Mosquitoes are the bane of summertime celebrants. In some areas of the country, it seems that simply stepping out the door is more than enough incentive for these tiny, flying insects to attack. A single bite is enough to leave the victim suffering for hours with itching and red bumps. The most effective way to reduce or eliminate mosquitoes is to make your property a less attractive place for them to reproduce, and it is possible to achieve this goal without using harsh chemicals that could harm the environment or the people who want to enjoy your yard.
The most effective way to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds is to remove any source of standing water on the property. Mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water, and some of the simplest remedies can quickly make an enormous difference in the mosquito population around your yard. This may be as obvious as emptying a birdbath or sweeping out puddles that form in the street in front of the house. However, mosquitoes may also lay eggs in less obvious locations. Check for any container that might be placed outside, accumulating rainwater or runoff from the lawn sprinkler. Look for pots with catch basins beneath them. These should be emptied and cleaned on a regular basis.
Garbage cans and their lids are prime breeding spots for mosquitoes. Make sure they are clean, dry and stored in such a way that they cannot capture the water from an unexpected rain shower. Check the gutters around the roof. If they are clogged with leaves, rainwater will not flow and may stagnate long enough for mosquitoes to lay their eggs.
Look for low spots in the yard. Even if your lawn is manicured and lush, a low spot will allow water to pool, increasing the time required for it to evaporate. It doesn’t take long for eggs to turn into larvae, and a juvenile mosquito soon becomes a flying biter. Look in the flowerbed, as well. Any low spot can be a cause for concern.
If mosquitoes defeat your efforts to eradicate breeding areas, there are natural ways to drive them off, such as essential oils. Cinnamon, peppermint, and citronella oils can be mixed with water and sprayed around the area. You can also help deter mosquitoes by hanging a bag of crushed cloves in a high-traffic area. Even merely lighting candles around the patio can drive off mosquitoes because they dislike the smoke. Additionally, strongly scented candles can help mask your scent, making you more difficult for mosquitoes to detect.
Try implementing a few of these ideas in your yard to make this summer a more enjoyable – and less itchy -time for you and your family. You might be pleasantly surprised to find that effective mosquito population control can be achieved without the use of dangerous chemicals and pesticides.