a giant French press — I think they stuck it in the other entrance to the drain (directly in front of the basement entrance), pushed down, and made the clog to shoot out of the other drain opening. (Or maybe it was the other way around.)

  • b

    I hate to say this, but literally the only solution that we’ve found for our past 2 houses (MtP and Petworth) has been spraying the backyard and front yard with a long-acting spray that you hook up to the hose. Yes, it’s terrible for the environment, no, you can’t let the dog out for a couple of days, but it’s the only thing that’s worked. I have tried every natural remedy out there and they are no match for DC skeeters. We will definitely be spraying again this year because Zika.

  • Anon

    Is your front door dark-colored? Mosquitos like dark colors.

  • anon

    You can buy a lemon smelling plant called citronella (?) or mosquito plant. I’ve read mixed reviews, but every spring I purchase a bunch of them and line the deck. In addition, I have a bug zapper, one of those citronella lantern things for the table and a giant outdoor fan that we run when we are out there.

  • mdtodc

    YES. My ankles are suffering from spending the afternoon/evening on a rooftop Saturday.

  • jcm

    I got a recipe for homemade deet-free mosquito repellent here on Popville, and it works pretty well. I use 2 oz witch hazel, 1.5 oz distilled water, and about 30 drops of lemon eucalyptus essential oil in a 4 oz bottle.

  • This year I signed up for the monthly mosquito repellent service with Home Paramount and its been amazing! No mosquito that I have seen so far (but I am knocking on wood as we speak) my neighbors on both sides did not get the spray, but it does not seem to be a problem. I highly recommend giving that a shot. 1-800-492-5544 ask for Juan.

    • Itch Free Frank

      +1 on Home Paramount. We’ve had them for our termite service and got a deal on a monthly mosquito spray this year. My exterminator is really knowledgeable with all sorts of bug issues. I think they have some sort of green spray too but we stuck with the real stuff :)

      • lmfb

        Roughly how much does that cost, if you don’t mind me asking? I hate mosqas, but am also cheap.

  • Steve

    Mosquitoes in the house at night attacking while you sleep are the worst. We got the Stinger indoor insect trap from Amazon for about $32. Uses a black light and a fan to trap them. Works great outside of the bedroom – they’re attracted by your carbon dioxide but detour to the trap.

  • KK

    1. Search for sewers with standing water and place 1 “mosquito dunk” in per month, more often if it rains. There was an open grate near my old place that had standing water in it. When I first approached it, swarms of mosquitoes emerged. After treating with dunks and waiting a week or two – no mosquitoes. Currently, I treat 10 areas of open water on a local elementary school + surrounding sewers.

    2. Spray with garlic oil or some other natural repellant (there are a few on the market) every 2 weeks, more often if it rains. You can get services to do this for you if you want, and can upgrade to more potent chemical repellants.

    3. “Patrol” your neighborhood for open sewer grates, trash cans with water, broken fountains and either empty the water or treat with dunks.

  • Anons

    “mosquito” sprays don’t discriminate between mosquitoes and other beneficial insects, this also applies to sprays that use natural, plant based chemicals.

    Plant based does not equal non-toxic. Arsenic is found in nature, and you probably wouldn’t want it sprayed on your rose bushes

    Not saying don’t spray, but there is an environmental cost that is important to consider.


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