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Home Maintenance Tip: How to Control Mosquitoes in Your Yard

Posted on June 20, 2014

So, you didn’t get around to using those mosquito prevention tips and now the mosquitoes are stalking your every move outdoors. Besides the mosquito bite sting and the itching that can last for days, mosquitoes can carry deadly diseases including West Nile virus and other forms of encephalitis. So, what can you do now that mosquitoes have taken up residence in your yard?

1)      Use insect repellent. DEET is the most commonly known insect repellent and a formula containing 30% DEET will be effective. Lesser concentrations can be effective also but will need to be applied more often. Picaridin (made by Cutter) and IR3535 (made by Avon) are other active ingredients that are effective as insect repellents but don’t last as long as 30% DEET.

2)      Burn citronella candles which use lemongrass as the active ingredient. You can also apply citronella oil, castor oil or lemon eucalyptus oil to your skin.

3)      Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. You can also spray your clothing with insect repellant.

4)      Check the screening on your porch or windows. Repair any holes.

5)      Change the light bulbs for exterior fixtures on decks, porches and at doors to LED bulbs or yellow bug lights. Mosquitoes will be less likely to hang around.

6)      Spray lawn insect repellant on grass, shrubs and other landscaping that surrounds the area you are trying to protect. These lawn repellants can last two to three weeks.

7)      Use a mosquito misting system that usually uses pyrethrin or permethrin as the active ingredients. Pyrethrin is derived from chrysanthemum flowers. The man-made derivative of pyrethrin is permethrin. There are both tankless and 55 gallon drum-based systems. These systems can be professionally installed or do-it-yourselfers can shop for the components online. Either way these systems can be quite expensive but are fairly effective.

8)      Purchase a mosquito trap. These devices usually run on propane and lure mosquitoes with CO2, heat, light, octenol or a combination of all of the above into the trap to die.It is important to place these devices in shady areas between the area where the mosquitoes hang out and your outdoor entertaining area.

No method will be 100% effective at controlling mosquitoes. Different species of mosquitoes are attracted to different things. Plus, you can’t control what your neighbors are doing or not doing. Mosquitoes don’t observe property borders. However, through combining prevention methods with control methods, you can be successful at making life more tolerable for your summer outdoor entertaining.


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