May is the official start of mosquito hunting season. No hunting license is required, there is no bag limit and there is no magic bullet for controlling mosquitoes. The best battle plan is to eliminate the environment where mosquitoes live and breed.
Here are 4 Ways To Prevent Mosquitoes from taking over:
Stop the larva by eliminating standing water. Clean out your gutters so they drain properly. Keep the grass cut short and don’t over water your landscape. Check drain lines, along with rain barrels and saucers for potted plants, which often seem to have standing water.
Promote habitats for the purple martins, bats, and dragonflies. They don’t eat as much as you think but every little bit helps. Plant a variety of herbs (including citronella), as most have a repellant effect. Change outside lighting from white to yellow light bulbs or lenses, as they will not attract these flying vampires. Don’t forget the citronella Tiki torches and candles. They have a small effect on mosquitoes but you will get that island feeling.
Apply sprays and granule repellents to mosquito prone areas. One of the best all-natural sprays is a product called Yardsafe by Cedarcide. Others include citronella, garlic and orange oil sprays. Synthetic sprays include permethrin, cypermethrin, and lambda-cyhalothrin. Granulated cedar and garlic work as repellents. Permethrin granules are used as broad-spectrum insecticides. The all-natural repellent sprays will last about a day but the granules will last substantially longer. Synthetics, both liquid and granulated will last from two days to a month. The length of effectiveness for all products will hinge on the weather.
Apply repellents when outdoors. The last resort is to hose yourself down with a repellant of some sort. Products that contain cedar and marigold oils are on the all-natural side. Synthetics include Deet, permethrin and believe or it not, Avon’s Skin so Soft also contains synthetics. For better or worse, products containing Deet are the most effective.