10. Eliminate standing water. Objects that can collect water provide for perfect breeding areas for mosquitoes. This includes plastic wrappers, tarps, tires, planter saucers, kids’ toys and clogged gutters. Also, if you’re a fan of birdbaths, change the water in them at least twice a week, and, of course, change the water in outdoor pet bowls regularly. For items such as recyling bins, drill drainage holes to prevent standing water.
9. Grow the right plants. Plants such as horsemint, rosemary, marigolds, ageratum, agastache cana, and catnip are said to have odorous attributes that mosquitoes detest. Simply crush the leaves to release their scent, or rub them on your skin and clothing for the most protection.
8. Burn a bit of the herb. (Not that herb.) The next time you barbecue, throw some sage or rosemary on the coals to repel mosquitoes.
7. Save your parsley. You can make your own mosquito repellant by putting crushed parsley in a jar of apple cider vinegar. Rub the concoction on your skin or dip a handkerchief in it, which you can tie around your neck or hat band.
6. Attract bats. It is said that one small brown bat can catch 600 mosquitoes per hour. In an effort to attract these opportunistic insect eaters, you might want to consider building or buying a bat house. And if you’re worried about contracting rabies from the bats you attract, consider the Niagara Frontier Wildlife Habitat Council’s statistic that the less than half of one percent of all bats that contract rabies, which all mammals can do, ‘they normally bite only in self-defense and pose little threat to people who do not handle them.’ For a free bat house pattern, go to Bat Conservation International.
5. Weed wack. Adult mosquitoes love to chill in extraneous vegetation. If you get rid of it, you’ll get rid of them.
4. Keep it light. When considering your attire for outdoor activities, think white and light as mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors.
3. Keep it breezy. Mosquitoes don’t like strong wind currents; sitting next to a fan will keep the little pests away.
2. Go fluorescent. Mosquitoes are attracted to incandescent lights. For outdoor lighting, considering installing fluorescent lights, which don’t attract mosquitoes.
And the #1 way to repel mosquitoes the low tech way….
Eat more garlic. When you eat garlic, especially large quantities of it, an invisible layer of garlic oil seeps from your pores and creates a mosquito barrier. If you don’t like the thought of eating more garlic, you can also use garlic juice to make a natural repellant. According to hometownannapolis.com, ‘Mix one part garlic juice with 5 parts water in a small spray bottle. Shake well before using. Spray lightly on exposed body parts for an effective repellent lasting up to 5 to 6 hours.’ And if you don’t like the idea of reeking of garlic, you can dip strips of cotton cloth into the malodorous mixture which you can then hang in strategic areas such as patios, decks and such as a local deterrent.
Mosquito picture courtesy of the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District.