As the days grow longer and warmer, it’s time to consider what you can do now to make your home more enjoyable during the spring and summer seasons. We’ve got some really quick, really easy tips for you to consider for your mosquito-reduction mission.
- Reduce breeding sites
It’s spring, it’s been raining… any empty buckets, wheelbarrows, anything that can collect water has definitely been filling up over the course of the last few weeks. In short, this is where mosquitoes lay their eggs. Standing, still water is the perfect home for mosquito larvae, who live off the algae and other tiny organisms that are creating their own miniature ecosystem in that empty five-gallon bucket sitting next to your compost heap. It’s time to dump all the water out!
- In case you need to keep standing water around your home…
…In that backyard birdbath, for example, then be sure to change the water weekly. Or consider enlisting the aid of microscopic friends, such as Bacillus thuringiensis serotype israelensis (Bti) — a group of bacteria used as biological control agents for larvae stages of certain dipterans. Bti produces toxins which are effective in killing various species of mosquitoes, fungus gnats, and blackflies, while having almost no effect on other organisms. Just search Google for “bti bacteria” and click around and you’ll find what you’re looking for!
- Try essential oils
Consider making your own spray to use when you’re sitting out on your front porch, or even consider making a fragrance blend specifically for you to wear when you’re going to be outdoors in mosquito-infested areas. Essential oils such as citronella, peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus, basil, clove, thyme, lemongrass, geranium, rosemary, and lavender have been proven to repel mosquitoes.
- Make mosquito predators at home in your yard
Bats and birds LOVE to eat mosquitoes! A lot of people are afraid of bats but they are harmless to you and actually quite helpful if you factor in their tremendous appetite for mosquitoes. Less than 1/2 of 1% of all bats are likely to contract rabies, so that’s not a legitimate fear, either. So consider installing bat and bird boxes around your home!
- Get a little help from your friends!
A mosquito, in its lifetime, is likely to travel as far as 2 miles from its point of hatching — even further in cases of strong wind. That’s a far way for them to go but it’s not much for you — if you’re able to recruit your neighbors and friends to follow some of these practices.
So go forth, and spread the word!