Summer is prime time for BBQs, pool parties, and outdoor activities. Unfortunately it also happens to be the worst time for pesky mosquitoes. We have many solutions on how to keep mosquitoes away from your porch and your yard so they don’t spoil your outdoor festivities.
Mosquitoes aren’t just annoying and bothersome, they can also pose serious risks to your health. These pesky insects often carry and transmit infectious diseases that could potentially turn deadly. West Nile Virus is the most prevalent virus in the U.S. caused by mosquitoes and it affects thousands of people each year. West Nile causes flu-like symptoms and in severe cases has led to more than 2,000 deaths since 1999.
There are many products marketed for repelling mosquitoes, however some are more effective than others. We dug up some products and researched what actually works and what doesn’t.
The key to avoid getting bit by mosquitoes is through prevention. There are many variables that contribute to the mosquito population but there are steps you can take on how to keep mosquitoes away from your porch. The best approach is to help keep them from populating in the first place.
Remove Their Breeding Source
Mosquitoes breed in water, therefore they are most prevalent near a water source. They don’t require a large body of water to reproduce either! In fact, they can breed in as little as a bottle cap of water. Remove any sources of standing water around your home and in your yard. Remove outdoor gear that can hold water after a rainfall such as wheelbarrows or buckets. Empty water toys after use and small kiddie pools. Clear debris and leaves from gutters and drain lines to prevent clogging which can cause water to pool.
It only takes 4 days for mosquito eggs which have been laid in water to mature. Empty all sources of water caught after a rainfall right away. If you have a fountain, keep it running so the water is constantly flowing. Change the water in smaller wading pools every few days. If you have a large pool that isn’t feasible to drain we have methods listed below to help keep mosquitoes at bay.
Keep Your Yard Well Maintained
Having a well-kept yard does more than simply offer curb appeal. It can help control the pest population in your yard. Mosquitoes favor damp, cooler spots where there is shade. Tall grass and brush can provide the ideal environment for mosquitoes to hang around when they are not feasting on your arms and legs. Keep your lawn well manicured with a lawn mower or even a string trimmer to allow more sun in, which will help in drying up wet spots quicker. If you have dips or divots in your yard these spots will fill up and hold water after a rainfall which can present a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Fill these in with topsoil and plant grass seed for an even terrain.
How to Keep Mosquitoes Away Around Pools
Swimming pools and summer just go hand-in-hand. Unfortunately, pools can also present the perfect ecosystem for breeding mosquitoes under the right conditions. To keep the buggers away here are some recommendations to keep you enjoying your pool time mosquito-free.
Regular Pool Maintenance
Mosquitoes need slow standing or stagnant water to land in and lay their eggs. By simply keeping your pool well maintenanced you can eliminate a breeding source for them. Run your pump a few hours a day to keep the water circulating. Dump water out and remove pool toys when not in use and keep them stored away so they do not collect rainwater.
Keep the Water Well-Balanced
While water is the prime breeding source for mosquitoes, the water in a clean balanced pool makes it uninhabitable for mosquitoes. Carefully track the pH levels of the water and use a solid schedule for maintaining the pool chemistry. Be sure to clean the filters and skimmers frequently.
Use a Pool Cover
Pool covers not only help keep your pool clean from falling debris, they can also serve as a protective barrier against mosquitoes and other insects. When your pool is not being used for a period of time, keep it covered to keep mosquitoes out. Solar pool covers in particular offer a more practical solution.
Keep Your Yard Maintained
You should still follow the same recommendations listed above for maintaining your yard around your pool to prevent breeding. Focus on the areas of your yard that stay moist. Remove sources of stagnant water. Remove organic debris such as raking up leaves and remove rotting logs. Keep the grass around the pool well trimmed.
Of course, all these methods aside won’t completely eradicate your mosquito problem but they will help reduce the population. Continue reading about mosquito repellents to help minimize and repel mosquitoes around your home and yard.
