Summertime is here and what will ruin any fun day outside? The mosquito. They make us itch, irritate us and can spread disease. There are ways to naturally repel mosquitoes, plants which repel mosquitos and ways to avoid getting bit.
Why should you bother with mosquito control?
From the Florida Department of Health – Mosquito-borne diseases found in Florida include West Nile virus disease, Eastern equine encephalitis, and St. Louis encephalitis. Many other mosquito-borne diseases are found in different parts of the world and can be brought back to Florida if infected people or animals are bitten by mosquitoes while in Florida. Some examples of these diseases include chikungunya fever, dengue fever, malaria, yellow fever, and Rift Valley fever.
Mosquitos spread diseases in all states and in other countries. There are ways to naturally repel them and deter them from your yard so you can enjoy being outside during the warmer months.
What Attracts Mosquitoes?
Only the female mosquito bites, because they need our blood to develop and lay eggs. Males drink flower nectar.
Here are several different reasons why mosquitoes may bite you and not the person next to you:
- You talk too much – Mosquitoes are attracted to Carbon Dioxide, those who exhale (talk/breathe) more than others attract more mosquitoes.
- Blood type O – Those with type O blood attract more biting insects than those with A, B, or AB Blood.
- Dark Clothes – Wearing dark clothes causes you to stand out against the horizon and mosquitoes like this.
- Sweating –People who sweat or with higher body temperatures send signals to mosquitoes to come and enjoy.
- Mosquitoes Love Their Beer – For some unknown reasons, mosquitoes will be attracted to those who like their beer.
I am a talker, have type O blood and sweat a lot when I’m out in the summertime. That answers a lot of questions about why they seem to be attracted to me.
How to Get Rid of Mosquitos Naturally
There are several ways to help deter and keep the population down in your yard and surrounding areas. Just following these few steps will really make a difference.
Removing and Treating Standing Water
Get rid of the standing water, and you get rid of the mosquito eggs. Water standing still for 4 or more days will help support the mosquitoes life cycle.
- Treat water with mosquito dunks. Mosquito dunks slowly release BTI in water. BTI is toxic for mosquitoes but non-toxic to all other wildlife, pets, fish, and humans.
- Remove any objects around your yard that may collect water, such as buckets or small pools or toys with openings that hold water
- Use a rain barrel with screens over the holes where the water goes in. Read about how I set up my rain barrel.
- Use a solar pump in your fountains to keep the water moving all the time. No electricity required and works really well in my fountain.
- Replace any standing water in pools or bird baths often.
Provide Mosquito Eating Animals
Invite animals which eat mosquitoes to your yard to help control mosquitoes:
Set up a Bat House in the backyard and watch them devour mosquitoes nightly. Fish in fish ponds love to eat mosquitoes and adding a few frog houses near the pond will help out too. My favorite way to control mosquitoes is with the Purple Martin. Set up a Martin home for them and you will love sitting out and listening to the very distinctive call they have. They don’t mind humans being around them and they aren’t messy. Since they are big bug eaters, you don’t have to worry about feeding them.
Avoid Going Out at Peek Feeding Times
The most common mosquito feeds at dawn and dusk and a few hours into the night. There are some aggressive species which feed all day. By avoiding these times, you will less likely be bitten.
Use Mosquito Repelling Plants
Several herbs and some flowers have been known to repel mosquitoes and other biting insects. Herbs make a great addition to any yard and garden and can also be used in everyday cooking.
List of plants to use as natural mosquito repellents:
- Citronella (lemon balm, lemon grass, lemon verbena)
I put geraniums and marigolds in large pots at my front and back door. They last all summer, look beautiful and keep the skeeters away from the door and patio.
Use Natural Mosquito Repellant Spray
Use a DEET free spray with natural ingredients or make your own spray from essential oils. After reading some mosquito sprays precautions with DEET, I would rather make my own or use a spray that DEET free.
Homemade Bug Spray
- 30 drops geranium essential oil
- 30 drops citronella essential oil
- 20 drops lemon eucalyptus essential oil
- 20 drops lavender essential oil
- 10 drops rosemary essential oil
- 1 tbsp rubbing alcohol
- ½ cup natural witch hazel
- ½ cup water
- Place essential oils in a glass spray bottle. Add in alcohol and witch hazel. Shake well to combine.
- Add ½ tsp vegetable glycerin to help everything stay combined. Not required.
- Add water and shake again. Shake well before each use as the oils and water will naturally separate some over time.
Spray where needed when outdoors.
Following these simple steps will give you a much more pleasant day outside when its warm.
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I’m just a country girl loving my geeky life with my wonderful husband, always taking pictures, getting my hands dirty in the garden, being crafty, exploring with travels and enjoying all this on a budget. But above all, living my faith as a child of God!