No one likes mosquitoes. They’re annoying; the bites are itchy; and there’s even a chance that a mosquito bite could give you a deadly disease. But how can you keep the mosquitoes away from your yard — and more importantly, you — this summer season?
The best ways to keep mosquitos away include cleaning your yard of potential mosquito breeding grounds, wearing bug spray, planting mosquito-repelling plants, and dressing in long sleeves and dark colors during prime the mosquito hours (around dusk and dawn).
Not yet convinced this is enough to keep the mosquitoes away? Let’s take a closer look at this tips and just how effective they can be for keeping your yard mosquito-free this summer.
What’s the Best Way to Avoid Mosquitoes?
Believe it or not, there are actually several easy ways to avoid mosquitoes and keep them from your yard without needing to purchase anything. All you have to do is spend a little time eliminating the items mosquitoes like from your yard and home.
First and foremost, mosquitoes love standing water since they need it to lay their eggs. Eliminating any areas where there may be standing water can go a long way toward keeping your yard mosquito-free. Make sure to flip over any wheelbarrows or other items in your yard that could collect water.
It’s a good idea to check for standing water frequently, as sometimes a summer storm can cause an item you previously flipped over to overturn and once again begin collecting water. You should also clear your yard of trash and plant debris; these items also attracts mosquitoes who lay their eggs in decaying plant material.
Once your yard is clear, you should take the time to plant a few mosquito-repelling plants like citronella and lavender. Now your yard should be the opposite of a comfortable home for mosquitoes!
Natural Repellent vs. Chemical Repellent: Which Is Best?
Besides readying your yard, you also need to purchase or make a bug-repelling liquid that you can apply to your skin to discourage the mosquitoes from landing on you. This may leave you wondering whether natural or chemical mosquito repellents are better.
Generally, both natural and chemical mosquito repellents are effective in keeping the bugs away, the main difference is how often you need to reapply the repellent. Natural mosquito repellents only last about 2 hours because they rely on the scents of natural oils to repel mosquitoes — and that means you’ll need to reapply frequently to avoid bites.
Chemical repellents tend to last much longer because the chemicals in them tend to keep mosquitoes away for extended periods of time, even up to 8 hours. The problem is that the main chemical in many repellents, DEET, has been shown to cause neurological issues and death in small children, suggesting the products aren’t always the safest to use.
Before you panic too much, know that the EPA considers DEET safe when used correctly, but with young children it’s hard to be sure. After all, it’s hard to make sure your child isn’t putting their hand in their mouth. So, for young children, a natural repellent is likely safer.
But besides just reapplying natural repellents frequently, they also don’t tend to be water or sweat proof like DEET-based repellents are, so remember to reapply if you’re sweating or spending time in the water, in order to avoid getting bit.
The Most Effective Mosquito-Repelling Tools
Not a fan of using DEET-based repellents and worried you might forget to reapply your natural bug repellent? Grab some of these mosquito repelling tools to help keep your yard and home mosquito-free in the summer months.
For those who don’t want to use bug spray on themselves, there are yard sprays (on Amazon) you can purchase. These sprays are typically applied to high mosquito plants, like grass, for long-lasting repelling effects.
There are also sprayers that have a battery that lasts 12-40 hours that you can place on your patio when your family is having a BBQ or event. These sprayers put a small amount of mosquito repellent in the area continually while on. They are especially a good idea when you’re headed camping or somewhere else where can’t necessarily clean to prevent mosquitoes.
Bugs are very attracted to lights when the sun goes down. Rather than keeping your porch light on, which is a beacon for all the mosquitoes, grab a string of bug-repelling lights (on Amazon) to hang up.
Bug-proof barriers are a great way to spend the evening outside without worrying about bug sprays or repelling lights. A bug-proof barrier is a form of netting you put up in your yard.
The net can be stand-alone, like a tent with net sides (on Amazon), or it can be an attachment you add to your already-existing patio. Either way, these barriers keep the mosquitoes away without the use of chemical sprays, just be sure you do put some on if you will be leaving the barrier for an extended period of time.
As it gets later in the evening, rather than flipping on bug-attracting lights, consider purchasing some citronella candles (on Amazon). These candles, made from citronella grass, work by emitting a scent that mosquitoes don’t like.
The candle method is best used when combined with another method like a bug spray or a bug-proof barrier in order to guarantee no one in your party gets bit, but they can help keep mosquitoes and other bugs from buzzing around your face and food.
Do Mosquito-Repelling Plants Really Work?
Many people are nervous to redesign their yard based on mosquito-repelling plants because they aren’t sure if they actually work or not. There’s no need to worry because mosquito repelling plants really do work.
The smells and oils omitted by mosquito-repelling plants work so well that these plants are typically the same ingredients used in natural bug sprays. Take a look next time you buy a bottle.
But remember that these plants aren’t a catch-all remedy. While they may help decrease the number of mosquitoes who come around your yard, they typically only work when you’re in the vicinity of the plant. So, if your yard is large, you will likely need a secondary method of bug repelling in addition to the plants.
Dressing to Avoid Mosquitos
Beyond preparing your yard and selecting a bug spray, there are several natural things you can do to discourage mosquitoes from biting you. One of these is watching the way you dress when you’ll be spending the evening hours outside.
Mosquitoes are attracted to light colors, so although it might be warmer earlier in the day, grab some black or dark blue clothes to keep the mosquitoes from being attracted to you as the sun goes down. You should also opt for long pants and sleeves to give the mosquitoes fewer places to bite you.
If it is too hot to dress in long sleeves earlier in the day, pack a spare set of clothes and change as the sun begins to set, as this is when mosquitoes are the most active. When camping, these clothes should be left on through dawn since mosquitoes are also active during the early morning hours.
Final Thoughts on a Mosquito-Free Summer
In general, there’s no one thing you can do to ensure you have a mosquito-free summer. Instead, you’ll need to employ a combination of the above methods to discourage the mosquitoes from coming around. So, pick a few of these tips and employ them this summer to help you have the most bite-free summer possible!