How to Prevent Mosquitoes From Interrupting Your Summer

August 28, 2019

Mosquitoes are arguably the most annoying aspect of summertime, but they don’t have to be. If you are vigilant about incorporating mosquito control tactics into your summer routine, you can effectively keep these pests at bay. Here are several different mosquito control methods you can use this season:


Eliminate Standing Water and Debris


The best way to keep mosquitoes away is to prevent them from breeding. Most types of mosquitoes use water as a breeding ground, and some also use debris. Even a miniscule pool of standing water or an innocuous pile of leaves can quite literally be breeding a huge mosquito problem for you this summer. So, be sure to check your property for standing water in pots, children’s toys, pool covers, cans, and unused gutters. Additionally, you should also clear your yard of any rotting logs, leaf piles, or compost piles, as these provide enough moisture for mosquitoes to thrive and reproduce. 


Use Natural and Chemical Repellents


Natural and chemical mosquito repellants both have their own benefits, so to get the best of both worlds, combine them! Some natural mosquito repellants include spraying a mixture of water and essential oils (citronella, cedarwood, lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, and lemongrass work best) around your patio while you are having a barbecue and also planting citronella, lemongrass, rosemary, catip, basil and sage plants near your home. For maximum effectiveness, you should also incorporate an EPA-approved chemical repellent into your mosquito control routine. Spray this on your clothes if you are going to be outside for thirty minutes or more, and be sure to re-apply every two hours. 


Light Candles or Lanterns


A long-standing mosquito control tactic is to light a candle or lantern because mosquitoes are repelled by smoke. This does indeed work, but you can take the effectiveness up a notch by using a wax that contains geraniol. Geraniol is a compound that is found in large quantities in rose oil, palmarosa oil, and citronella oil, and in smaller quantities in other essential oils. Pure geraniol itself is more effective than citronella when burned, so look specifically for this ingredient in mosquito-repelling candles and lanterns. Then, place those candles and lanterns around the perimeter of a small area for maximum effectiveness.


Dress Appropriately


One additional way to keep mosquitoes away from you personally is to dress appropriately. You should have a barrier between your skin and the mosquitoes, so it is a smart idea to wear pants and long sleeves during the cooler summer evenings. In addition to covering your skin, you should also try to wear lighter colors, as mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors. Finally, with all the effort you are putting into your other mosquito control tactics with geraniol candles and essential oils, you do not want to wear a scent yourself that attracts mosquitoes. Mosquitoes love floral scents, so avoid fancy-smelling perfumes, colognes, body washes, and lotions, and opt for unscented instead. If you still want to smell fresh, spritz yourself with some lavender essential oil instead.