How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes in Austin

buildings alongside a road in austin tx

Austinites embrace the “Keep Austin Weird” philosophy, embodied in the city’s vibrant live music scene and diverse community. However, mosquitoes tend to crash the party, causing itchy bites and severe health risks due to mosquito-borne illnesses. Here are a few tips to get rid of mosquitoes in your Austin yard.

If you’re planning a night out in Austin, remember to arm yourself against the mosquitoes. Read one writer’s tips to avoid having them ruin your fun.

How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes in Your Austin Yard

To prevent mosquitoes from spreading disease, take steps to protect yourself, your family, and your furry friends. Preventative measures include removing mosquito breeding sites, managing existing infestations, and avoiding mosquito bites.

Remove Breeding Sites

Mosquito control illustration
Photo Credit: Juan Rodriguez

You can prevent mosquitoes breeding in your yard and interrupt their life cycle before they can bite you. Mosquito eggs can hatch in just one tablespoon of stagnant water. Always look around your home for unexpected water sources to stop the mosquitoes before they can start. 

  • Empty standing water from plant saucers, pots, buckets, and old tires once a week. If you have a tire swing, drill a few holes to allow for drainage.
  • Keep swimming pools and hot tubs properly chlorinated and debris-free to prevent larvae in your pool.
  • Ensure pool covers and tarps are secure and do not accumulate water on top.
  • Empty and clean bird baths and wading pools every couple of days.
  • Clean pet dishes and change water daily.
  • Maintain your yard by regularly pruning bushes and mowing tall grass. When it’s hot, mosquitoes prefer to rest among dense vegetation but don’t sleep.
  • Avoid over-watering your lawn and prevent water puddles.
  • Secure trash cans with tight-fitting lids and drill drainage holes if needed.
  • Keep downspouts clear and regularly clean gutters of debris to prevent standing water in your yard.
  • Install mesh screens to keep mosquitoes from laying eggs in water tanks or cisterns. Screens will also keep mosquitoes out of rain barrels.

Manage Existing Mosquitoes

If mosquitoes are invading your outdoor spaces, a few options are available to get rid of them. You can treat your yard, hire a professional mosquito control service, or use larvicides.

  • Treat your yard: Kill adult mosquitoes already invading your yard with mosquito yard foggers or sprays. These products release a fine mist of insecticide into the air, which kills adult mosquitoes. It is crucial, however, to use them responsibly since they can also harm beneficial insects and wildlife.
  • Hire a Pro: Homeowners in Austin can eliminate mosquitoes by hiring a mosquito control company. These experts use adulticides and specialized equipment. They often offer ongoing maintenance and monitoring to control mosquitoes long-term.
  • Use larvicides: Products such as mosquito dunks contain an environmentally friendly bacteria called Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis (Bti). These are used in standing water, such as ponds or rain barrels, to prevent mosquito larvae from developing into adult mosquitoes.
  • Install a bat house: Austin is known for the plethora of bats living here, so why not set up shop for these natural predators and use Austin’s bats to combat mosquitoes at your home?

Avoid Mosquito Bites

Photo Credit: dimid_86 / Canva Pro / License

While this seems obvious, taking extra steps to avoid mosquito bites will help protect yourself, your family, and your pets. Follow these strategies to prevent mosquito bites and keep them at bay.

  • Repair or replace screens on windows and doors to prevent mosquitoes from entering your house.
  • Stay indoors or in a screened-in space during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Avoid mosquitoes outside by wearing loose, long-sleeved shirts and pants. Choose light colors, as dark or contrasting colors will attract mosquitoes.
  • Protect your exposed skin and use insect repellent. Try using mosquito repellents with active ingredients such as DEET or picaridin for the best results. Natural mosquito repellents with oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or IR3535 are also available and effective.
  • Create a physical barrier with the best mosquito nets. Use them around your bed or to screen off a portion of your deck or patio. Mosquito nets are also very useful in preventing bites while camping.
  • Protect your pets from mosquito bites by keeping them indoors or in a screened-in area when mosquitoes are active. Mosquitoes can bite dogs and cats, putting them at risk for heartworms.
  • Use pet-safe repellents, such as sprays or topical treatments. You can also try using mosquito-repelling collars to protect your cats and dogs.
  • Use mosquito traps to attract and capture mosquitoes using heat or carbon dioxide. You can find some of the best mosquito traps online or in home improvement stores, or make simple DIY mosquito traps at home.

Firsthand Experience: Don’t Let the Night Life Ruin Your Night Out

raven wisdom
Raven Wisdom

Earlier this year, during a trip to Austin, I learned the hard way about the city’s notorious mosquito population. As the sun went down, the night came alive with music and mosquitoes. They seemed to be everywhere, ready to feast on unsuspecting visitors like myself.

Determined not to let these pesky insects ruin my night out, I took every precaution I could think of. I wore long sleeves and pants, despite the Texas heat, and covered myself in the alluring aroma of mosquito repellent.

Thanks to my mosquito-defying efforts, I was able to enjoy Austin’s vibrant nightlife without being constantly bothered by those bloodsucking creatures. It was a memorable trip, filled with music, laughter, and a newfound respect for the power of mosquito repellent.

Raven Wisdom

When is Mosquito Season in Austin?

mosquito season map

The mosquito population is most active from March through September, but can extend as late as November. During this period, Austin Public Health monitors the mosquito population and tests for any viruses they may be carrying.

Even though Texas is home to 85 species of mosquitoes, in Austin, the most prolific are the following:

  • Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus)
  • Yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti)
  • Southern house mosquito (Culex quinquefasciatus)

Local Resources to Control Mosquitoes in Austin

The City of Austin and the Texas A&M AgriLife offer resources to assist you in managing the mosquito population in Travis County.

  • 3-1-1 Services: The Austin Environmental Vector Control provides site assessments, public education, and monitors mosquito-borne illnesses through the Travis County Mosquito Control Program.
  • Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service: The Mosquito Safari interactive website takes you on a virtual tour of a neighborhood and house to educate users on where mosquitoes are likely to breed so they can be eliminated. They offer tips for controlling mosquitoes and the diseases they spread.

FAQ: Mosquitoes in Austin

What Mosquito-Borne Illnesses Are Found in Austin?

West Nile virus is the most frequently found mosquito-borne illness in Austin. However, in Texas, several other diseases have been reported, including dengue fever, Zika, chikungunya, malaria, and three strains of encephalitis.

Will the City of Austin Treat My Yard for Mosquitoes?

No, the City of Austin does not treat individual yards for mosquitoes. However, you can contact the Austin Environmental Vector Control for a site assessment and public education on reducing mosquito populations in your area.

Do All Mosquitoes Drink Blood?

Not all mosquitoes require blood to survive. Only certain species of female mosquitoes drink blood as a source of protein for egg-laying. Male mosquitoes feed on nectar and plant juices.

When to Call a Pro

If you struggle to control the mosquito population in your Austin home, seek assistance from a professional pest control company. They have specialized equipment and treatments to help you eliminate mosquitoes and have a mosquito-free yard. To find the best pest control services available in your area, contact Pest Gnome today.

Main Image Credit: dlanier / Canva Pro / License

Raven Wisdom

Raven Wisdom is a writer with a passion for pest control, gardening, sustainable living, and making a positive impact in the world. When she's not defending her garden from critters in the wilds of West Texas, Raven can be found writing, wrangling two kids in a neurodivergent family, and supporting her local animal rescues.