Experts share how to get rid of mosquitoes in the kitchen

Mosquitoes in the kitchen can be a nuisance. Not only are their pesky buzzing and biting frustrating, but they also pose health risks by spreading diseases. Getting rid of them requires some strategic planning and diligent effort. Fortunately, there are many effective methods that experts recommend for kicking mosquitoes out of the kitchen for good.

Why Mosquitoes Invade the Kitchen

Before delving into how to get rid of kitchen mosquitoes, it’s helpful to understand what attracts them there in the first place. Mosquitoes need the following things to survive and thrive:

  • Standing Water – Mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water. Even small pools of water from leaks, spills or condensation provide perfect breeding grounds.
  • Flowers – Certain flowers release fragrances that attract mosquitoes. Any fresh cut flowers or house plants in the kitchen are an open invitation.
  • Warmth – These cold-blooded insects are drawn to the warmth of kitchen appliances like ovens and refrigerators. They can often be found hovering around microwaves, stovetops and other heat-emitting surfaces.
  • Humidity – Mosquitoes thrive in muggy, humid environments. Steam from cooking, sinks, dishwashers and damp corners makes the kitchen an ideal habitat.
  • Exposed Skin – Mosquitoes use specialized receptors to detect carbon dioxide and lactic acid given off by exposed human and animal skin. More surface area just means more opportunity for getting bitten.
  • Respiration – Mosquitoes even zero in on the CO2 exhaled when humans and pets breathe. Kitchens are hubs of activity and breathing, signaling an all-you-can-eat buffet.

With this attraction checklist in mind, addressing these alluring factors is key to kicking mosquitoes out of the kitchen for good.

Non-Toxic Mosquito Prevention Tips from Experts

The best way to control mosquitoes is through prevention. Experts recommend starting with these non-toxic tips to make kitchens as unappealing to mosquitoes as possible:

Remove Standing Water

Eliminate any puddles, pooled water or moisture buildup where mosquitoes can lay eggs. This includes:

  • Fixing leaks under sinks, behind refrigerators or from condensation accumulations
  • Emptying water that collects in the drip trays under flower pots, vases and houseplants
  • Covering rain barrels and water collection containers with tight screening
  • Removing pet water bowls when not in use
  • Draining unused water from sinks, showers, tubs and dehumidifiers
  • Emptying overflow trays under refrigerators and portable air conditioners

Manage Humidity

Lowering indoor kitchen humidity makes conditions less favorable for mosquitoes. Useful tactics include:

  • Using exhaust fans when cooking or showering
  • Avoiding drying laundry indoors
  • Running an air conditioner or dehumidifier
  • Storing firewood outdoors
  • Keeping windows open when possible for airflow

Remove or Relocate Plants

Get rid of flower arrangements and potted plants that produce enticing fragrances. Or relocate them out of the kitchen to areas less frequented.

Install Screen Doors and Windows

Mosquitoes can easily slip inside through the tiniest of openings. Ensure windows and doors are sealed tightly with well-maintained screens. Make sure screens are free of holes or gaps where skeeters can sneak through. Consider installing screen doors at all exterior entryways too.

Use Fans

Run ceiling fans on high speed to disrupt mosquito flight patterns. The gusts overwhelm their delicate wings making it difficult to land and bite. Fans also help circulate any mosquito-repelling aromas evenly throughout interior spaces.

Apply Caulk and Weatherstripping

Plug up crevices where mosquitoes enter around windows, doors, pipes, vents and electrical conduits. A good quality silicon or latex caulk seals up cracks nicely. For doors and windows, install weatherstripping designed to block insect access.

Keep Kitchens Clean

Mosquitoes lay eggs in moist organic matter. Routinely empty garbage cans, wipe down countertops and clean surfaces where condensation or spills accumulate. Proper sanitation leaves less material for breeding.

Change Outdoor Lighting

Certain kinds of lighting, particularly incandescent bulbs, attract nighttime mosquitoes. Replace outdoor fixtures around patios, porches and garages with yellow “bug lights”. These special bulbs are less appealing to insects.

Natural Mosquito Repellents Recommended by Experts

In addition to prevention, natural mosquito repellents help make indoor kitchen environments less hospitable. Many can be safely applied directly onto skin too. Top botanical repellents suggested by pest control experts include:


The potent citrusy aroma of citronella plants, candles and essential oils repel mosquitoes without harsh chemicals. Place live plants or candles around the outdoor kitchen perimeter. Or diffuse citronella oil indoors where mosquitoes tend to linger most.


Similar to citronella, the lemon-scented grass contains citronellal that drives mosquitoes away. Crush fresh stalks and steep in hot water for a homemade repellent tea. Infused lemongrass oil can also be dispersed via candles, sprays or lotions.


This flowering purple plant has a fresh, clean scent. The aroma masks human scents that normally attract mosquitoes. Grow lavender in garden beds bordering the kitchen or make a mosquito spray using lavender essential oil.


