There aren’t many things more annoying than having a fun outdoor get-together invaded by swarms of buzzing, hungry mosquitoes. They’re obnoxious, disruptive, and can even be a major health hazard to people and pets, spreading diseases like the West Nile virus, canine heartworm, and potentially deadly encephalitis. More often, they’re simply an unwelcome pest preventing us from fully enjoying the outdoor areas of our homes, but thankfully there’s a host of easy ways to combat the pint-sized parasites without resorting to harsh synthetic chemicals.
Controlling The Spread of Mosquitoes In Your Yard
While it’s impossible to completely eliminate the tiny bloodsuckers from our lives, we can drastically reduce their numbers and declare our yards a mosquito-free zone by utilizing a few simple techniques for all natural mosquito control.
Catch them before they hatch
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and it’s much easier to keep mosquitoes from showing up in the first place than it is battling a fully grown and established population. Mosquitoes can only spawn in standing water, so remove or cover any area where water might collect like empty flower pots, pet dishes, or even in the folds of a tarp or grill cover. Mosquito eggs and larvae can thrive in as little as a few tablespoons of water and generally take around 10 days to mature into adults, so a weekly patrol of your yard for spawning areas can pay dividends.
Mosquito-repelling plants, or herbal treatments
Mosquitoes hate some commonly planted flowers and herbs like lavender, marigolds, and even catnip. Basil is especially effective at deterring them, and a pot of fresh basil growing on your deck can be as effective as harsh chemicals at keeping your barbecue mosquito-free while also being a tasty addition to your food! All natural herbal preparations from plants like citronella, peppermint, or rosemary are also available, and as effective as synthetic alternatives when correctly applied.
Encourage their natural predators to move into the neighborhood
Keep the mosquito population down by enlisting the help of some hungry friends. Bats, dragonflies, and certain species of birds are voracious predators that can keep the local population of mosquitoes and other harmful flying pests down while also making an exciting and environmentally responsible addition to the neighborhood. Entice them to move in with a handsome bat or birdhouse, and by planting beautiful dragonfly attracting flowers, like black-eyed Susans.
Get professional help
For those who are on the go and simply too busy to deal with the annoying and sometimes intractable problem of mosquitoes, turning to a professional is a surefire way to put an end to all levels of infestation, from minor annoyance to vacation ruining horror. Your local mosquito control expert can evaluate your unique situation, and find the solution that’s best for you!