Besides taking measures to minimize the mosquito population in your yard additional measures that offer a more targeted approach are often necessary. These products can help eradicate your pest problem so you can enjoy your yard.
Review : DynaTrap DT1050-TUN
- Provides up to 1/2 acre coverage
- No expensive attractant or propane necessary
- Operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Twist on/off feature prevents insects from escaping when cleaning
- Durable all weather construction
- Replacement Bulb: 41050
This mosquito trap adds a touch of decor to your outdoor setting. The decorative trap is designed with 3-way protection to attract and capture mosquitoes as well as other flying insects. A UV light attracts insects day or night and the Ti02 Titanium dioxide-coated surface produces CO2 mimicking human breath, luring mosquitoes in. The built-in fan draws in and captures insects which then become trapped into the catch basket. The trapped insects dehydrate and die within 24 hours. To empty the trap simply twist the catch basket to unlock and empty. There are no pesticides or chemicals used. The fan is whisper-quiet so there are no loud buzzing or zapping sounds, and no propane required for operation. It just needs a standard 110-V outlet to be plugged in.
The DynaTrap takes approximately 3 weeks to catch enough mosquitoes to notice a significant impact. Allow up to 6 weeks to break up the breeding cycle. The trap protects up to ½ acre and is designed with a durable all-weather construction and Tungsten finish. It is recommended to place between breeding areas where mosquitoes are likely drawn to. Place the trap 20-40 feet away from where you typically spend time to avoid attracting mosquitoes near areas where people are sitting.
Review : Thermacell Patio Shield Mosquito Repeller
The Thermacell Patio Shield creates a 15-foot mosquito-free zone using Thermacell fuel-powered technology. The unit is heat-activated with a compact 12-hour fuel cartridge. There are no batteries required, no cords, and repels without smoke. The Mosquito Repeller comes with unscented repellent mats which use nature-inspired ingredients. Each mat lasts for up to 4 hours and changes color when it’s time to change them out.
The Patio Shield has a lightweight, compact design ideal for use on patios to keep mosquitoes away from your porch. It’s easy to use: you insert the mat in the slot at the top and twist in the fuel cartridge. There are indicators at the bottom which demonstrate which direction to turn on and start the unit. A window indicator lets you know when the heat is on. Allow up to 15 minutes after turning on the Thermacell to repel mosquitoes up to an area of 15-feet. The Patio Shield has been EPA tested for effectiveness and the portable cordless design makes it convenient to take and use anywhere.
Black Flag 190095 Propane Insect Fogger
If you want serious protection from mosquitoes in your yard this Black Flag Propane Insect Fogger uses the same proven system as the professionals. The fogger produces microscopic particles which are finer than a mist to get deep down in landscapes where mosquitoes like to hide. It kills and repels against mosquitoes and biting flies.There is no mixing required and comes ready to use. Powered by propane, the fogger is easily portable and covers up to ½ acre. You can treat an average 5,000 square-foot yard within 10 minutes.
The Black Flag 190095 propane fogger is compatible with either a short-style 16.4 ounce cylinder or tall-style 14.1 ounce cylinder. It can be used with Black Flag, Cutter, or Repel fogging insecticides. The odorless fog dissipates within 5 minutes killing mosquitoes and insects on contact and lasts up to 6 hours. The fogger features an auto-ignite button for lighting. To use: insert the propane cylinder, fill the reservoir with the desired insecticide per the manufacturer’s recommendations, light the fogger, allow it to preheat, then squeeze the trigger to release a cloud of fog. For optimal results refer to the user guide for full instructions on how to safely start and operate the fogger.
Cutter Backyard Bug Control Outdoor Fogger
To kill mosquitoes on contact with a fuel-less fogger, Cutter Backyard Bug Control offers a simple solution. Their outdoor all-purpose fogger spray is perfect for use on decks, patios, picnic areas and infested areas of your backyard. Cutter Bug Control also protects against other common biting insects including gnats, biting flies, wasps, flying moths and ants (not for fire, pharo, harvester or carpenter ants) One fogger treats an area up to 1,200 cubic feet or an area of 8-feet by 10-feet by 15-feet.
