How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes in Texas

aerial view of houston texas

Mosquitoes are a common problem in Texas, especially during the summer. However, some parts of the state are plagued by mosquitoes all year round. Mosquitoes irritate and can spread mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile virus and malaria. Here are some tips on how to get rid of mosquitoes in Texas.

How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes in Texas

Although there are many types of mosquitoes in Texas, their life cycles and the methods for controlling them are similar. Here are some steps to protect yourself, your family, and your furry friends in Texas.

Eliminate Breeding Sites

Mosquito control illustration
Photo Credit: Juan Rodriguez

It is essential to eliminate all mosquito breeding grounds to stop the life cycle in its tracks. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water and only need a tablespoon of water to lay eggs. It is essential to check for unexpected water sources around your home to control mosquito populations.

  • Remove standing water from around structures and flat roofs.
  • Empty or remove items that can hold standing water, such as trash cans, buckets, old tires, plant saucers, and pots, at least once a week.
  • Change water in pet dishes daily and in wading pools and bird baths twice a week.
  • Keep downspouts clear and regularly clean gutters of debris and standing water.
  • Securely cover trash containers and add screens to keep mosquitoes out of rain barrels, water tanks, or cisterns.
  • Keep backyard pools, pool covers, and hot tubs properly chlorinated and debris-free to keep larvae out of your pool.
  • Carefully water lawns and gardens so water does not collect in your yard.
  • Regularly mow tall grass and trim shrubs. While mosquitoes don’t sleep like we do, they like to rest in dense vegetation.

Treat Outdoor Spaces

You can address any current mosquito problems by treating all outside living spaces to eliminate these pesky insects.

  • Larvicides: These prevent mosquito larvae from developing into adult mosquitoes. Larvicides like Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis (Bti) are commonly used in products like mosquito dunks, which can be found in garden centers. Use them in water that cannot be removed, such as in rain barrels.
  • Yard sprays and foggers are popular options for controlling mosquitoes in outdoor areas. Mosquito yard sprays and foggers emit a fine mist of insecticide into the air, killing mosquitoes upon contact. It’s crucial to use them responsibly and carefully follow the instructions.
  • Professional mosquito control: By using specialized equipment and products, this service can significantly reduce mosquitoes in outdoor spaces. They also provide ongoing maintenance and monitoring for long-term mosquito control.

Check out Pest Gnome’s 10 Best Mosquito Control Companies to find one near you.

Keep Mosquitoes Away

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

By taking additional precautions, you can help prevent mosquito bites for yourself, your family, and your pets. Follow these steps to help keep mosquitoes away and out of your space.

  • Mosquito nets can protect your living space by screening off a patio section or forming a barrier around sleeping areas. Some of the best mosquito nets can be particularly helpful in preventing mosquito bites if you’re camping, especially near water.
  • Mosquito traps use heat, attractants, or carbon dioxide to attract and capture mosquitoes. Alternatively, you can create simple DIY mosquito traps at home.
  • Mesh screens installed on windows and doors will help keep pests out. Ensure they are free from any holes or tears so you don’t have to kill mosquitoes in your house later.
  • Dusk and dawn are when many mosquitoes are most active, so it’s best to stay indoors if possible. Keep your pets safe from bites by keeping them inside at this time or in a screened-in area. Mosquito bites on dogs and cats put them at risk for heartworms.
  • Wear loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and pants and light-colored clothing if you have to be out. Mosquitoes can bite through some clothing.
  • Apply mosquito repellent to exposed skin to prevent bites. You can use mosquito repellents containing active ingredients such as DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), or IR3535.
  • Dog-safe insect repellents such as mosquito-repelling collars, sprays, or topical treatments will keep your pup safe, and remember to take proactive steps to protect your feline friends, too.

Understanding Mosquitoes in Texas

“Know your enemy and know yourself, and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.” – Sun Tzu. 

Types of Mosquitoes in Texas

There are 85 species of mosquitoes identified in the Lone Star State, like the southern house mosquito and the Asian tiger mosquito. The following are some of the most common types of mosquitoes and the diseases they spread in Texas.

  • Southern house mosquito (Culex quinquefasciatus): A brown mosquito with white D-shaped bands on its abdomen. It is commonly found in subdivisions around storm drains and carries West Nile virus and St. Louis encephalitis.
  • Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus): This mosquito is recognizable by its striking black-and-white coloration and white stripe along the back of the head and body. It is often found in yards and wooded areas. It can transmit diseases like Zika virus, dengue fever, and chikungunya.
  • Yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti):  Similar in appearance to the Asian tiger mosquito, it has black legs with white markings but no white stripe. Yellow fever mosquitoes are found along the Texas coast and can breed indoors. They are known to spread dengue, yellow fever, and Zika viruses.
  • Common malaria mosquito (Anopheles quadrimaculatus): Notorious for spreading malaria, this brown mosquito is typically found near marshes and farms. It carries diseases that affect both people and livestock, such as West Nile virus, Cache Valley virus, and St. Louis encephalitis. 

Mosquito Life Cycle

Pestgnome mosquito lifecycle illustration

The best way to eliminate and prevent a mosquito problem is to break their life cycle. The entire cycle, from egg to adult, takes around 8-10 days. However, under certain conditions, eggs can survive months before hatching. The mosquito life cycle comprises four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult.

  • Egg: Female mosquitoes lay eggs in or near stagnant water after taking in a blood meal. When the eggs come in contact with water, they begin to hatch.
  • Larva: The eggs hatch into larvae within a few days. Also known as “wrigglers,” they live near the water surface to breathe and feed on microorganisms. 
  • Pupa: After feeding, the larvae undergo molting, where they shed their skin and transform into pupae or “tumblers.”
  • Adult: After a few days, depending on temperature and other environmental factors, the pupae become adult mosquitoes and emerge from the water.

Mosquito Season in Texas

mosquito season map

Typically, mosquito season in Texas lasts from early spring through late fall when temperatures are above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It is possible to find mosquitoes in some parts of  Texas year-round, but their populations are largest between March and November, with summer being the peak of mosquito activity.

FAQ: Mosquitoes in Texas

Do Bug Zappers Work for Mosquitoes?

Most bug zappers are designed to attract insects, but they are not effective for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are not attracted to light, so the best mosquito traps use other methods such as Octenol, carbon dioxide, or UV light to lure and trap them.

Is My City Government Responsible for Controlling Mosquitoes?

Yes, mosquito control is handled by the local government and its public health agency in many cities. These agencies monitor and manage the mosquito population in their respective areas.

Do Mosquito Yard Sprays Work?

Yes, the best mosquito yard sprays kill by disrupting their nervous system, making it difficult for them to fly and eventually killing them. They also create a barrier around the yard to prevent other mosquitoes from entering. Overall, these sprays effectively reduce the number of adult mosquitoes in your yard.

When to Call a Pro

If you are having difficulty controlling the mosquito population on your own, it may be time to seek the assistance of a professional. Pest control companies can access specialized equipment and treatments to help eliminate mosquitoes and prevent their return. Contact Pest Gnome to find the best exterminators in your area.

Main Image Credit: Sean Pavone / 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.