Mosquitos are a nuisance. No matter where you live, you've probably come across these flying pests that suck your blood and leave itchy bites. With the rise of the Zika virus in recent years, mosquitoes are more than annoying in some areas. Zika, West Nile and Malaria, all of which are attacked by mosquito species, are a serious problem for people around the world. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) even approved the laboratory creation oflast year to kill those who wear Zika. The Gates Foundation to kill mosquitoes known to carry malaria.
There are several ways to protect yourself from these troublesome and sometimes dangerous insects. Here are a few methods of mitigation to ensure that burgers are the only things bitten at the next barbecue.
Start with your environment
Before you dab with insect repellant, take time to make your garden or your outdoor area less inviting to mosquitoes. Eliminate standing, stagnant water where mosquitoes could breed. These include, for example, buckets, gutters, play sets or plastic covers.
If you have outdoor items that require water, such as bird baths, fountains or rain barrels, drain excess water and change the water at least once a week to keep it fresh. If you have a pool, make sure that the water is treated and circulated properly.
Grow Your Garden
If you are looking for a chemical-free approach to repel mosquitoes, potted plants and a few supplements in your backyard can go a long way. It is the essential oils in these plants that really repel mosquitoes, and these oils are released when the leaves are crushed, burned or rubbed directly on the skin. Here is a list of plants meant to keep mosquitoes at bay with their scents and essential oils:
- Citronella grass
- lemon balm
Change your wardrobe
It's probably not the advice you want to hear in the hot summer months, but putting on long-sleeved, socks and pants is one Possibility to protect against mosquito bites. Tissue can act as a barrier, making it harder for mosquitoes to reach your skin at all. If long sleeves and pants are not your summer style, it's still a good idea to wear your shirt.
Consider a repellent spray or device
If the idea of a chemical solution does not bother you (and we will not blame you for it), there are dozens of sprays, bracelets and mosquito repellent wearables on the market. The Guarden Bandito, a crowdfunded wearable, uses scents and sounds to repel mosquitoes.
If you can not decide what you need in a repellent, EPA has a search tool to help you find the right one for your situation. Which are the most effective? The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends the use of an EPA registered product with one of the following maximum defense agents:
- Picaridine (known as KBR 3023 and Icaridin outside the US)
- IR3535  Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE) or Para-Menthan Diol (PMD)
If you are pregnant, nursing or have a small child, it is particularly important to apply chemicals on or near the Skin. On the CDC website, you'll find tips on how to safely apply repellents.
Invest in a Fog System
Fog systems are one way to seriously fight mosquitoes on your property. These systems consist of nozzles connected by tubing to a tank containing an insecticide. The nozzles, located around the perimeter of your garden, spray a fine insecticide mist to kill and repel mosquitoes. The automatic spraying takes place at timed intervals or you can activate the system via a remote control. It is believed that fogging is safe for households with children and pets, and there are all natural fogging solutions, but it is still recommended to avoid the area while the actual fogging takes place.
This method of repeated spraying is effective, but not cheap. DIY versions cost several hundred dollars, while full-service, professionally installed systems can cost as much as $ 5,000 for a quarter-acre lot. Nevertheless, if you have a serious problem with pests, you may like to trade your dollars for comfort. For more information on nebulizing and regulating insecticides in your state, see the EPO guidance.
Try these methods to find the right solution for your room. Whether pot plants or strong sprays, you can enjoy a mosquito-free place throughout the summer.
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