Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Banning Mosquitoes From Your Yard

The conundrum...we love spending time outdoors in warm weather but we hate being feasted on by mosquitoes.  Mosquito repellents are sticky and stinky making you feel like you need to take a bath every time you put some on.

There are ways to reduce mosquitoes in your yard.  Or at least reduce them where you spend the most time.


If you make your yard a hostile place for mosquitoes to live, they will be less likely to set up shop there.  Mosquitoes lay their eggs underwater and that's where they all start life.  So empty the birdbath, empty all pails, buckets, toys, etc. that can gather water.  If you have a rain barrel, keep an oil drip on the top so that the little buggers can't breed there.

During the hot daytime hours, mosquitoes like to find cool, shaded areas to hang out.  Long grass, woods with undergrowth, and even a stand of evergreens are all great places for mosquitoes to spend their days while they wait to come out and suck your blood.  So keep long grasses and dense bushes away from where you will spend your time in the evenings.

Mosquitoes, like most bugs, love light but can't see yellow.  Replacing your outdoor bulbs with opaque, yellow bulbs means that mosquitoes and other bugs won't be drawn to it.

Repellent Plants

Another option is to place plants that mosquitoes hate in areas where you want to spend time.  Some plants that mosquitoes hate, and therefore ones that you should plant in your yard near places you spend time include:

  • Marigolds
  • Citronella Bush
  • Catnip
  • Lavender
  • Basil
  • Lemon Balm

Other Repellents

If the plants alone aren't cutting it, you may need to go a step further with other repellents.  Mosquito coils burn citronella oil.  The smoke from these coils lingers in the air and acts as a deterrent for mosquitoes.  But if it's a windy day, these worn't work as well.

he Thermacell system, which uses a butane cartridge to vaporize allethrin, a synthetic version of the biorepellent found in chrysanthemum flowers, will also work quite well.

Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus is also a great repellent.  It can be atomized and sprayed in areas you want to spend time.

Time For War

If your yard is wafting the strong smell of citronella and is doused in yellow light and you are still having trouble with the blood-sucking fiends, then it's time to get serious and try to kill these pesky buggers.

You can go the chemical warfare route and mist or fog insecticide in your yard before a big event.  But if you'd rather not wade through chemical-laden air, then you might want to consider a mosquito trap.  These devices emit CO2 or another mosquito attractant.  When the bugs are lured into the device, they are trapped there and die of dehydration.

Or you can always purchase a bug zapper and have the satisfaction of knowing you've just eliminated another foe every time you hear the snap of electricity.

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