How to Keep Mosquitoes Away This Summer

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mosquito

With summer in full force during a nationwide pandemic, many of us have been staying close to home and enjoying our backyards. Backyard barbecues, tent camping, and beanbag toss have become Michigan favorites across the board this summer. What is not a Michigan favorite?  Mosquitoes. These annoying creatures cause us to itch, carry harmful diseases, and are just an overall nuisance. What is a Michigander to do? Over the years, folks have developed different remedies and discovered various ways to combat these dreadful creatures. Here are a few of them.

Commercial Repellants

Traditional mosquito repellents are sold over the counter and contain several ingredients to ward off mosquitoes. Some repellents such as OFF, contain the much talked about ingredient DEET. What is DEET anyway? N, N-Diethyl-m-toluamide is a colorless liquid with a faint odor that makes it hard for mosquitoes to smell us. Another effective ingredient to look for in commercial repellents is Picaridin. It too repels mosquitoes and other pesky insects.

Use All-Natural Repellants

Chemicals in commercial mosquito control work very well to protect you from mosquitoes, but not everyone can use them. Many people are sensitive or allergic to DEET, and the other ingredients commercial repellents contain. For those looking for natural mosquito repellants, many essential oils and herbs help to repel mosquitoes and can be combined to make your own mosquito spray. 

  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus
  • Basil
  • Catnip
  • Garlic
  • Lavender
  • Lemon Balm
  • Lemongrass
  • Marigold
  • Neem
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary

 

Citronella Candles

Citronella is a well-known natural mosquito repellant. It’s so effective that it is the main ingredient in many commercial mosquito repellants. Mosquitoes can’t stand the smell of citronella.  Therefore, placing a couple of citronella candles or tiki torches around can create a barrier around you and your friends. The only negative side to using citronella candles is that it only protects a small area, so you’ll need to purchase several of them to be effective.

Eliminate the Source of Mosquitoes

If you want to get aggressive in your mosquito control, the best way to do it is to go right to the source and eliminate mosquito breeding areas. Female mosquitoes only need one thing to lay the next generation of mosquitoes, standing water. Females deposit their eggs in standing water, where they will hatch and repeat the cycle over and over again.

This includes:

  • Tires
  • Toys
  • Flowerpots
  • Gutters
  • Puddles
  • Patio furniture
  • Tarps

 

Save Your Water Features

There are many cases where eliminating standing water may not be possible. Water features like fountains, ponds, pools, rain barrels and bird baths are important parts of your landscape.

You can keep them by following a few simple steps:
Keep your pools chlorinated and regularly maintained.
Add fish to ponds to eat mosquito eggs and larvae.
Add new water to birdbaths once a week.
Reduce water stagnation with a water pump to keep water circulating. 
Stop providing mosquito larvae with food, shelter, and hiding places by removing excess vegetation. 
Smaller ponds simply may need to be cleaned with skimmer nets, but it’s recommended that larger ponds have a mechanical pond skimmer.

Avoid Dark Clothes

Believe it or not, the clothes you wear can affect whether mosquitoes find you delicious or not worth the time. Mosquitoes hunt by sensing chemicals in our sweat, and when we wear darker clothes, it tends to retain more heat, especially when we are sitting around a fire.  Choosing a wardrobe of light, loosely fitting clothes will help give you one extra layer of protection from getting bit.

Don’t Use Scented Products

Studies show that mosquitoes enjoy the smell of your all-natural fruit-infused shampoos and conditioners just as much as you do. When you know you will be spending extended periods outside, use beauty products that are unscented to reduce your chances of being a target.

Hire the Lawn Care Pros at Grosse Ile Lawn Sprinkler & Fertilizing

The most effective way to take your yard back from mosquitoes is by getting professional mosquito control services from Grosse Ile Lawn Sprinkler & Fertilizing. Our Mosquito Control Program offers five applications for consistent, thorough coverage throughout the summer.

Call us for more information at (734) 285-4470 or get a free estimate.

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