The dreaded whine begins in the distance and your skin prickles in anticipation as it circles ever nearer. First, it seems to be on your left, then on your right, feinting about in confusing circles. Attempts to swat this tiny backyard pest only result in utter failure and soon you give up and head back to the air conditioned safe zone of your home and sit securely, but sadly, behind closed windows.
More Than Annoying, Mosquitoes Pose a Very Real Threat
Chances are you were able to recognize the enemy depicted in this scenario as the mosquito. A common, non-descript little insect, the mosquito inhabits most areas of the world, and has been given the dubious honor of being considered the deadliest of all insects by the World Health Organization (WHO), due to its ability to reproduce and spread the parasite that causes the deadly disease, malaria. This distinction makes it even more important to eradicate them from your back yard.
Eliminate the Attraction
Mosquitoes require moisture and shady areas to thrive and reproduce. Make your backyard less attractive to them by doing the following things:
- Walk through your yard after each rain or lawn watering session and empty out any standing water that collects in flowerpots, containers, tarp crevices, old tires, etc.
- Remove or treat swimming pools, decorative ponds and water features with a mosquito repellant product
- Clean bird baths daily and refill with fresh water
- Keep grass, bushes and trees trimmed to eliminate brushy areas
Plant Natural Deterrents
Another way to make your yard less attractive is to take advantage of plants that naturally repel mosquitoes. Intersperse these plants with other landscaping plants throughout your yard, particularly in and around frequently used sitting and recreation areas. Here is a partial list of plants that humans like and mosquitoes do not:
Lure Them to Their Doom
Removing standing water and planting vegetation that they find to be distasteful will help to deter the overall number of mosquitoes you have to endure in your backyard. Occasionally, however, you will want a little extra insurance to keep mosquitoes from snacking on your family during a cookout or outdoor activity. For these occasions, prepare bowls of water, to which you have added a few drops of a degreasing dish detergent. Position the bowls around the areas where your family or guests will gather. As mosquitoes arrive, they will be attracted to the water and then done in by the detergent it contains. Remember to position these bowls out of the reach of young children and pets and always empty them after the event is over.
Prepare for Battle
Even with all the preparations you have already made, persistent mosquitoes will still attempt to target humans who attract them with certain fragrances or an expanse of unprotected, warm skin. Prepare yourself in case of attack by using one or more of the following tips:
- Spritz unprotected skin with a spray bottle that contains one pint of cool filtered water and five drops of tea tree oil (this can also be spritzed lightly on children and pets to repel mosquitoes naturally)
- Crush springs of lavender or citronella plants and steep them in boiling water overnight, then strain the cooled contents into a spray bottle and spritz on skin, shoes and in the air around you while outside
- Wear cool clothing that covers arms, legs and the back of your neck – all favorite dining zones for mosquitoes
Call for Reinforcements
In most cases, homeowners can see a real reduction in the number of mosquitoes that inhabit their backyards by using these tips to discourage them. If, however, your backyard suffers from a severe infestation or you live in an area where the risk of contracting malaria is a concern, a local pest control service like Ace Walco & Sons Termite & Pest Control can help. They have many safe, but powerful options to help you win the war against nature's deadliest insect, the mosquito.