Nothing ruins a lovely summer evening faster than being attacked by hungry mosquitoes. With the arrival of the West Nile Virus, mosquitoes have become a dangerous insect for the first time in many years.
The best defense against mosquitoes is to avoid being bit. Understanding what attracts mosquitoes is as important as understanding what repels them. Here are some tips for controlling mosquitoes around your home without pesticides or other dangerous chemicals.
Destroy the mosquitoes habitat Most mosquitoes will breed in any still fresh or salty water. They are also likely to breed in salt marshes, woodland pools and some plants. Mosquitoes can also enter a geographical area by traveling a distance being carried by the wind.
The first step you should take is to examine your yard thoroughly a day or two after a heavy rainfall, looking for areas with standing water that might harbour mosquito larvae. Not all of these areas will be natural—in fact, some mosquitoes show a decided preference for breeding in old tires and similar man-made water collectors. Dump out any standing water you find, or better yet, remove the breeding habitat completely.
If you own a pond, consider adding a waterfall or fountain to prevent the water from becoming stagnant. To help control mosquito production, you may also add copepod or aquatic predators of mosquito.
Keep grasses and bushes trimmed down to reduce daytime harbourages.
Use plants that repel mosquitoes There are a number of plants that repel mosquitoes. Planting a mixture of these plants around your home and patio can create mosquito free zones for outdoor entertaining and other activities. There are actually plants on the market that are simply called Mosquito plants. They are advertised as a plant that repels mosquitoes. You can only find them through mail order and internet sales.
One of the most famous mosquito-repelling plants is citronella grass, which is used by manufacturers to make citronella candles. The lovely and aromatic garden herbs rosemary, basil, lavender, lemon balm, and lemongrass are also effective mosquito repellents.
Create a natural repellent spray with essential oils Essential oils such as castor, cedar, celery extract, clove, citronella, geranium, lemon eucalyptus, fennel, lavender, lemon grass, peppermint and rosemary are an effective mosquito repellents when applied externally on your skin and clothing. You should test any oils on a small patch of skin before applying them—some people can be allergic or develop skin irritations.
You can make your own insect repellent sprays by combining either rubbing alcohol, witch hazel or olive oil with any of the listed essential oils in a 10 to 1 (alcohol to oil) ratio.
More mosquitoes repelling tips
Avoid 30 minutes before and after dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are at their most active. If you must be outdoors, where light coloured clothing as mosquitoes are more attracted to dark clothing. This is due to the greater heat signature dark clothing provides. Also wear long sleeved shirts and long pants.
Mosquitoes find their prey partly through carbon dioxide. If you are outside in mosquito-heavy locations, avoid overheating or exercising as much as possible, as these cause you to emit more carbon dioxide.
Mosquitoes seem to be more attracted to people who consume diets high in sugary or processed foods. Eating a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, and fruits may help reduce your attractiveness to mosquitoes.
Eating a diet heavy in onions and garlic can make you unattractive to mosquitoes.
Avoid wearing floral or fruity scents from perfumes, sunscreens, soaps, laundry detergent and similar products.
Some people believe that taking vitamin B-1 tablets make them less attractive to mosquitoes.
If you're outside barbecuing, try tossing sage or rosemary on the coals. Not only does it help repel mosquitoes, but also smells good.
With the rise in the West Nile Virus, avoiding mosquitoes becomes a necessity for anyone who wishes to enjoy the outdoors. Remembering to apply mosquito repellent regularly is important no matter which method you choose. With a little care and prevention, you can enjoy the outdoors without slapping yourself silly.Canadian Realty News