With concern about Zika virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses like dengue fever and West Nile spreading, mosquitoes are more than just a simple annoyance. Even if the mosquitoes lingering around your property don't carry a harmful virus, no one wants to spend their summer scratching itchy, painful bug bites. Luckily, there are specific and proactive things you can do to manage mosquitoes at home before they get out of hand. Here are seven tips:
Clean Your Gutters
If your gutters are full of leaves and debris, they can't do their job properly and allow water to flow away from your home. This means that when you get a summer rainstorm, the rainwater has nowhere to go and ends up pooling in the gutters and even forming puddles on your roof. This not only leads to roof damage, but also creates the kind of stagnant, standing water environment that mosquitoes use as breeding grounds. Be sure to clean your gutters (or pay a company to do it) every fall and spring, as well as anytime you notice that they're full.
Over-watering your yard is not only wasteful (especially with so much of the country experiencing serious drought), but it also leads to mosquito outbreaks. When you water your lawn and plants properly, the water soaks into the soil and roots, but when you over-water, the excess water pools. This excess water is very attractive to mosquitoes. To avoid over-watering try setting your sprinklers on a timer system so you don't forget to shut them off in time.
Make Use of Outdoor Fans
Mosquitoes can't fly very well in wind, which makes fans very unappealing to them. To keep mosquitoes away from your patio or other outdoor living space, simply plug in a table fan, or even better, have an outdoor ceiling fan installed. Not only will you keep mosquitoes away, but your patio will be much more comfortable on those hot summer days.
Plant Mosquito-repelling Herbs
Several herbs are considered effective mosquito repellents. These can be planted in attractive containers around your patio, on your front porch, and anywhere you want to discourage mosquitoes while also adding a bit of greenery. Lemon balm, all types of mint, basil, sage, and rosemary all do a great job of repelling mosquitoes. As an added benefit, you'll have delicious fresh herbs to use in your cooking!
Try Neem Oil
Neem oil is a powerful essential oil that works as an effective mosquito repellent that is safe for kids and pets. You can buy neem oil bug repellent online, or make your own by diluting a few drops of neem oil in liquified coconut oil or witch hazel. Simply apply with a cotton ball to limbs, neck, and anywhere else you are frequently bitten.
Fill Your Patio with Citronella Candles
Citronella is a natural mosquito repellent most often used in candles. If you want to enjoy your backyard or patio at night without getting attacked by mosquitoes, citronella candles are a must. They tend to only have a small radius, so using several candles and spreading them around to create a mosquito barrier is the best approach.
Clean Up Standing Water
In addition to gutters and spots in your yard where you've over-watered, it's a good idea to do a quick audit of your yard, looking for other areas of standing water. Old tires, buckets, tarps, and unused swimming pools should all be cleaned up and not allowed to fill with stagnant water that attracts breeding mosquitoes.
By following these tips, you can protect your family from mosquitoes before they breed and get out of control. If you already have a large mosquito problem on your hands, it's time to call a pest control company with significant mosquito experience. Check it out for more information.