Summer is a great time to be outside, play games, and have a fun time with friends.
Mosquitos can then come along and ruin any fun that you might be having.
So how do we keep mosquitos away from our yard?
Some tips to keep mosquitos away include avoiding standing water, keeping your grass cut, having plants that repel mosquitos, spraying your yard, using fans to your advantage, using candles, moving potted plants indoors, scattering coffee grounds, reducing shade in your yard, and installing yellow light bulbs.
Read on to figure out what solution might work best for your situation.
What attracts mosquitos
I grew up in Michigan and in Michigan, it is almost guaranteed if you are having a barbecue or going out to camp, you are going to have to worry about the mosquitos.
I vividly remember a scout camp one year where I forgot to bring bug spray and I ended up going home at the end of the week absolutely covered with mosquito bites.
While in other states I’ve lived in, mosquitos haven’t been nearly the same problem.
So why are some areas more susceptible to mosquitos than other areas?
There are a few things that mosquitos need to attract them to some areas.
Mosquitos need water to reproduce, so they are going to be found in bigger groups in areas with water.
Michigan is surrounded by the Great Lakes and our scout camp, like many others, also had a lake for fun activities.
This is why mosquitos were everywhere in Michigan and not sure much in other states.
Mosquitos can sense body temperature, so where large groups of people gather, mosquitos are going to be found there as well.
So places like scout camps and lakes where large groups gather, mosquitos are going to gather as well.
Avoid standing water
As mentioned above, mosquitos need water to reproduce, so they can found near bodies of water.
If you want to keep mosquitos out of your yard, avoid having standing water.
This includes ponds, kiddie pools, gutters, and bird baths.
An exception to this would be pools since the chlorine in the pool water will keep the mosquitos away.
You also have to consider when it rains that you might have areas of standing where there as well.
These containers of standing water, as well as your grass, will attract mosquitos and will be the perfect place for them to breed.
So if you want to keep mosquitos away, then make sure to get rid of standing water.
Also apply dirt to any areas of your yard that keep water.
Typically the pools of water happen because these are areas that are lower than the rest of the yard.
So apply dirt to even out the yard.
Keep your grass cut
Mosquitos are big fans of the shade, so they will find the best shade they can get and stay there.
Your grass is a great place for them to find shade, so the longer your grass is, the more likely the mosquitos are to stay there.
If you want to keep the mosquitos away, make sure to cut your grass on a regular basis.
The short grass also means that your yard is getting more sunlight.
And the more sunlight means that the yard is staying dry and hopefully no standing water.
Have plants that repel mosquitos
There are plenty of plants that will help you in repelling mosquitos.
First, citronella has shown to be highly effective at keeping the mosquitos away.
Most candles you would buy to repel mosquitos are going to be based on the citronella smell.
The citronella plant is going to be useful because the smell masks other smells in the area (including your sweat, perfumes and scented lotions, alcohol, all of which attract mosquitos).
Other plants that keep mosquitos away include:
- Floss flower
Some herbs that keep away the mosquitos are:
- Lemon balm
So while plants would be nice to keep the mosquitos away, you could also plant herbs and not only use them to keep the mosquitos away but also use them for your home cooking.
Spray your yard (have a professional do it)
There are products out there that you can spray around your yard to keep the mosquitos away.
But you are going to want to hire a professional to do it.
First, call your town or county government to see if there is a local mosquito-abatement district.
These groups will often spray your lawn for free or for a small free.
If not, you should call a professional to do it.
When you call a professional, they will come over and inspect your yard.
They will give you some suggestions as to things you can do around your yard (including those items mentioned above) to help keep the mosquitos away.
After that, they are going to spray down your yard with the pesticides and you will probably have to stay off of your lawn for a few hours.
The professional should come back at some point to make sure their spraying has worked and apply any additional spray as necessary.
There are a few reasons that fans work for keeping mosquitos away.
Dispersing the smells
Mosquitos are attracted by smells, especially those given off by humans.
Using fans disperses the smells that attract the mosquitos, so they are less likely to be around.
More difficult to land
With fans blowing, it becomes more difficult for mosquitos to land.
And if they aren’t landing, then they aren’t biting you on the arm.
There are two options for your fans, either ceiling fans or oscillating fans.
Your situation will determine what type of fans you are going to use.
If you are spending most of your time in an area that is covered, then a ceiling fan will work for you.
If you are out in the yard, then an oscillating fan will work for you in that situation.
As mentioned previously, citronella is a plant/smell that repels mosquitos.
Citronella candles are highly effective at keeping away mosquitos.
Purchase a few citronella candles and place them on any tables people might be sitting at.
This should do much to keep the mosquitos away.
Move potted plants indoors
Unless you pay perfect attention to your potted plants, you may want to move them indoors.
Potted plants can sometimes have standing water since we typically overwater them because we’ve forgotten to water them for a few days at some point.
This “making up for lost time” leaves standing water in the potted plant.
And as was mentioned earlier, standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitos.
During months with lots of moisture, move your potted plants inside to avoid mosquitos sticking around.
Scatter coffee grounds
According to StrategiesOnline.net:
If you suspect that mosquitoes have laid their eggs in stagnant waters around your home, pour a generous amount of coffee grounds. Leave it there overnight and observe how mosquito eggs float to the surface. These eggs will die because coffee grounds can restrict oxygen in the water, causing their death.https://www.strategiesonline.net/mosquito-control-tips-how-to-avoid-pests-from-lurking-in-your-home/#:~:text=If%20you%20suspect%20that%20mosquitoes,the%20water%2C%20causing%20their%20death.
The coffee grounds will force the mosquito eggs to come to the surface, where they will eventually die.
So if you are overwhelmed with mosquitos and you suspect they are laying eggs in standing water, then put coffee grounds in the water.
Hopefully a few days after that you no longer have mosquitos.
Outside of water, mosquitos love the shade as well.
It is another place that is a perfect breeding ground for the mosquitos.
Grass is one of those places, as mentioned earlier.
So always make sure that your grass is cut to a good length.
But there are also other areas of shade around your yard.
Those places include the shady part underneath trees and underneath the brush.
As much as you can, try to reduce these areas.
And if you can’t reduce them, then check them regularly for mosquitos and mosquito eggs and treat them as necessary.
Install yellow light bulbs
Normal lights typically attract bugs and especially mosquitos.
You can now purchase special yellow light bulbs that emit light at a wavelength that is not as attractive to bugs as normal lights.
It isn’t guaranteed that these light bulbs will keep mosquitos away, but it is at least worth giving it a try and see if it works for your situation.
There is probably not going to be one single solution for your mosquito problem.
You will probably find out from experience that you need to use more than one of the above solutions to significantly reduce the mosquitos in your yard.
So take some time to try out the solutions that sound the best and find out what works the best for you.