Malaria, transmitted by the female mosquito, infects some 247 million people worldwide each year, and in 2018 killed 405,000 people. In addition, mosquitos 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 in taking control of your home and property.
1. Mosquito trap
When I discovered we’d be dealing with mosquitos here in northern Colorado, my research led to purchasing a DynaTrap mosquito trap. It worked reasonably well for us for about five years. Not perfectly, but it helped.
And boy do I have good news! DynaTrap has been highly improved. This year we upgraded to DynaTrap DT1260. I can clearly see the differences: No water tray that requires constant refilling, no glass elements to break when knocked over by a high wind gust, absolutely quiet, and wow—many times more effective.
This insect trap is engineered for 3-way protection. First, the special UV-producing light bulb generates a warm light, attracting insects.
Then a second lure, an exclusive Ti02 titanium dioxide-coated surface of that bulb, 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.
DynaTrap is definitely not a traditional bug zapper. No sizzle noises, odors, or other annoyances. I give DynaTrap two thumbs up and five stars, too.
Earlier this week, I plugged in the new DynaTrap and, 24 hours later, opened the morgue. I was flat-out stunned. And in a very good way. The pile of dead mosquitos was inches deep. The catch basket appeared to be nearly full and in just the first 24 hours! We enjoyed an almost-mosquito-free evening on our patio, and it was awesome.
The manufacturer states that this DynaTrap needs at least 5 weeks to trap enough mosquitos to make an impact and 8 weeks to break the breeding cycle. Wow, I can’t wait. Maybe there is such a thing as a 100% mosquito-free backyard, deck, and patio?
I carefully inspected to see what we trapped in the initial 24-hour period, and while there were a few moths, wasps, and flies, mosquitos won the highest population prize. Honestly, it looked like at least a million of those little critters in that catch basket! Check the photos above. It was absolutely mind-boggling.
I find this most current DynaTrap to be far more effective given my visual inspection than the original model of this machine. So I give DynaTrap DT1260 two thumbs up and five stars, too.
The operative aspect of this machine is the lightbulb that emits CO2 and blue UV light.
Here’s the deal: The bulb must be replaced every four months to remain effective, even though it will appear to be still working. It must be replaced. That means we will need to replace it once to get 8 months of service, which covers mosquito season where we live.
At the cost of about $25 per bulb, I find this a reasonable solution for a huge, nasty, annoying problem! By the way, this machine comes with two replacement bulbs, which will get us through this mosquito season and well into the next.
2. Smoke ’em out
According to the EPA, coffee grounds are a safe and effective way to keep pests away. The smoke from burning used ground coffee is especially effective in sending mosquitoes away because they are seriously repelled by the smell, which to humans is quite subtle. So remember this outdoor trick for your new summer barbecue.
Start with completely dry, used coffee grounds. Place the grounds in a bowl or other flat surface lined with foil and light them with a match, the way you would incense. Add a few fresh bay leaves to amplify your repellant. Set the containers(s) upwind to get the scent moving.
Can’t get your coffee grounds to light? Watch this video.
It’s this Sunday! But not too late for these last-minute ideas to help you come up with just the right gift for the Dad(s) in your life.
3. 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.
4. Natural homemade repellent
5. Night protection
If you are spending an evening outdoors, make sure to have adequate mosquito-repellent candles and torches (don’t forget fuel) nearby.
6. 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.
7. No standing water
This is where mosquitoes breed by the millions. Birdbaths, fish ponds, puddles, 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.
8. Mosquito Bits
It’s not always possible to clear all swampy areas where water accumulates. That’s when you need to know about Mosquito Bits to annihilate the larval population quickly. Corn cob granules coated in Bti, the Bits (do not last long but) provide a punch, turning water black with larvae to a clear pool void of future mosquitoes.
9. 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 6-16-21
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