Mosquitoes are not just annoying insects, buzzing around the family barbecue in the early evening. These common pests can be dangerous - spreading diseases, some of which may be quite harmful and even fatal to humans. However, you can protect yourself from mosquitoes and the potential diseases they carry through a variety of mosquito control products and natural remedies that lead to insect protection.
You can exhibit some mosquito control in your yard without applying a chemical mosquito repellent or buying a fancy mosquito control device. Make sure there are no standing water sources in your yard. This includes plastic swimming pools, bird baths and decorative fountains. If you have any of these items in your yard, change the water frequently — at least once a week. Standing water can also be found in gutters, eaves troughs or items left outside. Make sure gutters drain well, and bring in anything that collects water but doesn't need to be outside.
When planning your landscape design, consider planting marigolds. They are a natural insect repellent. Similarly, Thai lemon grass can be planted to repel mosquitoes, or the stalk can be applied directly to the skin to leave behind its oil, which is more effective than citronella. Oil of eucalyptus at 30 percent concentration has shown to be one of the most useful home remedies for mosquito control. It can act a natural mosquito repellent for up to two hours.
One way to control the mosquito population in your area is by poisoning and killing the larvae. The chemical methoprene is commonly used to interfere with natural growth hormones in mosquitoes, preventing them from maturing. Methoprene is commercially available in a time-release briquette form, but it is toxic to other animals, as well.
Most mosquito control traps target the adults in the population. For instance, commercially available pheromone-based mosquito control devices are typically nontoxic and safe around children and animals. There are also propane-burning devices that emit carbon dioxide and a chemical attractant to draw in adult mosquitoes and capture them in a container, where they dehydrate and die.
A similar device doesn't use the propane, but does use the carbon dioxide, sugary scents and the pheromone attractant to collect females. These devices are available in cordless, rechargeable versions, but, in general, they are reportedly less effective than other methods — especially against larger populations.
Perhaps the best method of control for large mosquito populations is a mosquito control system that integrates natural repellents with chemical traps. Just make sure the chemical portion of your system is safe for you and your family, especially children and pets.
Eliminating standing water and planting natural repellents can help keep mosquitoes from using your yard as a breeding ground, while chemical traps and other mosquito control devices can help eliminate the mosquitoes that wander in. With a combination system in place, you're sure to enjoy a fairly mosquito-free summer.