Hello everyone! Well, summer is here. Which means is mosquito season. Did you know that the mosquito is the deadliest animal on Earth? Every year one to two million people worldwide die from mosquito-borne illnesses. Most commercial mosquito repellents contain a chemical called DEET. DEET is very toxic and has been linked to scary side effects like memory loss, tremors and even impaired brain cell function. Fortunately, there are a bunch of natural mosquito repellents in the market that are just as effective as repellents with DEET when combined with a natural mosquito control strategy.
Why Natural Mosquito Control?
I personally think is so selfish of us humans to spray insecticides on our yards. We do not think about the harm such substances can cause other living things. For example, in Broward county (where I live), you can call Broward’s mosquito control department and they will come and spray Biomist 3+15 for free. Biomist 3+15 does a good job in killing mosquitoes but is highly toxic to bees, fish and other aquatic life forms. Consider this–if these chemicals can kill mosquitoes, bees, fish and invertebrates, what is it doing to us???? A natural mosquito control strategy can be just as effective by following the 3 D’s:
The American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) has come up with the best strategy to control mosquitos and is called the 3D’s. They are:
This is probably the most important step in the battle against mosquitoes. Mosquitoes need water to lay their eggs in. Go around your house and eliminate any sources of standing water. Empty any buckets, pet bowls, bird baths, flip over any kid pool, check your garbage and recycle bins for water deposits, check the gutters, etc. Repeat this process as often as you want.
Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon monoxide, movement and the bacteria that grows on our sweat. After they pick a target, female mosquitoes target wrists and ankles where blood vessels are closer to the skin’s surface. To avoid mosquito bites, avoid exercising outdoors at night, restrain from wearing perfumes, wear light colored/loose fitting clothing, long sleeves shirts, long pants and socks to protect from bites.
Mosquitoes can choose a target from an impressive 75 feet away. The strategy here is to defend your entire outdoor area to keep mosquitos from targeting us:
- Plant mosquito repellent plants like lemongrass, citronella, rosemary and marigolds around your yard
- Install an outdoor fan to keep mosquitoes away
- Use a natural bug spray made with essential oils mosquitoes hate like lavender, peppermint, lemongrass, melaleuca, neem or lemon eucalyptus
- Place citronella candles around your seating area
- Replace outdoor lights with bug lights
- Add red cedar mulch to your landscape. (Make sure you buy the red cedar mulch that has not been stripped of their oil)
- Sprinkle coffee grounds wherever you find standing water. The mosquito eggs will be forced to come to the surface. As they come to the surface, they will be deprived of oxygen killing them before they hatch
- If painting the exterior of the house, add a 10 drops of citronella oil to each gallon of paint to keep flying insects away. Citronella oil will not affect the paint
- When grilling in the BBQ, put some rosemary in the grill. It will protect the cook from bites and add great flavor to your food
- Use mosquito traps around your backyard
In conclusion, after considering the dangers of using commercial bug sprays, a natural mosquito control plan is definitely the way to go. Prevention and using multiple forms of natural mosquito repellents is the best method for a mosquito-free yard. Remember the 3 D’s of protection from mosquitoes and your family will enjoy long summer days without the buzzkill.
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Do you have any other natural mosquito control tips to share? Let me know in the comments.