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Wednesday, May 27, 2009
The Summer Scourge: Ridding Your Home and Garden of Mosquitoes

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By Grace Chen

Although mosquitoes invariably serve some useful purpose in their respective ecosystems, they are generally considered annoying and potentially dangerous. Mosquitoes function in the life cycle of several parasites, and are noted carriers of disease. Populations of mosquitoes can quickly get out of hand and make outdoor activities during the summer months very unpleasant. There are, however, steps you can take to reduce the mosquito population in and around your home.

Remove Stagnant WaterMosquitoes Can Ruin Your Summer

The best way to control mosquito populations is to prevent their birth. Mosquitoes are attracted to stagnant water and boggy areas. Any water in a garden or outdoor space should employ constant motion to discourage mosquitoes from depositing their eggs. A floating fountain is a great way to add movement to a pond or other body of water. Made of durable materials and powered by solar energy, the fountain offers three different fountainheads, allowing you to customize the look and sound of your fountain. Birdbaths can be unintentional breeding grounds – if your birdbath isn’t a fountain as well, be sure to change the water often.

Repel With Plants

Several species of plants produce compounds mosquitoes find unappealing. Incorporating these plants in your landscape can help control the mosquito population in your garden, deck, and patio areas.

  • Although it may bring joy to your cat, catnip is not pleasing to mosquitoes and other insects. The natural oils from catnip have even been shown to outperform traditional insecticides in controlling insect activity.

  • Rosemary, a fragrant herb used in cooking, contains essential oils that have also been shown to repel insects.

  • Marigolds emit a strong odor that many insects - and some humans - find unpleasant. They are quite colorful, however, and effective at reducing insect intrusion.

  • Citronella is a lush, cluster forming grass that enjoys full-sun. It is, perhaps, the most common natural insect repellent, and its oils are used to make candles, lanterns, and other anti-insect products. And, of course, the aptly named mosquito plant, a geranium-citronella hybrid, produces a lemony fragrance repugnant to insects.

  • And, of course, the aptly named mosquito plant, a geranium-citronella hybrid, produces a lemony fragrance repugnant to insects.

Repair and Restore Check screened porches for areas of disrepair. Even the smallest opening can allow unwanted pests entry. Inspect areas where screening meets the frame to be sure there are no gaps or tears. Replace or repair damaged screens as soon as possible. Keep porches and patios free of pests and debris by dusting, vacuuming, or using a bug vacuum.

Mosquito Traps

For pests that do manage to find their way onto your property, mosquito traps can help keep them under control. Propane-driven models draw the insect closer via emission of an enticing fragrance. Once near the trap, the pest is further lured by warmth, moisture, and light produced by the device. The machine also converts propane into carbon dioxide, a natural byproduct of vertebrate respiration. This further attracts the insect, and, once inside the apparatus, the mosquito is trapped and eliminated.

Mosquitoes are not only pesky; they can be a danger to you and your family. By employing these handy tips, you can help make certain your outdoor space is enjoyable and safe for family and friends now and in seasons to come.

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