Most of us have our share of complaints about the insects and pests that come with the summer season, but few are so universally hated as the mosquito. Our favorite summer activities often involve enjoying ourselves outside – barbequing with family and friends, catching the evening on the patio with a beverage in hand, or spending time in our gardens nurturing delicious and beautiful growth – a mosquitoes can find a way to ruin every one of these pursuits.
We’re all eager to evict these blood suckers from our lives so we can enjoy our backyards in peace. While fighting them may have felt like a losing battle in the past, we have a variety of strategies that work well to make a noticeable difference in how many annoying buzzes and bites you experience at home.
Pictured below: Rosemary
Evicting Mosquitoes: Standing Water
Mosquitoes need standing water to mature and reproduce. They’re also not very proficient fliers, and usually can’t travel more than a mile. Their sprint from egg to annoying biter lasts only 4-6 days, making controlling standing water a constant concern. They can be reproducing in just a few tablespoons of water, and notorious areas of water collection will need consistent emptying. However, eliminating the water where they could be breeding from your property is an easy, organic, and incredibly effective way to start reducing how many unwelcome mosquito visitors you see at home.
Start by taking a walking “audit” of your yard, on the lookout for where standing water is collecting. Be suspicious of forgotten corners behind sheds, old wheelbarrows, half-buried tarps and buckets. Out of sight can’t be out of mind so don’t forget the check that your gutters are clear, too. Running or treated water are usually safe, but take note of any water you find. Make a routine out of checking and draining problem spots. If the mosquitoes don’t have anywhere to breed, you’ll see a sharp drop in how many are in your yard in only a few days.
Changing the Habitat – No Mosquito-Friendly Zones
Mosquitoes breeding in long grass is mostly a myth, but they certainly love to hang out in the cool and dewy shelter. If we get rid of breeding grounds for mosquitoes, the next item on the list is to keep an eye on where they loiter, too. These bugs aren’t very fond of intense sunlight, and love to stick to the shade. Keep your shrubs, trees, and grass well trimmed to eliminate hiding and resting places. Your yard will look more polished, and you’ll be able to spend the time outside to enjoy it, more, too!
Defence and Interventions:
Even with the best practices of reducing their numbers, some mosquitoes will still find their way into your backyard and patio. Don’t let the stubborn remainders chase you inside on the best summer days! There are still some great ways to make you and your patio as unappealing to them as you can, without too much hassle.
Natural Defences: It’s downright easy to create a beautiful, natural, and effective perimeter around your favorite backyard spots. Your outdoor living spaces are the perfect place for container gardens designed to repel mosquitoes. Choose plants like Citronella Geraniums, Rosemary, Lemongrass, Ageratum, and Lemon Thyme to keep the biters at bay. Not only will you enjoy more pretty perennials, but their scents will deter flying pests. For other scent-based defences, some people swear by their more traditional citronella candles and smokers.
As we’ve mentioned before, mosquitoes are weak fliers and we’ve all noticed a pleasant reprieve from them when the wind picks up. By setting up a fan or two by your outdoor space, you’ll keep cool while keeping the biters away.
Pictured below: Citronella Geraniums (left), Ageratum (right)
Mosquito Control Products: Sometimes, natural defences aren’t enough to keep your outdoor living spaces as free of these irritating pests as you’d like. When you need the help of some commercial products, we carry a selection of Bonide products that we trust to help handle biting pests:
- Mosquito Beater Granules use mosquito’s sense of smell against them. While we enjoy the smell of citronella, cedar, lemongrass and other oils, mosquitoes can’t stand it. Using these scents, these granules easily spread around a yard or patio, where they will keep out the biters for weeks. These granules are great to apply and forget, but could cause irritation that would make them not ideal around small children and pets.
- Mosquito Beater RTS is a “Ready To Spray” solution that attaches directly to your garden hose. Containing Permethrin it makes quick work of mosquitoes, but also flies and ticks. Apply RTS by spraying your lawn, trees, and shrubs where it will kill and repel insect pests for weeks – while still being safe for your family and pets once dry. Make sure to follow the instructions on the label of this potent product to use it safely.
- Mosquito Beater WSP are water-soluble pouches containing a solution for any standing water in your yard you can’t drain. The pouches contain a larvicide that attacks annoying mosquitoes. This product is totally safe for everything, including ponds, rain barrels, and bird baths. The pellets release microbes that only target mosquito larvae before they can mature into the flying, biting pests we hate.
When it comes to summer, mosquitoes are a common annoyance that many of us have just learned to deal with. This doesn’t have to be true, though. With the right tips, tricks, and tools up our sleeves, we can peacefully enjoy our yards, both buzz and itch-free!
To learn more about mosquito control or to see our range of products, visit the marketplace today!