Both annoying and potentially dangerous due to the number of serious diseases they carry, mosquitoes are an insect that no one wants to encounter.
Unfortunately, they are almost impossible to escape, especially during the upcoming wet, humid summer months. If you are tired of constantly swatting away mosquitoes but refuse to resign yourself to living with them, the following five mosquito control tips are meant for you.
Watch Out For Water
Mosquitoes can’t resist standing water, so if there is water pooling up around the yard you can expect plenty of mosquitoes as well.
Here’s how to keep standing water at a minimum:
Make sure your outdoor faucets aren’t dripping or leaking – leaky faucets can quickly create puddles near your foundation that are inviting to mosquitoes looking to lay eggs. Also remove any items in your yard that serve no real purpose except to collect water, such as buckets or overturned trash can lids.
If you have canoes or children’s toys, turn them over or cover them with a tarp to make sure water can’t collect there. Finally, keep gutters and downspout areas clear to ensure water doesn’t collect.
If you have water that cannot be removed, such as a pet’s water dish, make certain you keep fresh water in it. In addition, if there are parts of your yard that are lower than others, you may want to use wood chips, decorative mulch, rocks, or other natural items to prevent water from standing in those areas after rain.
Use Natural Repellents
One of the best ways to control mosquitoes around your home is to use natural repellents.
This can include lighting citronella candles or torches in the parts of your yard where you’ll be hanging out. Also, although not a true repellent – yellow outdoor lighting can help keep mosquitoes at bay since they are not attracted to yellow light the way they are to traditional incandescent lighting.
Finally, keep in mind that mosquitoes are very lightweight and are not strong flyers. A portable fan when you are sitting out on the porch will stop them from coming too close and keep you comfortable in the hot Florida summers.
Invest in a Mosquito Magnet or Mosquito Trap
These machines are capable of controlling the population of mosquitoes across an entire acre of property.
The machine burns propane and sends out a steady stream of carbon dioxide – something that mosquitoes are incredibly attracted to. When the mosquitoes come close to the machine, they are sucked into a net and killed.
Include Easy-to-Grow Mosquito-Repelling Plants in Your Yard
There are a number of flowers, herbs, and plants that mosquitoes are naturally repelled by.
Some of these beneficial plants are:
Horsemint: a fast-growing, drought-resistant plant that reaches a height and width of two to three feet. Horsemint is well-suited to dry, sandy soil and tolerates salty conditions – which is why it’s ideal for coastal and beach areas like North Florida.
Ageratum: also known as Flossflowers, ageratum gives off an aroma which mosquitos find very offensive. Ageratum plants secrete coumarin, a widely used component in commercial mosquito repellents.
Marigolds: normally used as an ornamental border plant, marigolds also give off a distinctive smell which mosquitoes (and even some gardeners) find particularly offensive. Marigolds contain pyrethrum, a compound used in insect repellents.
Catnip: the plant that makes cats go crazy is an effective mosquito repellent as well. This plant is particularly effective at controlling mosquitoes and has been shown to be possibly more effective than DEET in small areas. If you are a cat owner beware, however: catnip plants will cause your cat to respond to it the way they do to dried catnip – you may want to choose another plant if you have cats.
You can plant these natural repellents in your yard or put them in flowerpots that can be easily moved around to take your repellant with you.
Keep Your Grass Short
Keep your lawn as short as your species of grass can withstand.
By keeping grasses as short as possible you limit resting places for mosquitoes to breed. In addition to keeping your lawn trimmed, pay attention to garden beds and ornamental grasses, which can also harbor mosquitoes. This is where professional insecticide treatments are best suited. A specialized lawn and pest control company, like Turner Pest Control, can help you handle your mosquito control needs.
Mosquito season is in full effect – keep these tips in mind to have a fun-filled summer in your yard and keep mosquitoes at bay. And as always, contact Turner Pest Control for all your lawn care and mosquito control needs!