Mosquitoes can ruin the most fabulous of outings. Their bites cause itching and welts. For people unfortunate enough to be allergic, mosquito bites can cause swelling, low grade fever, and inflammation and bruising around the area of the bite. Mosquitoes also carry West Nile Virus, which can make people very ill and in some cases even cause death. Spring and summer are seasons for outdoor activities such as BBQ's, camping and just enjoying the great outdoors. These months are also the months when mosquitoes are the most active.
Ridding a home of mosquitoes is a daunting task. Once these annoying pests get inside, finding and eliminating them is almost impossible. Just when you think they are gone, the buzzing blood suckers strike again.
Keeping doors and windows closed, repairing holes and tears in screens and emptying all water from plant trays is a start. Keeping the garbage pails clean and covered will help to control the mosquito population as well.
However, mosquitoes will find a way to enter the home, even with every precaution taken.
Indoor citronella candles can be purchased at department stores as can mosquito traps which can be placed on a table or counter top.
The outdoors can pose an even more difficult battle when it comes to getting rid of mosquitoes. There are a few no-nonsense things that can be done to help keep the mosquito population at bay.
Emptying any standing water in the area is one of the most important steps you can take, as this is where the mosquito eggs hatch. Change the water in bird baths several times a week and keep a pet's water bowl filled with fresh water at all times. Repair any faucets that may be leaking and make sure no old tires or containers have stagnant water in them. Mosquitoes require very little water in which to lay their eggs.
Citronella torches placed around the yard are quite effective in helping diminish the mosquito population. Bat houses are also excellent ideas because a bat eats its body weight in mosquitoes every night.
Garlic oil sprayed on lawns, decks, driveways and bushes can be a very potent repellent, not only to mosquitoes but also flies, ants and gnats. Boil 8 to 10 garlic cloves in approximately 2 cups of water for five minutes. In any pump-style lawn sprayer, mix the liquid from the garlic and 2 TBSP of liquid soap with 1 gallon of water and spray away. The scent will be strong at first but will dissipate quickly. The bugs will avoid the area for several days.
Naturally Ingested Repellents
Mosquitoes breed and lay eggs in water, but human blood is their main food source. Making the blood less desirable can be accomplished by changing or adding to our daily diet.
Apple cider vinegar works as a natural repellent as the female mosquito finds the scent offensive and will stay clear. Garlic works in the same way. Both of these come in capsule form or can be consumed in their natural form. Rosemary, peppermint and cloves may keep mosquitoes at bay as well.
Vitamin B-1 is another natural repellent, however this will take two to three weeks to absorb into the system.