Control Mosquitoes with Traditional & Green Methods

Mosquitoes are a summer pest that can cause intense irritation and could possibly transmit diseases like West Nile Virus. Female mosquitoes need an amino acid called isoleucine to make new eggs. This substance is found in blood. Mosquitoes are drawn to humans for several reasons although the carbon dioxide you exhale is what attracts them the most. Mosquitoes can detect carbon dioxide from over 50 feet away. The bites left by mosquitoes can be itchy, painful and could become infected over time. There are several traditional and green methods for controlling mosquitoes during the summer.

Removing Breeding Sites

Start by removing breeding sites. Empty anything that contains standing water since this is where mosquitoes lay eggs. Turn over buckets or containers so that they never fill with water. If you have a pond or fountain, then throw in a mosquito dunk that will kill any eggs appearing in the water. The dunk contains a special type of bacteria that kills mosquito eggs but is harmless to humans and other wildlife.

Repellent Sprays

A simple control method is a repellent spray. You use this spray on your skin before going outside. The chemicals in the spray will repel mosquitoes for a certain period of time. You will have to reapply the spray regularly especially if you are sweating. A drawback of sprays is that they can have unpleasant odors and sometimes cause a little skin irritation. A natural repellent for your skin is a little diluted neem oil.

Treated Clothing

You can get clothing treated with permethrin to repel mosquitoes. These hats, scarves and shirts have the repellent infused into the fabric. The clothing can be effective for areas with light to moderate mosquito problems. The clothes do eventually lose the repellent effect after repeated washing.

Mosquito Traps

One of the most common and popular ways to control mosquitos is with a trap. These devices emit carbon dioxide to attract mosquitoes. The pests are captured after entering the trap. They die later. Mosquito traps can help to keep relatively large areas of your property free from the pests. They do need to be cleaned and maintained regularly.

Time Sprayers

If you have a serious mosquito problem, then you can install a timed sprayer system. The sprayer releases pesticides into key parts of your property on a set schedule each day. This can slowly kill all the mosquitoes on your property and keep the population under control. The system can be expensive to install at first and does spread pesticides across your plants and property.

Citronella Candles

A natural way to repel mosquitoes is with citronella candles. The candles have been proven to be effective. They release a compound that most mosquitoes will avoid completely. They are effective only while burning. The problem is that the repellent power of citronella candles is limited to a small area so that you might have to place several around your property to cover an entire patio or deck.

Plants to Repel Mosquitoes

You can put a variety of plants around your patio or property to naturally repel mosquitoes. The most common and effective are citrosum, lavender, catnip, lemon balm, sage and rosemary. Put these plants in any combination in dense patches around the areas where you spend the most time outdoors. You can even run your hands through the plants and rub the accumulated oils on your skin to act as a natural repellent.

Lemon Juice

Mosquitoes are repelled by the scent of lemon. Another natural control method is to spray pure lemon juice around your yard, patio, deck or outdoor furniture. Do this around 15 minutes before going outside to drive mosquitoes away. You can also spray your entire property once a week to keep mosquitoes from settling in the area and breeding.

The Bug Master provides mosquito pest control in San Marcos, Austin, Temple, and Waco.