Mosquitoes can be quite a nuisance buzzing around your head and creating itchy, swollen bumps on your skin. Protect your yard from pesky mosquitoes and repel mosquitoes with simple, easy methods. Some easy, natural methods to reduce the number of mosquitoes in your yard include burning citronella candles, eliminate standing water and including mosquito repellent plants into your landscape. If you are unsure of what to do or where to begin contact a mosquito expert for assistance with mosquito control.
If you are tired of spraying your entire body with mosquito repellent chemicals that may not be the best for your health consider other options to help with mosquito control in your yard. There are plenty of natural ways to reduce the number of swarming mosquitos around you and your guests at your next outdoor gathering.
How can you make your property less friendly to mosquitos? A big step to reducing the number of pesky mosquitoes is to eliminate the standing water in your yard. This task includes cleaning the gutters of your house where the standing water is a perfect area for mosquitoes to incubate. For the low-lying areas in your yard where water tends to linger after a storm it might be a good idea to look to improve water drainage.
Investigate where the drainage ditch or storm drain system is nearest to your property. Once the drainage system has been located, your next steps will be to contact the utility company to figure out if there are any underground utility pipes that may be an issue, and also to make sure the outlet for the drainage pipe is not just moving the problem to another area. If you are planning to place the drainage outlet in a creek or stream contact your local authorities. You will also need to contact local authorities if you are connecting your outlet to a county, municipal or state run off system. Other alternatives to removing problem areas for standing water include adding more topsoil to the area. While you may think it would be a good idea to plant a tree or a bush know that the roots of the intended plant would be incredibly saturated and would potentially rot away.
Other than the low areas of your yard there are numerous areas that collect water like tires, bird baths, pool covers and tree stumps not to mention the numerous outdoor toys that get left lying around. If your yard is littered with toys and other items that collect water perhaps it is time to organize a little yard cleanup.
For a quick fix use citronella candles. Citronella is an essential oil that is produced from a variety of lemongrass. The EPA considers citronella to be a biopesticide. What citronella does is masks the human body aromas of lactic acid and carbon dioxide that mosquitos are attracted to. A Canadian university research group did a study on citronella oil concentration in candles and the correlation in mosquitoes landing in the vicinity. The study found that the burning of citronella candles reduced mosquito landings by 42%. However, the use of citronella candles may not be as effective when it is windy outside.
Some plants like lemongrass, marigold, basil, lavender and catnip are known to repel mosquitoes as well. Why do they repel mosquitoes successfully? These plants have specific chemicals or essential oils that deter mosquitoes. For example, catnip has the essential oil nepetalactone that keeps the mosquitoes at bay. It seems the stronger the smell, the more likely the mosquitoes will leave you well enough alone. Marigolds, while not an herb, naturally repel many bugs and mosquitoes as well. The flowers contain an ingredient found in many insect repellents, and they have a unique smell which mosquitoes and other bugs find offensive.
To help reduce the number of mosquitoes around the outdoor areas you and your family enjoy plant lavender around the area. The strong scent of lavender may help ward off the swarms of mosquitoes so plant it around your deck or patio and perhaps keep a potted planted by your grill. You may also use lavender essential oils to help with mosquito bites to help reduce swelling and itching.
A nice smelling hack to help protect you against mosquito bites while cooking is super easy. Grab a sprig of rosemary and throw it on the grill while you prep and grill. Remember rosemary is one of the many insect repelling plants recommended to help keep the mosquitoes away.
Bats may be some of the more misunderstood creatures of a backyard and garden. Bats are actually some of the best in natural insect control, and yes this includes mosquitoes. Did you know that a bat can eat up to 600 mosquitoes an hour? Do not be afraid of the bats. They are helpful critters.
To attract bats to your neck of the woods you will need to make a bat house or at least provide some sort of shelter to create a safe haven for the bats to rest. Consider building a bat house from an aromatic wood like red cedar but they do like old trees and shrubs as well. Build the house close to a body of water, near your garden or near the mosquito problem area. When you make your bat house make sure that it is made of a nontoxic wood, is at least 2 feet by 1 foot and 3-5” deep and is approximately 10 to 15 feet off the ground. Hang the bat house from a tree or a pole and try to keep it away from your house to avoid additional critter problems.
There are multiple species of birds that carnivorously devour pounds of mosquitoes and if you want them on your mosquito control squad, the best way to attract them is with shelter and food. The specific bird species known to chow down on mosquitoes include barn swallows, purple martins, robins, mockingbirds, chickadees, nuthatches and woodpeckers. Do some research about the area that you live in to determine what birds and thus what type of bird feed you will need to put out in your birdfeeders. In addition, consider buying a squirrel-proofed bird feeder to make sure your bird feeder is not completely robbed by chubby-cheeked rodents.
With these solutions, you should be able to get a head start on repelling mosquitoes and keeping mosquitoes out of your yard. Keep in mind that these solutions will not completely eradicate mosquitoes and it would still be a good idea to apply bug repellent. If you are not satisfied with the results of your efforts consider contacting the mosquito control experts in the Boston area to help you repel mosquitoes.