Your garden is growing, your landscape is breathtakingly beautiful, and your outdoor kitchen is ready for that next cookout. It sounds like the perfect summer evening, but there is not much to enjoy when you're constantly swatting away mosquitoes.
Where do all those mosquitoes come from? Mosquitoes deposit their eggs in water, where they stay during the incubation period. It only takes about a week to two weeks for the larvae to grow into full-grown adult mosquitoes. That means, if you have low-lying areas in your yard or containers where water tends to collect and not evaporate quickly, these could be havens for mosquitoes. It is wise to occasionally walk through your yard and look for areas of standing water.
Places to look for standing water:
- Wheelbarrow, buckets, or flower pots
- Clogged gutters
- Areas in the yard or driveway that do not have adequate drainage
- Swimming pools that are low on chlorine
- Ponds or fountains where the water is not moving
Sometimes it's your neighbor's yard that is breeding mosquitoes. In that case, all you can do is deter them. Here are some ideas for mosquito control. If you have other ideas, we'd love to hear them so we can pass along to our clients.
Common mosquito repellents include:
- Citronella candles or lanterns that burn citronella oil
- Sprays, gels, and lotions containing the Deet chemical
- Skin-so-soft oil (produced by Avon)
- Wrist or ankle bands are now being sold that may help deter mosquitoes
- Bug zappers that use carbon dioxide to attract the bugs have been proven to be of some help
There are also natural ways to thwart off those nasty critters. Some plants contain a fragrance that can deter mosquitoes. For example, lemongrass is said to keep them at bay. Lavenders may also be of help. Consider planting these around your patio area. (Note: Lavender will attract bees, which are great for the health of your flower garden but might not be appreciated by some individuals.)
Some insects and fish also love to eat mosquitos and will gladly take them off your hands. If you have a serious problem with mosquitoes, you might consider purchasing some dragonflies. Water beetles, minnows, and gold fish love mosquitoes and are a nice addition to a pond or landscape water feature.
Now that our rainy season is over, we at Environmental Construction hope your summer is pleasant and outdoor experiences are relaxing and virtually mosquito-free.