This time of year, the one question we hear more than any other has to be “What’s the best way to keep mosquitoes away?”.
There’s a good reason for that. Mosquitoes aren’t just an itchy, buzzing nuisance, they’re also potential health hazards for you, your family, and pets, capable of spreading a great number of potentially deadly diseases.
Without a strategy in place, mosquito control can seem like an impossible task. Fortunately, the local experts at Terminix are here to help. Here’s what you can do to help make your yard as uninviting and unwelcoming to mosquitoes as possible.
How to Keep Mosquitoes Away
When it comes to mosquitoes, prevention is the name of the game: nipping the population in the bud and being prepared are key components to enjoying your yard without any buzzing nuisances. Here’s what you should do to maximize your mosquito prevention efforts.
As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Getting ahead of mosquitoes can greatly reduce your chance of encountering them. So, what keeps mosquitoes away? Which techniques are best for out-witting and out-maneuvering these blood-sucking bugs?
It starts in your own backyard! Here’s what you should do:
- Whenever it rains, take a few minutes to check your property for any items or parts of the yard that may be holding water, dumping out those that you find
- Remove any old tires, buckets, drums, or bottles (any containers that could hold water, really) from your yard
- Clean out leaves, pine straw, or other debris that has accumulated in rain gutters to allow proper drainage (and maybe invest in gutter guards too)
- Check your yard for low places like holes and ruts where water might puddle, and fill in those you find
- Clear out weeds and trash from any drains, ditches, and culverts so water can flow properly
- Cover trash containers to prevent rainwater gathering in the bottom
- Make sure outdoor faucets and air conditioner units aren’t leaking or puddling
- Keep your swimming pool properly cared for and treated, even when you are away from home
- Use sand or concrete to fill in tree holes and hollow stumps that could hold water
- Empty out and change the water in birdbaths, wading pools, plant pots, or drip trays at least once per week
- Keep grass, shrubs, and other plants trimmed and tidy to remove inviting resting spots for adult mosquitoes and discourage rainwater from pooling
Repellents and Protective Gear
Even the tidiest, most standing-water-free yard won’t guarantee you’ll enjoy a pest-free summer. Mosquitoes are capable of flight, after all, and are ubiquitous across the South during the peak months of activity (meaning, even if your yard remains skeeter free, you’re still liable to encounter them as you go about your day-to-day). Plus, your neighbors may not be as proactive as you are.
To stay fully protected from the mosquito’s bite—whether you’re in your own backyard or not—it’s always a good idea to use personal insect repellents with 20% DEET or more. You can also make yourself a less alluring target by wearing light colored clothing, long-sleeved shirts and full-length pants (assuming the humidity isn’t too bad, that is).
Terminix also recommends using fans as a form of mosquito prevention. The circulating air creates an environment ill-suited for these lightweight pests to fly in. Something as small as a personal tabletop fan can be surprisingly effective in discouraging mosquitoes from flying near and alighting on your skin.
Believe it or not, the plants you have in your yard can play a big role in helping keep mosquitoes out of your hair. The scents given off by certain plants are naturally repulsive to mosquitoes, providing a limited buffer against the warm-weather pests.
Keep in mind, these plants are just one more tool in the fight against skeeters. Their potency decreases dramatically as you move further away from them, so you’ll still need to stay proactive during mosquito season.
All over the world, there are numerous plant species that are natural mosquito repellents—and plenty of them grow and propagate well here in the Southeast. Keep reading to find out more about the best plants for keeping mosquitoes out of your South Carolina, North Carolina, or Georgia home and yard.
Southeastern Plants that Keep Mosquitoes Away
You’re probably already familiar with the effects of citronella plants—or at least the candles and torches made with their oil that, when burned, clouds the mosquitoes’ senses. But citronella isn’t the only plant that can boast anti-mosquito properties.
If you’ve got a green thumb and the inclination, check out these flowering plants that flourish in the Southeast that act as additional buffers to mosquito activity, as well as add some vibrant color and texture to your garden:
- Citronella Grass
- Scented Geranium (especially orange- and lemon-scented varietals)
There are also several herbs and plants used in cooking that are thought to be effective in combating mosquitoes. And with these, you get the added benefit of having fresh ingredients on hand for cooking:
- Lemon Balm
When used in conjunction with the other tips mentioned in this blog, these plants can help you enjoy more of the great outdoors without looking over your shoulder for mosquitoes.
For the Best Mosquito Control Around, Trust Terminix
If you’ve followed all of our tips and still find yourself struggling to figure out the best mosquito control solution for your backyard, it might be time to call in the pest professionals to take your mosquito prevention strategy to the next level.
Terminix has been providing backyard mosquito control to countless homeowners in the Southeast for over 75 years now. We employ a judicious approach to mosquitos, spraying only as necessary during their most active months for maximum impact. What’s more, all of our pest control services (mosquito control included!) are backed up by the strongest guarantee in the industry.Ready to see what all the buzz is about? Call Terminix to request your free inspection today!