I’ve been spending a lot of time outside lately, and have re-discovered the need for good mosquito control. I can be among a group of people but I’ll be the one guaranteed to get bitten all over my unprotected arms and legs! I seem to have some kind of mosquito bulls eye on me.
Mosquito repellent is usually not very environmentally friendly, so here are some natural eco friendly mosquito control alternatives to keep you bite-free as you enjoy the long summer evenings outdoors.
1) Stop mosquito growth before it happens. The best mosquito killer is preventing them from arriving in the first place. Try to minimize or eliminate any areas of open water in your garden that might be places for mosquitoes to lay and grow their eggs (they’ll either lay them on the water surface or on the ground next to it.) Check out bird baths, old tires, rain barrels, streams and ponds, ditches, unused swimming pools, outdoor tubs, flower pots and vases, and roof gutters.
2) Everything citronella. Citronella candles are famously capable of keeping away mosquitoes. Burning one on a nearby table or bench as you enjoy yourself does a pretty good job of keeping the pesky critters away. Citronella is actually a six foot high grass that grows in more tropical locations, and which might be feasible to plant if you have the space and proper climate.
3) Plant mosquito repellent herbs and plants. Did you know catnip is one of the most powerful mosquito repellent plants available? Studies have shown it can be many times more effective than DEET. Another good herb to use is rosemary. Non-herb plants you can use include ageratum and marigolds (mosquitoes hate ageratum in particular.) Plant these herbs and plants in your yard and crush some of their leaves while you are nearby to enjoy protection, since the mosquitoes can’t smell them otherwise.
4) Use Bacillus Thuringiensis Israelenis bacteria. Known as Bti for short, this bacteria will infect and kill mosquito, gnat, and black fly larvae. Bti is very picky and won’t harm anything else including other insects, fish, birds, worms, or mammals. They’re easy to apply and use. You can buy them as a dunk to submerge in standing water, or buy the bacteria in bits that you can scatter across your garden. They start working within 24 hours, serving as one very effective mosquito killer.
Give these natural mosquito control approaches a try and enjoy long summer evenings outside without the itchy welts!