6 Tips for Keeping Mosquitoes Away During the Summer Skeeter Season
Are you tired of slathering anti-itch ointment onto your legs and arms from mosquito bites? Mosquitoes have a way of ruining warm summer days by their sheer numbers. However, it’s more than possible to enjoy your patio and yard without the fear of mosquitoes ruining your day.
Read on to learn our top five tips for keeping mosquitoes away during the summer!
1. Check for Stagnant Water
This is our number one tip that many homeowners often forget to do. Stagnant water is the ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes can take advantage of containers as small as a planter pot, so do your due diligence and take a quick walk around your property for standing water. Here are a few places to keep in mind:
- Lawn and yard ornaments
- Clogged gutters and downspouts
- Plant saucers
- Plant pots
You can greatly reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home by doing this because they aren’t able to fly large distances. If you have standing water that you’d rather not remove, such as birdbaths, you can treat the water with a mosquito larvicide.
Coffee grounds are also emerging as a natural way to treat standing water.
2. Use Natural Repellants
Another great, longterm solution to dealing with hoards of mosquitoes is to incorporate natural mosquito repellants into your landscaping. These plants work because they contain the substance citronellal. However, you’ll need to know that the plants don’t automatically work against mosquitoes–they’ll need to be crushed or “roughed up” in some way beforehand.
This can be possible if you allow local wildlife like deer to snack on them. You can also take a few cuttings before your next party and burn them so that the scent disperses throughout the air.
Here are some plants that act as natural mosquito repellants that contain a high amount of citronellal:
- Lemon balm
- Ceylon citronella grass
Keep in mind that many of these plants are poisonous to pets. If you have pets, keep them away or opt for a different method!
3. Candles and Fans
If you’re preparing for an outdoor party or get-together, or you just want to enjoy a meal or a nap on your patio, then consider using candles or lanterns. Candles with a citronella base are good at giving short-term protection because their oil is constantly evaporating.
According to the National Pesticide Information Center, the oil works by masking scents that mosquitoes are attracted to. However, candles and lanterns are a short-term way of driving away mosquitoes instead of outright getting rid of them.
Since you can only put out so many candles, you should also consider hooking up some electrical fans as well. Fans will help remove carbon dioxide and other odors produced from your body that attracts them. Mosquitoes also have trouble flying in the breeze and wind, so they’ll naturally avoid areas that are hard for them to fly in.
4. Insect Repellant
One of the easiest ways to ensure you avoid mosquito bites is to use repellant when you go out for long amounts of time. Consumer Reports compiled a great list of the best mosquito repellants you can purchase today. You’ll need to keep in mind that not all repellants are equally effective.
They found that the majority of “natural” repellants with key ingredients of citronella oil, peppermint oil, soybean oil, and more performed poorly. They found that the majority of products that perform consistently the best contain picaridin, OLE, or are DEET-based.
Once you choose your insect repellant, here are some tips on how to apply it properly so you have the full protection you expect:
- Apply a thin coat to exposed skin, avoiding eyes and mouth
- Dispense repellant on your hands before applying on children
- Children under two-months-old shouldn’t use DEET-based products
- You don’t need to reapply the repellant throughout the day
Most high rated products can last up to six to seven hours without reapplication!
5. Yard Maintenance
Mosquitoes don’t like flying in the breeze or wind and when it’s time to rest they like to choose dense areas that don’t get a lot of airflows. This is why maintaining your hard is so important–you’re cutting down on the number of viable resting places for mosquitoes and keeping them away from your home.
This means regularly maintaining your lawn so the grass doesn’t grow too high. You’ll also want to trim trees and especially dense bushes and shrubs. Lastly, you’ll want to make sure to pick up any yard debris that’s been building up. These are great resting spots as well as nesting grounds for mosquitoes.
6. Professional Help
Last but not least, you don’t want to discount the effectiveness of scheduled, professional mosquito control. Not only will this cut down on the number of mosquitoes you notice in your yard, but it’ll also save you time out of your day.
Professionals do a complete inspection and treatment of homes and yards to ensure that your family is comfortable. Their knowledge enables them to apply treatment to the correct areas and the correct times to combat the mosquito breeding cycle.
Keeping Mosquitoes Away and Enjoying Your Summer
Keeping mosquitoes away may seem like a daunting project if you’ve been frequently attacked by mosquitoes every time you want to enjoy your yard or patio. However, it’s more than possible to regain your enjoyment of summer by looking out for standing water, using repellants like plants, candles, and fans near your patio, and maintaining your yard.
Need a jumpstart on your mosquito control so you can feel comfortable outside again? Contact us today and enjoy guaranteed results!