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Tuesday, 17 September 2019
Agent Resource Center
This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

How to keep mosquitoes away from your house

Written by Posted On Monday, 21 May 2018 05:44

As the warm temperatures of summer approach and everyone gets excited about it, let us be the downers and remind that, with it, also begins the dreadful mosquito season.

“Why is that a concern? Why can’t we just enjoy the summer, man?” – we can almost hear you asking us. Let’s explain why: it’s not the annoyance the mosquito season brings, although it is a big one with those pesky mosquitoes flying around our food during a picnic, and our nose and ears when we try to sleep. But of the 176 known species of mosquitoes in America, some pose serious health hazards to animals and people. Do you remember the Zika outbreak from a couple of years ago?

Well, fear not. We have some tips on how to keep mosquitoes away from your house, your vacation, your life!

First thing we should get out of the way is that a fan and a mosquito repellent are only quick-fix solutions. That’s not the answer on how to keep mosquitoes away. They won’t get the job done in the long run. Although the summer is what we consider the mosquito season because it’s the time where they seem to be most present, they are always around, and the best way to keep them away is to implement your game plan early on. For instance, it’s known that, during the winter, some mosquitoes hibernate only to re-emerge when it gets warmer and, also, that several species reproduce by laying eggs in stagnant water. So it’s important to constantly be on the lookout not to have still water around. Whenever your kid cries out a craving to use the pool, think about how an unused pool with stagnant water is a great place for mosquitoes to reproduce themselves and let him/her circulate the water a bit.

Always check your plant pots, bird feeders, and buckets and dispose of that residual water. Fill with sand or dirt the puddles on the ground formed by snowmelt or rainfall. If you have anything in your yard or another exterior area that is shaped in a way it can collect and store rainwater, always drain it out. Tires, for instance, are one of mosquitoes’ favorite choice of housing for their eggs. If you can, reinforce your protection by calling a pest control company to use the adequate mosquito repellent to that specific place during the winter, not the summer. During the summer, the mosquito breeding cycle time shortens, so if you wait for it to get really hot, you won’t be able to do a satisfactory mosquito control. Start as soon as you can, independently of the mosquito season!

Aside from that, there are some things you can do to the house that will keep this flying pest away from your home. Work your yard to help out: keep that natural grass short. Mosquitoes like to hide in tall grass, so don’t invite them over, right? But hold your horses, artificial grass enthusiasts! This is not exacxly a point for artificial grass on the Natural Grass vs. Artificial Grass dispute, because there are also some mosquito-repelling plants like Basil, Lavender, Catnip and Lemon Balm that you could plant it on your yard. You could use those plants anyhow – a pasta seasoned with basil is delicious; have you tried it? If you do already have them in the yard, check if the positioning of them is favoring your needs; if the air is carrying its smells in the direction of your house in a way that acts as a mosquito repellent.

Animals might help with your mosquito control too. Say you have a small pond or a lake right by your house. No one has the time to go every day in and stir the water for hours. If the body of water is too deep you won’t even be able to do it right. Here’s a great mosquito control tip: get some goldfish and/or catfish and/or bass, and throw them there, as they are mosquito larvae predators. Ducks, Geckos, and Purple Martins birds are living mosquitoes predators and, fun fact, although everyone thinks of Frogs as great mosquitoes predators; they actually aren’t. They do eat them too, but it’s not like they are super attracted to them. They are not a substantial part of frog’s diet.

But also worry about the house itself. If you have window screens installed, analyze them and repair any damage to it. Mosquitoes are tiny; the smallest hole on the screen is enough for hoards of them to come through. Same thing with the walls: if there are small holes on the exterior drywall, they might collect raindrops; so drain the holes and try to cover them with spackling paste. Citronella candles are, indeed, efficient to maintain mosquitoes away. However, if the wind changes a bit, those flying monsters will penetrate the home, and you’re done. So, have them; the smell is pleasant. But know they are a mere palliative effort and not an effective mosquito control solution.

Another important tip on how to keep mosquitoes away from the house this mosquito season is to think about yourself. After all, you are what they want to feed off, right? What if there was something you could do to become less attractive to them? Well, there is! Aside from the already mentioned mosquito repellent, you can change your diet. Did you know that mosquitoes are attracted to people who have a lot of sugar in their blood? Avoid processed foods, stay with whole grains, fruits, and veggies. It will make you lose mosquitoes and some pounds. Also, lay off the alcohol. According to the American Mosquito Control Association, they like to bite people who drink beer and other alcoholic beverages. And did you know your wardrobe decisions also come into play when doing mosquito control? Yes, mosquitoes won’t bite you if you’re wearing American Eagle. No, just kidding! But, really: aside from the fact that light colored clothes will make you sweat less – and sweat attracts mosquitoes - mosquitoes are not drawn to light-colored clothes, so go hard on the off-white, beige, pastel color palette.

But if you are really serious about learning how to keep mosquitoes away because mosquito season at your house is hell on earth, you should invest some money in a CO2 mosquito trap machine. They can be a little bit expensive, yes. But they are by far the best mosquito repellent there is. In places like Florida where, depending on the area, every month is mosquito season, you will have a use for it yearlong and it won’t feel expensive at all.

Oh, we were almost forgetting! If nothing works and you see a mosquito close by, there’s the last mosquito control resort: the palm of your hands! It’s free, but super ineffective unless you’re a ninja or something. Anyway: good luck! We hope you have enjoyed our tips on how to keep mosquitoes away from your house and, through the mosquito control techniques you’ve learned with this post, you are free to enjoy the upcoming mosquito season.

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Theresa Hus

THERESA HUS, CONTENT WRITER AT REALESTATEAGENT.COM

Theresa Hus is a member of the content team at The OFFICIAL Real Estate Agent Directory ® producing countless informative and trendy real estate articles monthly for RealEstateAgent.com and its many outlets.

Real Estate with a twist; that's how one could define Theresa's writing. With 16 years of experience in the industry, Theresa is all about coming up with topics that go beyond the basic real estate agent advice and home buyers/home sellers "how to" articles you see around. Her main goal with her writing is providing not only information that will make readers lives easier when dealing with real estate, but a good time through a fresh, fun and insightful read. While the site is called RealEstateAgent.com, Theresa likes to keep away from generic real estate agent content; her articles are all about thinking outside the box, stepping in the consumer's shoes, and warning readers of things they might've never thought of. Sometimes they're quirky and very specific - like an article questioning if you would live in a haunted house if the price was right - sometimes they just contemplate issues that no one bothers to talk about but are very important to a lot of people, like articles regarding the pros and cons of living near a highway or real estate agents specialized in homes for the disabled.

To do that in a responsible way, Theresa is constantly talking with the many nationwide real estate agents registered on The OFFICIAL Real Estate Agent Directory ®, researching the newest real estate niches, trends, and overall best practices.

Specific areas/topics that Theresa is able and willing to share her expertise and knowledge on include:

·         Real Estate Entertainment News

·         Trending Markets Around the United States

·         Advice Columns for Home Buyers or Home Sellers

·         Articles on How to Add Value to Your Home without Breaking the Bank

 

To contact Theresa, please email Theresa@realestateagent.com.

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