It is that time of the year, when those pesky mosquitoes come out. In their bloodthirsty quest, few are harmless or even useful to humanity. There are over 3,500 species of mosquitoes all around the world, from the tropics to the arctic, but they must be able to get to water to lay their eggs.
Many are carriers of extremely harmful human and livestock diseases, such as malaria and yellow fever. Only female mosquitoes bite, and suck blood, injecting their prey with saliva that makes the blood flow easily, and causes a bite to itch.
8 Tips for Keeping Mosquitoes Away
Here are some tips to help defend, and keep the whole family protected this summer from those blood sucking nuisances. If you’re plagued with mosquitoes, try one or more of these today!
1. Sprays, bracelets, and patches. There are many options out there when it comes to sprays, bracelets, and patches. Some have natural ingredients, and others have a few added chemicals. If you select a product with the active ingredient, Deet, it is recommended to select one that contains no more than 30%. As overexposure to Deet can cause side effects. Going with a 15% deet spray, and reapplying it after the recommended application time will work fine for a long term bug protection. Also apply sparingly to exposed skin and mostly to clothing.
2. Candles, torches, and smoke. Citronella candles and infused torch oil help combat the pests. There are also incense coils that smolder and give off a fume that repels mosquitoes. If you want to keep it even more natural, try making your own dried herb bundles and burning them.
3. Electronics. There are plug-ins that you can buy for indoor use. Add one to each main living space. These work incredibly well if you live in an area where mosquitoes are overwhelming in population. Try changing outdoor light bulbs to special yellow bulbs that are less likely to attract bugs. Also turn on a fan. With the slight breeze it makes it harder for mosquitoes to navigate and land for that bite. I’ve also found a “Personal Pest Control Appliance” you may want to check out.
4. Repelling Plants. Add a few of these plants around the garden and they will help discourage mosquitoes: citronella grass, catnip, marigolds, horse mint, lemon balm, and ageratum.
5. Natural Oils. There are quite a few natural oils that mosquitoes cannot stand the smell of. The beauty of oils is you can mix and match until you find a scent that the whole family will love. Oils such as: citronella, lemon eucalyptus, peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus, catnip, basil, clove, thyme, lemongrass, geranium, grapefruit, and lavender. Add them to a diffuser or mix them into a spray. Another plus is that some oils are also pet friendly (be sure to check with your Vet), so you can mix a spray for their coats or add a few drops to their collar.
6. Clothing and Nets. Wear long clothing that covers up as much skin as possible, but is also weather appropriate. Another great asset when you live in a heavy mosquito populated area is a mosquito net that covers the bed. Off! makes a mosquito repellant you clip to your waistband.
7. Timing. Avoid the dawn and dusk hours when mosquitoes are most active. Try to keep family and pets indoors.
8. Stop the Breeding. Mosquitoes lay eggs in water. Empty outdoor containers with standing water. Drill drain holes in trash and recycling cans. They love dark cool places, so remove any piles of rotting leaves and cut back plants such as ivy where they can hide during the day.
Being prepared for mosquito season, especially in a highly mosquito populated environment, will make a big difference when battling the blood sucking beasts. Lessen the chance of becoming live mosquito bait this summer by utilizing some of these tips. The family will thank you.