Mosquitoes feasting on a human skin

7 Ways to Wage War Against Mosquitoes—and Win!

Mosquitoes are nasty creatures. They bite, they transmit terrible diseases to people and pets and from what I read, have no redeeming value in the ecosystem.

Mosquitoes feasting on a human skin

 

Malaria infects some 247 million people worldwide each year, and kills nearly one million. Mosquitoes spread yellow fever, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, Rift Valley fever, Chikungunya virus and West Nile virus.

If that’s not reason enough to hate them, they can turn a beautiful backyard, deck or patio into a nightmare area not fit for humans during mosquito season. But it doesn’t have to be that way provided you are diligent to take control of your home and property.

Mosquito trap

When I discovered we’d be dealing with mosquitoes here in northern Colorado, my research knew no bounds and led to purchasing a Dynatrap.

This insect trap is engineered for 3-way protection. First, a UV fluorescent bulb generates a warm light, attracting insects.

Then a second lure, an exclusive Ti02 titanium dioxide-coated surface, produces harmless CO2, which mosquitoes find irresistible (no wonder they love you so much—you emit CO2, too).

Third, a powerful, whisper-quiet vacuum fan sucks insects into the retaining cage where they dehydrate and die.

Every few weeks I empty my mosquito morgue, I mean trap. A full trap is proof-positive that this thing is very effective. I’ve inspected carefully to see what’s getting trapped and while there are lot of moths, wasps and flies, mosquitoes win the highest population prize. Dynatrap is definitely not a bug zapper. No sizzle noises, odors or other annoyances. I give Dynatrap two thumbs up and five stars, too.

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Commercial repellent

It is important to make sure mosquito repellent is applied to any exposed skin during mosquito season. Repellents that contain Deet, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 are the most effective at warding off mosquitoes. Pregnant women especially should choose a repellent with Deet.

Health officials recommend Sawyer Picaridin, Natrapel 8 Hour and Off! Deep Woods VIII as being the best at keeping the mosquitoes at bay.

Natural homemade repellent

Mix 1 part lemon eucalyptus oil for every 10 parts witch hazel. Rub or spray on skin.

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Night protection

If you are going to be spending an evening outdoors, make sure to have adequate mosquito-repellent candles and torches (don’t forget fuel) nearby.

Plant lavender

Plant lavender with abandon. It’s easy to grow, produces a beautiful flower and smells fantastic! Even better: mosquitoes hate it and will stay away from it.

No standing water

This is where mosquitoes breed by the millions. Bird baths, fish ponds, puddles, even flower-pot drip trays, and dog dishes are prime reproduction grounds.

Empty or drain as much water as possible. If you can’t drain a water source, try pouring a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil on top to deny access to mosquitoes and larvae. Note: Do not pour vegetable oil into fish ponds; it inhibits oxygen flow and can kill the fish.

Clean yard

Keep your yard clean and your vegetation under control. Mosquitoes prefer densely vegetated areas where they are protected from sun, wind, and rain. Keep your lawn well-trimmed and clear out piles of brush where moisture can accumulate. Rake up leaves and dispose of them when they start accumulating.

First published: 7-9-18; Updated 7-22-19

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7 replies
  1. Greta James says:

    Thank you for your tip to avoid standing water as that is there mosquitos reproduce. Over the last week, I have noticed that I am getting bit by mosquitos. I have no idea where they are coming from, but I think I want professionals to investigate. http://www.boothexterminating.com/

    Reply
  2. Carol Rowe says:

    What do you recommend for lavender plants? I live in Oklahoma, and it gets very hot in the summertime and sometimes very cold in winter. What should I buy, seeds or plants, and what variety? Also when should I plant?

    Reply

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