Mosquitoes – How to Get Rid of Them (and How Plants Can Help)

Originally posted in the August email of the American Community Gardening Association 

Why Mosquitoes Annoy Us:

All mosquitoes must have water in which to complete their life cycle. Female mosquitoes need blood to obtain nutrients to help develop and lay their eggs, and really don’t mean anything personal when they attack. That’s no consolation if you’re the one being bitten, of course. The mosquito bite itself isn’t horribly painful, and may even go unnoticed. The truly annoying part of being a mosquito meal comes in the hours and days to follow, when those red, itchy bumps make us reach for the calamine lotion. As an added annoyance, mosquitoes like to buzz around your head, letting you know another bite is coming shortly.

7 Steps to Help Get Rid of Mosquitoes:

1.    Reduce the problem: get rid of standing water, fix leaks, fill in tree holes, and throw away old tires or other trash that holds water. Keep shrubs trimmed, keep ground cover and grass cut short.

2.    Keep mosquitoes out: keep window screens and door closed, stay inside when a lot of mosquitoes are biting

3.    Cover up: wear light colored clothes, long pants, long sleeved shirts and loose fitting clothes.

4.    Keep mosquitoes away: sitting in front of a fan will help keep mosquitoes away and burn citronella candles. Ultrasonic devices and ultraviolet do not help control mosquitoes.

5.    Use repellents wisely: repellents keep mosquitoes from biting you. Some repellents may make you sick if you do not use them the right way. The most effective mosquito repellents contain Deet.

6.    Kill mosquitoes in the house: if a mosquito is in the house, you can kill it with a flyswatter or newspaper.  Cook and eat with garlic, mosquitoes do not like the smell. You should not use pesticides indoors to control mosquitoes.

7.    Kill mosquitoes outdoors: foggers can provide relief for a short time from adult mosquitoes in the yard. Always follow all of the directions on the pesticide label. Get a bird feeders, the birds will eat the mosquitoes.

Mosquito Repellents

Repellents With Chemicals: 

•    Deet 23% & up
•    IR3535 / Avon Skin So Soft
•    Deck-Mate / Mosquito Repellent
•    Mosquito Traps                                                                                     

Repellents Without Chemicals:  
•    Citronella Plant
•    Citronella Oil
•    Cedar Oil
•    Peppermint Oil
•    Lemon Grass Oil
•    Soybean Oil
•    Garlic  Oil

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