If you live in Wisconsin, you know there is really only a small window of time in late spring and early summer where it is both nice outside and mosquito-free. Depending on the weather trends, the mosquito forecast can change from year to year, but you can generally expect the pests to be around the majority of the summer. So what can you do to enjoy your outdoor activities and not allow the mosquitoes to drive you indoors?
First and foremost, it is good to keep in mind that mosquitoes thrive in wet areas. If you have standing water anywhere around your house, it is probable that these wet areas are creating wonderful breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Be sure to clear out rain from pots, rain gauges, toys, swings, chairs and pools shortly after a rain to make sure the mosquitoes don’t even have a chance to get established in the pools of water.
Consider other damp and shady areas around your house to also keep clear of mosquitoes and their larvae. Keep your lawn short and mowed once a week. Mosquitoes hang out in grassy areas, so keeping it short gives them fewer areas to stay in your yard. Bushes and other brush areas also should be trimmed back to deter them. Birdbaths need to have the water changed weekly to avoid breeding mosquitoes. Rain gutters, flat rooftops, decorative lawn ornaments and water features are also amongst the top mosquito havens in your yard. Starting with reducing the wet and shady places for the mosquitoes to breed will get a good jump on combating your mosquito problem.
There are many store-bought products that are a waste of money, as well as some good items to have on hand. Mosquitoes are attracted to light, so use common sense when you are looking at products that involve electricity or fire. Citronella candles may help, but think about the placement of the candles when using them. If you want the mosquitoes to stay away, put the candles around the perimeter of the grounds, away from the people. Putting one in the middle of a table of people may deter a few, but are generally going to attract more to the table than if you weren’t using the candle. Electric zappers produce a lot of light and are generally not very effective at reducing the number of mosquitoes in the area, as the light will also attract more.
Home concoctions and various oils are often the most reliable and least expensive means of effectively getting rid of mosquitoes. It is said that catnip oil, while possibly not safe to put directly on skin, can be rubbed on clothing and outdoor furniture to get rid of mosquitoes. Avon’s Skin-so-Soft has been found to be a great deterrent for mosquitoes, though it was not originally developed for this purpose. Dryer sheets have also a repellant quality that will get rid of the pests. You can rub it on your skin, hang the sheets around you or hang them from your pockets.
By burning a fire, the smoke will keep the mosquitoes away. Electric fans also create wind that mosquitoes will stay away from. A recent home remedy that has been discovered involves equal parts beer, mouthwash and some Epsom salt. You can put the mixture in a garden sprayer and apply all over the yard. What’s great about this is that it is not chemically based and is said to be very effective in getting rid of mosquitoes throughout your yard.
Whether you live here or are planning a vacation, perhaps a camping trip, to Wisconsin, you can be sure you will come in contact with a mosquito or two throughout the summer. There is a lot that you can do to eliminate the pesky mosquitoes and enjoy the outdoors as much as possible before the cold returns. Additional online research may turn up other remedies, as well, for you to try.