1) Make your yard a place where it is hard for mosquitoes to breed. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water and can reproduce in places as tiny as a bit of water in an overturned bottle cap. Clear your yard of any standing water hidden in things such as tarps, air conditioning drip pans, and bird baths.
However, even if you mosquito-proof your own yard, you may have visitors from other people’s yards. The average mosquito can travel between 1 and 5 miles, according to mosquito expert, Joseph Conlon from the American Mosquito Control Association.
2) Catch mosquitoes once they arrive in your yard. Many people swear by a new type of mosquito trap utilizing carbon dioxide to attract mosquitoes and a vacuum mechanism to trap them once they fly near the device. Most big box home improvement stores carry this type of device. Conlon is leery of how much of an impact this device might make on the huge mosquito population as a whole, but anecdotal evidence suggests it may help to a point.
3) Use a repellent to protect yourself from bites. Conlon suggests using a repellent with at least 25 to 30% DEET in order to provide yourself the most protection. If you are concerned about using DEET, a natural alternative called Picaridin (found in Cutter’s Advanced) is made from pepper plants and boasts good results. Products containing at least 40% of Oil of Lemon Eucylyptis are also effective according to Conlon, but should not be used on children under 6 years. Personally, I have had great results using both California Baby’s all natural repellant and Beat It, also all natural.
There is no doubt that mosquitoes are a part of any summer activity and will probably be hanging out with us until the first frost. Until then, we need to find a way to deal with them or choose to stay indoors.