Mosquito ecology and mosquito disease vectors - image is an illustration with the title "All About Mosquitoes" that shows a mosquito laying eggs, another biting someone, and insecticide being sprayed.

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Insecticides: chemicals that are used to kill insects......more

Repellent: a chemical that insects dislike and avoid......more

Stagnant: describing something that is not flowing, often water with no outlet......more

At best, they're annoying, but at worst, they're one of the most dangerous animals. Mosquitoes and the diseases they carry cause more human deaths than any other animal. So what are some of the best ways to keep yourself and your home safe from mosquitoes?

Personal precautions against mosquitoes

Someone spraying insect repellent onto their forearm

If you are active when mosquitoes are, try to wear loose-fitting long sleeves. If you decide not to, you can still use insect repellent to help avoid being bitten. Image by CDC.

First, limit the time you spend outside when mosquitoes are looking for a blood meal. This usually means you want to avoid being outside at dusk and dawn. If you have to be outside, try to avoid having a mosquito land on your skin (and bite you). You can do this by wearing certain types of clothing and using insect repellents.

The best clothing to wear is something that covers the most amount of skin, without being too tight. Mosquitoes will bite through thin clothing that rests close to your skin. Loose-fitting long pants and long sleeves work well. Also, wearing clothing that is treated with an insecticide. This should help to kill any mosquito that lands on you - hopefully before it bites you. Insect repellent can be sprayed on your body and on your clothes. They contain chemicals that mosquitoes don’t like. This will reduce the chances that a mosquito lands on you.

Protect yourself while you sleep

A bed net in a room in a bungalow in Cambodia

Sleeping under special netting is a great way to keep mosquitoes from biting you in your sleep. Click to enlarge.

When sleeping you are most at risk of getting bitten. If you are in an area with lots of mosquitoes, you  should sleep under a bed net. This will stop a mosquito from landing on you and biting you when you are sleeping. Bed nets are only useful when you are under them, are tucked in, and when they don’t have holes. Mosquitoes are very good at finding even the smallest hole in your bednet! Bed nets are used by many children in areas with malaria and this has helped to reduce the spread of malaria. Bednets that are treated with an insecticide can be extra helpful to keep mosquitoes away.

Keep mosquitoes out of your home

Now, protecting your home can be much more involved. You want to reduce mosquito breeding areas and stop them from entering your home. Reducing mosquito breeding areas is not an easy task. To do this, you need to inspect all bodies of water around your home. This includes pools, bird baths, ponds, and more.

A woman's hand putting a BTI mosquito dunk (a wafer made of bacteria) into a body of water.

Bti dunks are wafers of bacteria that kill mosquito larvae and a few other insect larvae. They can be used without harming most other animals. Image by CDC.

These areas should be treated with chemicals, such as chlorine. Other methods such as adding mosquito fish that eat the larvae can also be used. Other places that should be checked are containers, gutters, toys, pots, and trash. Whether a body of water is small or large, clean or dirty, mosquitoes can likely breed in them. 

Stopping mosquitoes from entering your home is a great way to protect yourself and your home. Keeping your windows and doors closed or covered with a net or screen can help with this. If you have access to mosquito traps, setting them up around your house can help keep them out as well. If you have air conditioning in your house, this may also help to reduce mosquito numbers. Mosquitoes don’t like cold temperatures and dry air. Lastly, mosquitoes can also sometimes be found in potted plants. Be sure to check the soil of the plants for mosquito eggs, larvae, or pupae.

A planting pot tray with water in it

One of the most important things you can do to reduce mosquito populations is to get rid of places they can breed. Empty anything holding water for more than a day or two. Image by CDC.

As you can see there are many ways to protect you and your home from mosquitoes. There is no one right way of protecting yourself or your home, so choose what works best for you.

Protection from mosquitoes is very important. It helps to lower the amount of disease spread by these insects. If you live in an area with mosquitoes or are traveling to an area with them, be sure to practice protection. The more mosquito bites that are prevented, the safer you are from the diseases they spread.

Additional images via Wikimedia Commons. Image of children under bed net by USDHHS.

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Bibliographic details:

  • Article: Protect Yourself From Mosquitoes
  • Author(s): Brook Jensen, Sergio Serrato-Arroyo
  • Publisher: Arizona State University School of Life Sciences Ask A Biologist
  • Site name: ASU - Ask A Biologist
  • Date published: August 11, 2022
  • Date accessed: June 12, 2024
  • Link:

APA Style

Brook Jensen, Sergio Serrato-Arroyo. (2022, August 11). Protect Yourself From Mosquitoes. ASU - Ask A Biologist. Retrieved June 12, 2024 from

American Psychological Association. For more info, see

Chicago Manual of Style

Brook Jensen, Sergio Serrato-Arroyo. "Protect Yourself From Mosquitoes". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 11 August, 2022.

MLA 2017 Style

Brook Jensen, Sergio Serrato-Arroyo. "Protect Yourself From Mosquitoes". ASU - Ask A Biologist. 11 Aug 2022. ASU - Ask A Biologist, Web. 12 Jun 2024.

Modern Language Association, 7th Ed. For more info, see
Two children peeking out from under their bed net in Tanzania.

In many parts of the world, avoiding mosquitoes is a huge part of daily life. If you live in a place with many mosquitoes, bed nets are likely a part of the tools you use to protect yourself. 

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