Mosquito Control Tips
Mosquitoes carry more diseases and kill more people than any other animal on earth. That’s why it’s important to learn and use good mosquito control techniques. Following these simple steps will help make time spent outdoors a little more enjoyable for you and your family.
Place a Couple of Oscillating Fans on Your Patio or Porch
Fans help in two ways. First, they diffuse the carbon dioxide we exhale, which normally provides mosquitoes with a direct trail to us. When carbon dioxide is scattered, mosquitoes have a harder time zeroing in on its source. And secondly, they make it harder for mosquitoes to fly. Mosquitoes are weak flyers, so they prefer stagnant air. This is why you get more bites on quiet, hot days. Turning your fans on high adds enough difficulty to their flight to lessen your chance of being bitten.
Eliminate Mosquito Breeding Grounds and Adult Hiding Spots
Old tires, flower pots, toys, garbage cans, kiddie swimming pools, etc. can collect rain water, and if left untouched, will quickly become a mosquito breeding ground. Be sure to check these often. Ditches and marshy areas can also become a problem, so consider filling them in. Also, keep you grass trimmed. This eliminates a favorite hiding spot for adults.
Treat Pools, Fountains and Bird Baths for Mosquito Larvae.
The best way to treat standing water that can’t be drained is with larvicide. These can be purchased in pellet form from your local hardware store, or in mechanisms called “dunks”, which can be placed in fountains. Larvicides are harmless to fish and other animals, but are very effective at wiping out larval-stage mosquitoes. Regular pool treatment methods help ward off mosquitoes, so keeping up with normal pool maintenance will go a long way in controlling larval-stage mosquitoes.
Use Repellent While Outdoors.
Mosquito repellents come in several different formulas. The most common – and most effective – are those containing DEET. DEET works both by shutting down mosquitoes’ olfactory ability to sense carbon dioxide and by emitting an odor that is repulsive to them. Another chemical, picaridin, works in much the same way, but has a more pleasing scent and texture to humans. These chemicals have the added bonus of repelling ticks, chiggers and fleas.
If you’re looking to green up your health products supply, check out mosquito repellents that use lemon eucalyptus oil as its main active ingredient. This natural substance works remarkably well and lasts for several hours. Or you can try its synthetic version, PMD. Both are deemed safe for adult use, but should not be used on children under 3.
Try Natural Remedies to Keep the Mosquitoes Away
Natural mosquito control is a popular choice for many. Citronella candles area good solution if you’ll be spending a few hours outdoors during prime mosquito feeding time (early morning and evening). You can also concoct your own anti-mosquito brew using herbs and plants like cinnamon, lavender, garlic, neem oil, rosemary and basil. Simply mix together the ingredients of your choosing and burn them like a candle.
Or Let Nature Take its Course
Another effective solution is to invite mosquitoes’ natural predators into your backyard. The purple martin has become synonymous with mosquito control. This bird feeds on flying insects, but opinions vary on whether it actually targets mosquitoes. Nevertheless, many homeowners erect bird condos to attract them. Bats are also an effective predator. If you can tolerate them, setting up bat houses encourage them to hang around your yard.
On the ground level, try frogs, toads and lizards in a fish pond. Dragonflies will also put a dent in your mosquito population. But perhaps the most effective mosquito predator is the Gambusia Affinis, otherwise known as the “mosquitofish”. This American fish can consume more than 100% of its body weight in mosquito larvae a day. So keep these in your pond for extra protection.