The strong minty smell of peppermint plants or extract keeps mosquitoes at bay. Set out pots of fresh peppermint or use pure peppermint oil to make repellent rubs, spritzes and vaporizers.


When added to lotions or baths, rosemary oil provides hours of protection from mosquito bites. Plant rosemary bushes right outside kitchen doors. Crush the fragrant needles to release more of the repellent aroma.

Catnip & Pennyroyal

Both catnip and pennyroyal plants contain nepetalactone which repels mosquitoes. Rub crushed leaves directly onto skin or brew into a strong tea. Note that pennyroyal taken internally can be toxic.


Growing basil by windows and doors provides the scented oils needed to drive mosquitoes away. Crush fresh leaves to amplify the aroma. Plant in containers that can easily be moved indoors too.


The pungent odor released from crushed garlic cloves repels mosquitoes. Grow garlic plants around the kitchen garden. Eating lots of raw garlic before going outside boosts the bug-repelling properties too.

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is a lemony-scented herb that makes an excellent mosquito repellent tea. Crush leaves and steep in hot water for a natural spray. Infuse lemongrass oil into lotions, soaps and candles as well.

Mosquito Traps and Zappers

For severe mosquito infestations, experts suggest supplementing natural repellents with mosquito traps. These devices draw in and capture live mosquitoes without any sticky pesticide residue or dead insect cleanup. Top traps recommended by entomologists include:

UV Light Traps

These traps use ultraviolet light to lure flying insects towards an airflow that sucks them into a retaining chamber or mesh bag for disposal. Place traps out of reach from kids and pets in problem areas like patios, garages, lanais and porches.

Propane Mosquito Traps

Propane-powered traps release CO2 and a simulated human scent to mimic a living host. Mosquitoes flock to the trap where they get vacuumed into a net or collection chamber. Position traps 30-40 feet from high traffic outdoor living spaces.

Mosquito Magnet Traps

This brand of trap uses propane catalytic conversion to generate a continuous stream of CO2 and heat. The CO2 plume mimics human breathing and pulls in mosquitoes from up to one acre away. A vacuum fan then collects the mosquitoes for disposal.

Black Hole Mosquito Trap

This small, inexpensive trap uses a suction fan to pull mosquitoes into a mesh bag where they dehydrate and die within 24 hours. For outdoor use, hang the trap under shaded overhangs and other mosquito rest areas.


DynaTrap uses UV light, carbon dioxide and a heat source to lure mosquitoes towards a powerful vacuum fan. A mesh cage catches then dehydrates mosquitoes so no emptying is required. The sleek, lantern shape is ideal for decks, patios and gardens.

Mosquito Zappers

Electrocuting traps like mosquito zappers or “bug zappers” use ultraviolet light and electric grids. Avoid these around the kitchen or eating areas since they can kill beneficial insects too. The audible zapping sound and cleanup of fly carcasses is another downside.

Eliminating Mosquito Breeding Sites

Since standing water is prime mosquito breeding territory, experts stress the importance of eliminating any sources found around the property. Be diligent about dumping, draining or managing water that accumulates anywhere outdoors including:

  • Potted plant trays and saucers
  • Rain gutters and downspouts
  • Old tires, buckets or containers that catch rain
  • Birdbaths, fountains, ponds and water features
  • Tree holes, stumps and hollow logs
  • Lawn and landscape equipment
  • Tarps, grills, toys or other items left outside
  • Clogged roof gutters and drain pipes
  • Low-lying depressions and puddles in the yard

Change water weekly in any fountains, ponds or water features. Clean roof gutters, street drains and yard drainage areas regularly to keep things flowing freely. Report any neighborhood wet spots or irrigation runoff issues to local mosquito control authorities for remediation.

Professional Mosquito Treatments

For severe infestations and known disease risks in the area, experts recommend professional mosquito control services. Reputable pest control companies have access to stronger commercial-grade insecticides and specialized application methods. Common professional treatments include:

Residual Pesticide Sprays

Technicians apply spray barriers around the property to kill adult mosquitoes and prevent new ones from entering the home. Sprays contain residual pesticides that keep working for several weeks after application.


These specifically target mosquito eggs and larvae before they mature into biting adults. Larvicides get applied to standing water sources, storm drains and other breeding hotspots.

Barrier Misting Systems

Automated misting systems release a fine pesticide mist under shady overhangs to create a protective barrier around patios, gardens and other outdoor living areas. The mist kills mosquitoes on contact.

Mosquito Fogging

Truck-mounted foggers spray an insecticidal mist that drifts through the air to kill flying mosquitoes. Fogging typically gets conducted at night when mosquitoes are most active and climate conditions support fog hang time.

Backpack Fogging

For localized mosquito control, technicians use portable backpack foggers to treat yards and other habitats by foot. The applicator sprays insecticide in a low-lying fog as they move across the landscape.

