More than just annoyances that buzz around your ears and suck the fun out of enjoying the outdoors, mosquitoes are carriers of the West Nile virus. This deadly disease makes it crucial for today’s families to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes whenever possible. Male mosquitoes prefer to feed on the nectar of fruits and flowers, while female mosquitoes drink blood before laying eggs. Pest prevention is the best way to avoid mosquito bites. To protect the environment while you make it more enjoyable, use green pest control methods to keep your family and pets from getting bitten.
1. Make a natural mosquito repellant from your pantry.
Green pest control can start in your kitchen. Using household ingredients, you can create a mixture that you can safely apply directly to your skin. However, if you have pets, consult a veterinarian before applying a mosquito-repelling mixture, as your animal companion could suffer an allergic reaction. Make a natural repellant by mixing equal parts of witch hazel and apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle, along with a few drops of eucalyptus oil. Spray the mixture onto your skin.
Another natural pest prevention solution is to apply rubbing cedar oil or Thai lemon grass oil, which you can find in the plants’ stalks. In addition to warding off vampires, unwanted house guests and bad dates, liquefied garlic may also be applied to the skin to repel mosquitoes.
2. Use mosquito-repelling plants in your yard.
There are mosquito-repelling qualities in a handful of plants that you can use to liven up your yard and attract welcome insects, such as butterflies. Plants that mosquitoes dislike include the Citrosa geranium, mosquito plant, catnip, basil, marigolds, peppermint, lavender, lemon thyme, citronella grass, eucalyptus trees, pitcher plants, and rosemary. If you do plant marigolds, keep in mind that those with orange, yellow, or brown petals repel mosquitoes the best.
3. Encourage the presence of beneficial insects and mosquito predators.
While you may hate having bats fly around your home or the thought of extra bugs in your yard, these creatures can be your partners when it comes to green pest control. Bats, dragonfly nymphs, cyclopoid copepods and wild birds, such as the Purple Martin, are the mosquito’s natural predators. You can attract more mosquito-eating wild birds to your home by hanging bird feeders with the appropriate type of feed, providing a birdbath with fresh water, and planting brightly colored flowers that attract birds.
4. Add fish to a pond.
While pools of standing water will actually attract mosquitoes, a well-designed garden water feature can actually serve as a green pest control tool. At minimum, a water feature, such as a fountain or pond, should have a pump in it that keeps the water circulating, which mosquitoes do not like. You can get an extra bonus by making the water feature fish-friendly. Fish species that are known to eat mosquito larvae include goldfish, bluegill, guppies, fathead minnows, killifish and the western mosquitofish.
5. Use solar-powered pest control products.
Solar-powered pest prevention products are some of the latest green pest control devices on the market. Some solar-powered pest-control products use Linalool to block your scent from mosquitoes so they cannot track you. Another green pest control product stakes into the ground and shakes occasionally while emitting a high frequency, ultra-sonic sound that scares mosquitoes away. The top of the device has solar panels that collect energy from the sun, eliminating the need for batteries. Smaller versions of this type of solar mosquito repellant are also available as key chains or wands that you can carry with you as you hike or fish. While the smaller devices do not shake, they do emit the high-frequency sound. Solar-powered, mosquito-repelling solutions are great for those who do not like the smell of spray-on repellants or citronella candles.
While you can never completely eliminate mosquitoes, you can prevent and control their presence. If you live in an area where mosquitoes are abundant, consider installing a screen around your patio so you can still enjoy being outside without worrying about getting bitten. However, if you suspect mosquitoes have laid eggs around areas of your property, call a green pest control service to inspect your home.