Nothing ruins a great evening outdoors faster than mosquitoes. With their whining buzz and relentless search for blood, they are a nuisance and can drive everyone indoors in seconds. They also pose a health risk. From the Zika and West Nile viruses to yellow fever and malaria, diseases spread by mosquitoes can be extremely serious and sometimes even deadly. Homeowners are always looking for ways to keep mosquitoes from invading their outdoor spaces. With these helpful tips, you can repel and control mosquitoes and help prevent future problems.
Tips For Keeping Mosquitos Away From Your Home
- In the air: Get yourself mosquito-killing sprays to get rid of any around your deck or patio. These sprays repel mosquitoes for up to 12 hours so your next outdoor event or relaxing evening doesn’t get crushed by those annoying blood-suckers.
- On the Lawn: Treating your yard is a tried-and-true method for reducing mosquito infestations. Kill mosquitoes in your lawn and landscape beds with specialized sprays for lawns. These sprays can be used in a tank sprayer or a homemade sprayer and will kill all mosquitoes by contact. When treating your lawn, focus on the perimeter of your home and damp, shaded areas of your property because these are where mosquitoes are likely to be resting when they’re not trying to get your blood.
Light candles or lanterns
Help keep mosquitoes away from your patio and porch by lighting candles or lanterns that contain one or more essential oils known to repel mosquitoes. Mosquito-repelling candles work best in small areas without a lot of air movement. The best oils to use are:
Set mosquito traps
You can also use mosquito traps to help keep mosquitoes away from your porch or patio. Just remember to change the traps regularly. If you’re having an outdoor party or hanging out for a relaxing evening with family, traps can be an effective way to keep mosquitoes from joining the party. Traps are even more effective when used along with other mosquito controls and repellent products.
Spray on personal repellents
If you plan to be in your yard or on the patio, then use an EPA-approved personal repellent designed specifically for humans. The most common times for mosquitoes to be buzzing around are during the early morning and twilight hours. So if you plan to be outdoors for a long period of time, be sure to keep your spray handy.
Prevent Future Mosquito Problems
Eliminate standing water
One thing you can count on is that wherever there is standing water, there will be mosquitoes. Many female mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Since it only takes about a week for a mosquito to go from egg to adult, getting rid of the standing water on or near your property can significantly reduce the number of mosquitoes that will plague your next backyard barbeque. Empty water that has been collected in children’s toys, kiddie pools, garden pots, buckets, trash can lids, wheelbarrows, or other items lying around that could collect water.
- Inspect your gutters for clogs and clean them regularly to prevent water collection.
- If you have a birdbath, change the water regularly.
- Walk your property and address any low spots in the lawn that collect water or areas that have poor drainage.
Clean up debris
Some types of mosquitoes lay their eggs in damp soil or debris, such as decaying logs and leaf piles, so be sure to clear them away. Remember to remove leaves and other debris from gutters, too. If you continue to have a problem with mosquitoes and have a lot of shade in your yard, you may want to consider having your trees trimmed to increase light levels and make your landscape less inviting to mosquitoes.
Plant mosquito-repelling plants
The potent fragrances and essential oils in some plants naturally repel mosquitoes. Pot a few of these plants and set them around the perimeter of your deck or patio to naturally help keep mosquitoes away. They also add some color and fragrance to the area. The best mosquito-repellent plants are:
- Bee balm
It is true, your morning cup of joe can help keep mosquitoes away. Sprinkle coffee grounds in areas with standing water to prevent mosquito larvae from growing. While the exact reason is unknown, scientists are in the process of studying coffee to find out more about its mosquito-repelling powers.
A mosquito bite is definitely annoying and their invasion of your space is a nuisance, but it’s the threat of mosquito-transmitted illness that really makes these insects a serious problem. Many communities spray to help control mosquito populations, but you can still take your own precautions to protect yourself and keep your home mosquito-free.