Natural Mosquito Repellers
If you prefer to take the natural approach or add additional measures these natural methods are a great source to keep mosquitoes from biting!
Natural Plant-Based Oils
Applying a mosquito repellent directly to your skin may offer the best protection against bug bites. For many, however, the thought of applying chemicals and DEET-containing products to their skin may be off-putting. Certain plant-based oils can provide effective protection as a better alternative.
Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus – Also referred to as OLE, lemon eucalyptus offers the same effective protection as commercial products containing lower concentrations of DEET. It’s important to note you should choose the insect repellent version of OLE and not the essential oil. It is not recommended for use in children under 3.
Catnip Oil – Derived from the nepeta cataria plant, commonly known as catnip, this oil has been tested by the Environmental Protection Agency for effectiveness. It may offer up to 7 hours of protection from mosquitoes.
Nootkatone – This is an oil that has been composed from grapefruit skin and cedar trees that has been used in insecticides. The EPA has studied and approved its use as an effective repellent that also works to kill mosquitoes among other biting insects.
Cinnamon Oil – This oil helps to repel mosquitoes from biting for up to an hour and a half.
If you have a green thumb or simply enjoy having plants around your home you might want to add these around your porch or patio!
As previously mentioned, the oils derived from Nepeta plants contain mosquito-repelling properties that can help ward off the pesky buggers. Catnip plants come in many varieties. The ‘Walker’s Low’ cultivated variety is ideal for keeping mosquitoes at bay during their prime time as it tolerates dry soils and blooms between April to September.
Lemongrass – This aromatic plant offers a very pleasing aroma similar to that of real lemons, but better. It also happens to be a staple in Asian cuisine. Lemongrass plants are tender and do not survive in winter climates below zone 8. They can, however, thrive and grow quickly as container plants. Place clippings of lemongrass or arrange in centerpieces around your deck or patio to repel mosquitoes.
All varieties of mint plants have repelling properties against mosquitoes! These are also versatile plants used in many recipes. Spearmint, peppermint, and chocolate mint are all great varieties that offer an appealing aroma to your backyard space. Mint plants are very easy to grow and require very little upkeep.
Lavender– this plant produces fragrant purple flower spikes that emit a sweet, soapy perfume known to repel mosquitoes. In addition to providing a nice touch to your flower bed, the flowers can also be used directly on the skin in a pinch as a quick and natural skin repellent.
Marigolds– For a more appealing aesthetic with repelling power, marigolds contain a substance that has been used in organic insecticides called pyrethrum. These vibrant flowers are easy to grow from seeds and can add a splash of color to your deck or patio.
Use Outdoor Fans
There’s a good reason for using fans outdoors apart from merely providing cooler air. The use of fans also minimizes the occurrence of mosquitoes landing! The reason behind this is the simple fact that it’s much harder for them to fly or land against the steady breeze. Use oscillating or box fans on your porch or preferred sitting areas outdoors.
Choose the Right Clothing
If you will be spending a considerable amount of time outdoors in areas infested with mosquitoes you may want to reconsider your clothing choices. Skip the ankle socks and opt for crew socks instead with tennis shoes to keep your feet and ankles covered. Certain colors can actually repel mosquitoes as well. Mosquitoes and insects are commonly drawn to darker colors as they trap in CO2 produced by your body. Opt for white or light colored clothing.
Screening in Your Porch
Before there were mosquito repellents or the multitude of products available today the original device of mosquito control was screens! If you enjoy sitting on your porch and enjoying a gentle breeze, screening in the area might offer a better solution. A fine mesh screen not only prevents mosquitoes, but other common insects as well. Moths and other common insects that are drawn to light sources can pose a nuisance from enjoying your porch when night falls. Adding screening around your porch offers an extension of your home that allows you to enjoy the fresh air day or night without all of the unwelcome guests.