Summer time is in full throttle here in Greater Lafayette. As we spend time outdoors soaking up the warm weather and hosting guests once again, some unwelcomed guests may invite themselves to your party – yes, we’re talking about mosquitoes.
According to the CDC, more than 200 types of mosquitoes live in the United States. As if those itchy, red welts weren’t enough of a nuisance, some mosquitoes can carry diseases including the West Nile and Zika viruses. As the mosquitoes make their appearance in the months to come, we’ve got some tips and recommendations to help keep them from spoiling your time outdoors.
Get Rid Of Any Stagnant Water And Clean Up Your Yard
Is that old wheelbarrow that’s been sitting in your backyard since last summer full of rainwater and yard clippings? Or maybe the sandbox in the corner of the backyard is full of dirt, sand, rainwater, yard clippings, and everything in between? Three words… DUMP IT OUT! No matter how big or small, mosquitoes are known to breed in bodies of standing water, so if you eliminate the source, there’s a good chance you’ll eliminate mosquitoes as well.
What about a swimming pool? Well, that’s a different situation, if your pool is maintained properly. If it’s fully maintained, there’s no need to worry about mosquitoes breeding in it. That’s because the chemicals and filter will keep the mosquitoes away. Kiddie pools or non-chemically treated pools, that’s another story.
Also, something to keep in mind, like many insects, mosquitoes also tend to create a habitat in and around tall grass and tree limbs. So, take the time to ensure that your yard is free of debris or overgrown vegetation. And if your yard is prone to wet spots, consider filling in any uneven terrain with topsoil and grass seed.
Consider Using Mosquito Netting
A mosquito net is a meshed curtain that can be draped over a dwelling to serve as a barrier between you and mosquitoes (and other pesky insects as well). This netting is made from a variety of different materials including cotton, polyethylene, polyester, polypropylene, and nylon.
This netting can be found at most big box retail stores and online. If you do opt to use this netting, keep in mind that it can restrict air flow, which might make air stagnant and uncomfortable depending on where you’re at.
Go Natural And Set Out Mosquito Repelling Plants
Not a huge fan of lathering yourself in mosquito repellent or spraying insecticides all over your yard? Like humans, there are certain smells that mosquitoes don’t like, some of which are plants that can be grown around your home. Some of these plants include:
Consider Your Clothing
When it’s hot and humid outside, the last thing you likely want to wear is long sleeves and long pants. But when skin is not exposed, it’s much more difficult for mosquitoes to bite. So next time you find yourself outside for an extended amount of time, consider wearing clothing made of materials such as nylon and rayon to help keep you cool.
You may also want to consider using permethrin, which is used as both a medication and an insecticide. As an insecticide, it can be sprayed on clothing or mosquito nets to kill any insects that touch them. Sold under the brand name Nix, permethrin can be found at most major retailers.
And we all know lighter colors help keep us a bit cooler as opposed to darker colors, but did you know wearing lighter colors can help keep mosquitoes at bay? Mosquitoes tend to flock to black and clue colors.
Set Up An Electric Fan
Fans are a mosquito’s enemy for two reasons.
First, did you know that mosquitoes are naturally attracted to carbon dioxide? And when a fan is nearby, air dissipates the carbon dioxide, keeping the mosquitoes away. Secondly, mosquitoes aren’t very big, so all it takes is a small gust of air to make it physically unable for them to get close to you.
And If You’re Up For The Challenge… Attract Predators Of Mosquitoes
We know this might not be for everyone, but mosquitoes have many natural predators. If you’re up to it, you can take it upon yourself to create an environment in your yard for these predators to come and help alleviate the burden of mosquitoes. Some of these creatures include: