But experts say these pests can often make their way indoors too, taking up residence in the dark, damp corners of your home. “As the weather warms or cools, pests of all kinds seek refuge in your home,” explains Emma Grace Crumbley, entomologist for Mosquito Squad. “Check for holes, cracks or unwanted spaces around your home's entrances and walls. Door sills, window coverings and screen doors can help keep pests out.”
Wondering where mosquitoes can proliferate in and around your home without you realizing it? Read on to discover the nine places they often hide in your home.
1. Interior walls
A recent study published in the journal PNAS Nexus found that spraying insecticide on the bottom of your interior walls can kill most of the mosquitoes in your home, the reason being that heat is rising and insects prefer to stay where it's cooler. If the lower parts of your walls are dark in color, you may also be more likely to find mosquitoes here, as Aedes aegypti (the types of mosquitoes that carry yellow fever and Zika) “are known to prefer roosting on dark surfaces”, explains Phys.org.
2. The kitchen
Mosquitoes most often enter the home through open windows, doors and cracks in your home's foundation. However, they will quickly gravitate to any area of the house where there is standing water, making your kitchen a prime place for them to congregate. “Potential breeding grounds in your kitchen include areas of stagnant or standing water, such as behind or under your refrigerator (in case of a leak), under the sink… or in pet water dishes,” explains Crumbley. “Keeping these areas clean and water-free (or, in the case of pet water dishes, changing the water frequently) can reduce the number of mosquitoes that hatch and hang out in your kitchen.” And remember, all it takes is half an inch of water for mosquitoes to lay their eggs, according to Jim Fredericks, senior vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association (NPMA).
Crumbley says over-watered houseplants can also attract mosquitoes, especially if they sit near open windows. “Keep indoor foliage well maintained and check water levels regularly. Be sure to keep your houseplants in sunny areas to regulate their water consumption (plants in dark, shady areas will hold stagnant water longer, which can attract mosquitoes and also cause your plants to develop root rot),” she warns.
4. The bathroom
With all its different water sources, your bathroom is another potential hub for mosquitoes to meet and mingle. “Mosquitoes need constant stagnant water to lay their eggs. Leaky pipes in the bathroom under the sink, behind the shower or elsewhere can create pools of stagnant water in your home,” Crumbley explains.
5. Dark, damp corners
Carpenter says that mosquitoes can hide indoors in any dark, damp corner of the house, behind curtains and drapes, under furniture or inside closets and storage areas, for example. She recommends regularly inspecting and cleaning these areas where mosquitoes can hide or lay their eggs. “Use a vacuum cleaner with a flat nozzle to reach difficult areas. Also, consider using screens or mosquito netting over windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the house,” she advises.
6. The garden
If your garden is attractive to mosquitoes, they're more likely to end up indoors. Nicole Carpenter, CEO of Black Pest Prevention says the insects often congregate near trees. “Mosquitoes can find shelter and breeding sites in trees with holes and hollows, especially after rain,” she explains. “If tree holes tend to collect water, consider improving drainage in the area. You can create channels or drill small holes in the tree to allow water to drain away.” And of course, any source of stagnant water is a prime breeding ground. In addition to birdbaths, water fountains and wet vegetation, this includes outdoor toys, play sets, kiddie pools and sandboxes. “After episodes of rain, be sure to check these areas and dry or drain any standing water,” recommends Crumbley. Fredericks adds that the space beneath your terrace, which is often darker and wetter than the rest of your garden, is another prime location. Finally, Carpenter advises against “letting plants, shrubs and garden beds proliferate, as this provides an inviting habitat for mosquitoes”. “Trim tall grasses, hedges and shrubs regularly, and maintain a short lawn to reduce potential hiding places for mosquitoes, ticks and other insects,” she suggests.
It's important to be aware of where mosquitoes may be hiding in and around your home so you can take steps to eliminate them. With simple measures like fixing water leaks, keeping houseplants well maintained and regularly cleaning dark, damp areas, you can reduce the presence of these troublesome pests.