Best known for their blood-sucking abilities and itchy bites, mosquitoes (Culicidae) are one of the most irritating summer pests around. They buzz around us and bite at barbecues, ball games, and basically every outdoor summer activity. Mosquitoes are becoming more and more dangerous for the deadly diseases they can carry. If you want to keep mosquitoes away this summer, but you don’t want to use chemicals, there are more natural ways to beat these bugs.
Signs and Symptoms
Most active at dawn, dusk, and dark, mosquitoes are most notorious for the itchy welts left behind when they sting. People react differently to the bites. Some suffer from a mild irritation or nagging itch, while others have more intense reactions.
Contrary to popular belief, not all mosquitoes bite. In fact, only females do. Male mosquitoes are usually smaller, and don’t have a thirst for blood. The females use long, piercing proboscises to draw blood from their hosts. They lay eggs anywhere they find standing or stagnant water.
Getting rid of breeding grounds is a good place to start. This means draining any standing water in your yard and eliminating places where water can collect. Some places to watch include empty plant pots, kiddie pools, bird baths, small ponds, buckets, garbage or recycling bins without lids, and old tires. Fix leaky outdoor faucets or hoses. Don’t worry about the pool because it has chemicals in it that already keep mosquitoes away. Fountains or koi ponds with moving water are okay. Water that flows is not a stable surface to lay eggs.
Maintain a clean yard and home. Examine your home for gaps around windows and doors, and fix any screens that need repair. A clogged gutter makes a good place to lay eggs, so clean them every year and check them often. Mow grass regularly, trim shrubs when necessary, and get rid of weeds.
Natural Ways to Keep Mosquitoes Away
Having an outdoor gathering or want to relax on the patio? It’s not always necessary to coat yourself in insecticide to keep mosquitoes away. Although many people use chemicals, there are also natural methods to prevent pests.
Use dish soap to sink the stinkers. Combine water and dish soap in a small bowl and place it on the patio. When mosquitoes come to breed on the standing water, they get stuck in the detergent and die.
Bring some fans outside. These pests are not strong fliers and any breeze makes it difficult for them to stay on course.
Fill your yard with scents they hate. Marigolds, rosemary, and catnip plants are good to have around since they naturally help repel mosquitoes. Other scents to consider are cedar, garlic, basil, lavender, cinnamon, and eucalyptus.
At many health stores you can purchase these scents as essential oils, such as the popular lemon-eucalyptus. Put a few drops of oil in a spray bottle with water and spritz yourself before you head outside. Keep in mind most natural scents require more frequent applications.
Decorate your deck with citronella candles. This is another scent detested by mosquitoes and other pests.
Shed some light on the subject. Incandescent white lights attract the bugs, so try using yellow LED lighting on your deck or patio.
Itching for Assistance?
Sometimes these natural methods are not enough. If mosquitoes are still getting under your skin, you don’t have to spend the summer indoors to avoid them. Contact Free Spray Lawn Care at [phone] and we’ll help you rid your home of unwanted pests.