How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes in North Carolina

downtown charlotte north carolina

Spring reveals all the beauty of the Tar Heel State. Unfortunately, this beauty comes with an unwelcome guest: the dreaded mosquito. In fact, Charlotte is one of the worst cities in the country for mosquitoes. Read our practical tips on how to get rid of mosquitoes in North Carolina so you can save your summer from itchy bites.

Controlling Mosquitoes in North Carolina

The two main approaches to reducing mosquito populations and preventing mosquito-borne diseases consist of eliminating standing water sources and protecting yourself from mosquito bites. However, there are some additional measures homeowners can take to alleviate the mosquito problem in their homes. That’s why here we teach you how to:

  • Eliminate standing water sources
  • Take additional measures against mosquitoes
  • Prevent mosquito bites

Eliminate Standing Water Sources

Mosquito control illustration
Photo Credit: Juan Rodriguez

Getting rid of standing water sources is the first step in effective mosquito prevention. “Why is that?” You may ask. Because standing water sources are mosquito breeding sites. Female mosquitoes lay eggs in stagnant water, which hatch into larvae, then turn into adult (and biting) mosquitoes. 

So by eliminating standing water in your yard, you eliminate mosquito breeding grounds, preventing the growth of mosquito populations. Here’s how to eliminate standing water in your yard:

  • “Tip and toss”: Empty containers like flower pots, buckets, and toys and store them indoors when not in use. Get rid of old tires, cans, and bottles that could collect rainwater.
  • Fill plant saucers and tree holes: Fill flower pot dishes with sand or dump the excess water regularly. In the case of tree holes, fill with expanding foam (not cement). 
  • Check your gutters: Unclog gutters and drainage ditches and remove debris so the water can run down easily. 
  • Fix drainage issues: Fill in low-lying areas that can collect water with soil or regrade your lawn to improve yard drainage. 
  • Cover rain barrels: If you have rain barrels, cover them with a fine mesh. Keep trash bins tightly closed as well.
  • Treat pools and ponds: Drain out-of-use swimming pools or treat the water with larvicides such as mosquito dunks. For ornamental ponds, you can also stock them with mosquitofish, which eat mosquito larvae. 
  • Secure tarps: Tighten up tarps covering items like firewood or unused swimming pools, and remove any leaves or other debris from the surface.
  • Change the water: At least once a week, change the water in bird baths. Freshen up the water in pet bowls daily.

An important note: Keeping a clean yard with a simple maintenance routine can do wonders to control mosquitoes. Mow the grass regularly, trim overgrown bushes and shrubs, and get rid of fallen leaves and branches. Any dense vegetation can provide mosquitoes with a habitat, while also trapping small amounts of water in which mosquitoes can reproduce. 

Additional Measures Against Mosquitoes

worker installing net on terrace door
Photo Credit: ronstik / Canva Pro / License

Now that you are well-equipped to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your lawn, you might wonder: But what should I do about the adult mosquitoes? There are a number of ways you can keep them at bay:

  • Install window and door screens: Keep mosquitoes out of your home by installing mosquito netting in all windows and doors. Make sure it’s tight-fitting and has no holes in it. 
  • Use air conditioning: If you don’t have mosquito screens installed yet, close the doors and windows at night and use air conditioning when indoors. Turning on a fan can also help ward off mosquitoes since they can’t fly against the wind.
  • Use essential oils: You can also diffuse essential oils indoors to repel mosquitoes. Peppermint, eucalyptus, or lemongrass oil can do the job. 
  • Mosquito traps: And speaking of homemade recipes, you can also invest in simple DIY mosquito traps such as ovitraps, which are effective, environmentally friendly, and easy on your pocket.
  • Mosquito sprays and foggers: If you want a more radical approach, you can spray your yard with the best mosquito sprays to kill and repel adult mosquitoes. The ideal approach is to combine the application of mosquito sprays or mosquito foggers with the elimination of standing water sources for a long-term solution.  

Prevent Mosquito Bites

The last (but not least) step is to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Here’s what you can do to prevent those pesky little flies from feeding off of you:

  • Avoid dusk and dawn: If possible, limit outdoor activities during these periods, since it is generally when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Stay away from floral scents: Avoid wearing floral-scented lotions or perfumes, which are highly attractive to mosquitoes.
  • Wear protective clothing: Opt for loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts. Light-colored clothing is also recommended since mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors. You can also treat your clothes with permethrin to repel mosquitoes.
  • Apply insect repellents: Apply mosquito repellents to exposed skin. Choose products containing EPA-approved substances like DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or citronella oil. Remember to follow the instructions on the label. 


What Months are Mosquitoes Most Active in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, mosquito season ranges from March through September, sometimes extending to October. During this period, the summer months of June through September are when mosquitoes are most active and when most cases of arboviral diseases occur (a virus transmitted by an arthropod, typically a mosquito).

How Long do Mosquitoes Live?

Depending on the species, mosquitoes live for two to three weeks on average during the warm season.

What Diseases Mosquitoes Carry in North Carolina?

These are three main mosquito-borne illnesses transmitted in North Carolina, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services:

• West Nile virus
• Eastern equine encephalitis
• La Crosse encephalitis

There are malaria, yellow fever, and dengue fever cases reported in the state, but they are not locally transmitted.

Say Goodbye to Itchy Bites

Don’t let anything stop you from enjoying the outdoors, not even the bothersome mosquitoes. Call a mosquito control expert. Don’t know where to find one? We’re here to help: Pest Gnome connects you to the best pest control pros in North Carolina. Get in touch to say goodbye to itchy bites!

Main Image Credit: Kruck20 / Canva Pro / License

Teresa Joaquim

Teresa is a creative writer who holds a Master's degree in Psychology. Despite being a nature lover, she is terrified of cockroaches. As a native of the tropics, she is used to dealing with mosquitoes, although they still manage to bother her. Her favorite things are art, music, and playing with her two cats.