When it comes to mosquito control for the home, experts agree that an integrated approach works best. Combine smart prevention techniques with natural repellents, trapping and targeted professional treatments as needed to keep kitchens – and the rest of the home – mosquito-free. With some strategic planning and proactive effort, even the most inviting kitchens can go from mosquito haven to mosquito-free zone.

Frequently Asked Questions About Eliminating Mosquitoes in the Kitchen

Q: What natural scents repel mosquitoes in the kitchen?

A variety of natural aromas act as safe, plant-based mosquito repellents. Herbs like mint, basil, rosemary and lavender give off mosquito-deterring fragrances when crushed or diffused as essential oils. Citronella and lemongrass also have a strong mosquito-repelling effect. Place these plants strategically around doors, windows and high mosquito traffic areas.

Q: Will mosquito repellent plants work indoors?

Many natural mosquito repellent plants also thrive indoors. Keep pots of mint, basil, lavender, rosemary, marigolds or citronella around kitchen doors and windows to deter mosquitoes. Just be sure to keep plants out of direct sunlight and avoid overwatering indoor containers.

Q: What scents attract mosquitoes in the kitchen?

Floral scents from fresh cut flowers, citrus, sweat and perfumes all lure hungry mosquitoes indoors. Vapor from cooking, humidity and warmth given off by appliances also entice them. Avoid having live flowers in kitchens prone to mosquitoes. Opt for well-sealed windows and doors to keep appealing scents from escaping outside.

Q: How do you keep mosquitoes away while cooking?

Eliminate standing water in the kitchen to deter egg-laying. Use ceiling fans, dehumidifiers and exhaust fans while cooking. Keep citronella candles or essential oil diffusion going during food prep. Grow mosquito repellent plants like lavender and mint on counters and windowsills. Make sure window screens are intact so mosquitoes can’t sneak in.

Q: What home remedy keeps mosquitoes away?

Homemade mosquito repellents made from natural ingredients often prove very effective. Try mixing a few drops of citronella, lemongrass, lavender or eucalyptus oil into carrier oils like coconut or jojoba and apply directly to skin. Burning citronella oil in candles or torches repels mosquitoes too. Crushed garlic oil, mint leaves and apple cider vinegar also make good DIY mosquito deterrents.

Q: Will mosquito zappers work in a kitchen?

Avoid using electrical mosquito zappers indoors since these kill all insects indiscriminately. The constant zapping sound and need to clean up electrocuted bug carcasses also make them unsuitable for kitchens. Instead, use mosquito traps designed for indoor use like the Dynatrap, which quietly traps live mosquitoes without making a mess.

Q: How do you get rid of mosquitoes in the house permanently?

Start by eliminating all standing water inside and out where mosquitoes breed. Maintain tight-fitting screens on all windows and doors. Use a combination of fans, natural repellents and mosquito traps to drive away adult mosquitoes. For severe infestations, consider professional mosquito control treatments like residual spraying and larviciding around the property.

Q: What oils naturally repel mosquitoes?

Oils extracted from eucalyptus, citronella, peppermint, lemongrass, thyme, geranium, lavender, pine, tea tree, basil, cloves and neem trees all have natural mosquito-repelling properties. Mix a few drops into coconut or jojoba carrier oil to make a repellent skin rub. Diffusing the oils indoors creates a protective aroma barrier as well.

Q: What scent will keep mosquitoes away?

Most mosquito repelling aromas come from natural plant oil extracts like citronella, mint, eucalyptus, basil, lavender and lemongrass. Certain plants like marigolds also contain organic compounds that deter mosquitoes. Place crushed plants around entryways or diffuse their essential oils where mosquitoes are problematic. Just avoid florals, perfumes or strong-smelling fruits that attract mosquitoes.

Q: What home items repel mosquitoes?

Many household ingredients make great natural mosquito repellents. Oils like lemon eucalyptus, citronella, peppermint and tea tree oil can be applied to skin or diffused in the air. Crushed cloves, garlic and apple cider vinegar also repel mosquitoes when applied topically. Place bowls of water with a few drops of oil near entrances to act as an aroma barrier. Burning citronella candles and incense sticks repels mosquitoes too.


Getting rid of persistent mosquitoes requires diligence, but is definitely doable with the right combination of preventative measures, natural repellents, trapping, and targeted professional treatments when needed. Start by addressing all the elements that attract mosquitoes to kitchen environments in the first place. Eliminating standing water, managing humidity and getting rid of appealing plants removes egg-laying and breeding sites. Keeping screens in good repair, caulking cracks, using fans and reducing lighting deters adult mosquitoes from entering. Natural botanical repellents like citronella, mint, lemongrass and garlic help make indoor kitchen environments less inviting. For heavy infestations, experts recommend adding mosquito traps and seeking professional pest control assistance. Sticking with an integrated mosquito management plan turns virtually any busy, muggy kitchen from a mosquito haven into a more livable, mosquito-free zone.