Mosquito deterrents: What works and what doesn’t?

Lifestyle | 22 Nov, 2020 |

Mosquitoes can be quite an annoyance. They linger around and bite people when trying to enjoy the outdoors. Mosquito bites can be irritating and itchy. Mosquitoes are also known to transmit various diseases, such as West Nile Virus and yellow fever, when they bite a person.

For many homeowners, enjoying the outdoors around their homes can be difficult with these pests around. There are a variety of deterrents and at-home remedies available for keeping mosquitoes away. Unfortunately, not all of them provide protection from these bothersome pests.

Professional Mosquito Protection

Pest control companies offer some of the best options for ridding a yard of mosquitoes. They offer repellents and sprays that will kill and repel mosquitoes. Some even offer a Mosquito Misting System to provide continuous protection for the yard or even specific areas of the yard.

Many pest control companies offer periodic visits where they spray the perimeter of the yard. These do help to keep mosquitoes at bay. However, the misting system can allow homeowners to designate specific areas to have the discreet system placed to provide a regular misting to offer continuous protection against mosquitoes.

Citronella Candles

People have been using citronella candles for a hundred years or more to prevent mosquitoes. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that citronella candles repel mosquitoes. These candles may actually attract mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes are attracted to the heat, carbon dioxide, and moisture these candles emit. They can be placed away from outdoor gatherings to draw mosquitoes away from the guests. However, any candle will provide this benefit, there is no need to pay extra for the citronella.

DEET and Picaridin

DEET is a safe and effective mosquito repellent that can be applied to the skin. This product has been used since 1957 in sprays and other products to repel mosquitoes. It is recommended that a product should contain at least 20% DEET to ensure effectiveness.

When using DEET, mosquitoes may land on the skin, but do not bite. Picaridin can prevent the mosquitoes from even landing. Picaridin is a newer product that has been shown to be a little more effective than DEET in protecting against mosquitoes.

Bug Zappers and Sonic Devices/Apps

For many years, people have put bug zappers outside their homes to “protect” them from mosquitoes. They often feel comforted by the zap that has killed another one. Unfortunately, these devices actually attract mosquitoes to the yard and often kill more harmless or beneficial insects than they do mosquitoes.

There are also various devices on the market and even applications that can be downloaded to a smartphone that provide sounds that are supposed to repel mosquitoes. These often costly devices have shown no evidence that they do any good in preventing mosquitoes from attacking during outdoor events.

Preventative Steps

Some great ways to prevent mosquitoes in the yard is to clear away the things that attract them. Stagnant water is attractive to mosquitoes and provides a great breeding ground. Removing stagnant water and replacing standing water, such as bird baths or pools, can prevent mosquitoes from hanging around.

Wearing protective clothing, such as long sleeves and pants, can prevent mosquitoes from biting. Even using fans outside can prevent mosquitoes from invading. This is because the fans can disperse the carbon dioxide humans exhale. This makes it harder for mosquitoes to find the people to bite.

A combination of methods is often the best defense against mosquitoes. Utilizing methods that actually work can help provide a more enjoyable outdoor event or even just a relaxing evening.

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