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How to keep mosquitos out of your backyard

How to keep mosquitos out of your backyard
Posted at 1:20 PM, Apr 02, 2024

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Spring brings longer days, warmer weather, outdoor barbecues and mosquitos. The pesky insects are the uninvited guests to all house gatherings. As we enter a season of heightened outdoor activity, it’s important to jump ahead of the curve and prepare for the pest and nuisance that wreaks havoc on your skin.

If you’ve been wondering how to get rid of mosquitos, there are methods that will help deter them from your home and yard. Hiring pest control can be an expensive way to get rid of mosquitoes, but once you understand what attracts them, keeping the biting bugs away can be an easy DIY project.

If you’re tired of wearing bug spray like it’s the season’s hottest scent, then it’s time to hear from the experts. We spoke with Kyle Selbach, director of operations at All “U” Need Pest Control and a board member of the Florida Pest Management Association, Lorne Hanewich, corporate trainer at Clark’s Termite & Pest Control, Nicole Carpenter, president of Black Pest Prevention and Craig Elworthy, founder of Lawnbright to get you all of the information you need to repel mosquitos in your backyard.

Eliminate Standing Water From Your Property

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Mosquitoes are drawn to standing water. Dampness becomes a nesting area for insects, so it’s important to assess your yard for clogged ditches, temporary pools, overwatered flower pots, bird baths and other spaces where water lies dormant.

“Mosquitoes love standing water as much as kids love candy. They lay eggs and make nests around the area, so inspect your yard to see if there are any puddles or standing water,” said Elworthy. “This may require adjusting drainage away from low-lying areas of your yard and storing any pots upside down. A sneaky area is an inflatable pool. Empty it out along with other inflatables and store them somewhere inside.”

Use A Cedarwood Oil Spray Around Shrubs And Plants

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An organic mosquito repellent that doesn’t harm your flowers and plants can work wonders in your yard. Elworthy suggests using cedarwood oil spray around shrubs, plants and the perimeter of your yard or patio space.

“Cedarwood is effective on both current and future generations of ticks and mosquitoes. It disrupts the development of larvae and dries out the exoskeleton of all winged insects (except for the pollinators), so it has a dual effect,” explains Elworthy.

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Plant Mosquito-Repelling Plants

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Maintaining your yard is vital to repelling mosquitoes. In addition to trimming the grass and cutting the weeds, planting an aromatic garden can help minimize the amount of unwanted visitors.

“Smells guide mosquitoes to their food source,” Carpenter said. “Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide humans exhale and sweat. Conversely, certain scents can effectively repel mosquitoes. That’s why planting specific plants that have a strong smell that mosquitoes don’t like is a good tactic.

“Citronellal, linalool, and geraniol are components that emit aromas that mosquitoes find repulsive. These components are found in plants like citronella, lavender, lemongrass, marigolds, basil and peppermint. So, by planting them, you create an environment in your yard that is unattractive to mosquitoes. Not only do the scents of these plants repel mosquitoes, but they also mask other scents that mosquitoes like — like the carbon dioxide humans exhale and sweat, which makes it harder for them to find a target,” she continues.

MORE: The best indoor & outdoor pest deterrent

Use Eco-Friendly Carbon Dioxide And UV Light Traps

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Mosquitoes are attracted to breath and sweat, two activities bound to happen sitting outside on a warm summer day. Carbon dioxide and UV light lamps offer a safe solution by tricking insects with their favorite smell.

“These devices attract mosquitoes by emitting substances that mimic human breath or sweat. When mosquitoes approach the device, it traps them inside, preventing them from breeding and biting,” says Carpenter.

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Use A Bug Repellant Spray

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When mosquitoes become overbearing, a repellent spray is a fast-acting and easy option, but a temporary solution.

“Sprays that are safe for humans and the planet are the ones that don’t contain DEET, permethrin, picaridin or cyfluthrin. Remember, while repellent sprays work fast, they don’t offer a long-term solution. For a long-term solution, focus on a method of planting mosquito repellent plants,” says Carpenter.

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Run A Fan Outdoors

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Eating outdoors can become aggravating when you’re swatting mosquitoes instead of finishing your burger. A repellent fan is a safe, chemical-free option to keep the bugs away from your next bite.

“Use fans in the outside areas, they are weak fliers, so this will make it difficult to be in your presence,” says Selbach.

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Keep Yard Lighting To A Minimum

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“Reduce the amount of lights you keep on at night,” Selbach suggests.

Insects are attracted to light and flames. The United States Environmental Protection Agency suggests that if you’re going to use lights outdoors, opt for the yellow “bug” lights, which tend to attract fewer mosquitoes than ordinary lights.”

Light Citronella Candles And Torches

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Wondering about additional answers for how to get rid of mosquitoes? Adding a few citronella candles and torches will also help repel the insects.

“Citronella oil, derived from citronella grass, is a natural mosquito repellent. Burning citronella candles or torches in outdoor living spaces can help deter mosquitoes,” says Hanewich.

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This story originally appeared on Don't Waste Your Money.