Spending the summer in your yard can be an absolute joy. You can bask in the sun or chill out under a parasol throughout the day without a worry on your mind. Or at least that would be the case if there weren’t for those annoying pests all of us know all too well: mosquitoes.
Luckily, you don’t have to suffer the tyranny of the blood-thirsty insects every time you set to spend time outside.
If you’re wondering, “How do I mosquito-proof my yard?” and what is the best mosquito control for yard there are several techniques you can employ right now to make your dog days of summer comfortable and bite-free.
Let’s review the best ways to repel mosquitoes.
What Keeps Mosquitoes Out of Your Yard?
You might think that the plants in your yard cause trouble by attracting mosquitoes.
While this is true for some plants, others might be precisely what keeps mosquitoes out of your yard. Of course, you’ll need to know which plants to use for this purpose.
Some of the best repellents include citronella, mint, marigolds, sage, catnip, lavender, and basil. Here’s a bit more about each plant.
Citronella requires plenty of sun and proper soil draining. If grown successfully, this plant can grow to about 25 inches high and produce a lemony scent that will repel mosquitoes and other insects.
Mint is well-known for its intense scent, which is enjoyable for most people yet hated by mosquitoes.
The plant can get quite large, growing up to three feet in height. Best of all, mint can grow in full sunlight as well as partial shade, making it less delicate than some other yard plants.
However, it is also a very invasive, hardy, and prolific species, so pay attention it doesn’t overtake your entire yard.
With their beautiful orange flowers, marigolds are one of the favorite plants for yard decoration that also keep mosquitoes away.
While they do require quality soil and plenty of sunlight, marigolds aren’t particularly hard to maintain and can grow up to 12 inches high.
Sage is one of the more popular aromatic herbs and is also favored for its color and overall look.
It’s a perennial plant that lives relatively long and can withstand somewhat harsh conditions.
All a sage plant needs to thrive is sunlight and decent soil, and it can quickly reach a height of up to three feet.
Catnip or catmint produces a special chemical that repels insects with ease.
Additionally, the plant is quite appealing visually, with purple and white flowers. Catnip grows very fast and can reach a height of three feet. It will make the best progress in quality soil and under plenty of sunlight.
Lavender is an excellent choice for any yard due to its look, insect-repellent properties, and high resistance to both drought and high humidity.
Plant it in a sunny spot and make sure there’s sufficient sand in the soil for draining, and your lavender will quickly grow up to 30 inches high.
Basil might be one of the most potent herbs in terms of scent that scares off mosquitoes. Furthermore, you can crush its leaves to make the scent even more pungent.
In addition to mosquitoes, basil will also prove efficient in staving off other insects and pests. If given enough sun and soil drainage, the plant can reach a height of 30 inches.
How Do I Make My Yard Mosquito-Free With Simple Maintenance?
Besides placing helpful plants, you can make your yard mosquito-free through some easy maintenance.
Two factors will prove particularly useful in that regard: getting rid of standing water and keeping plant growth in check.
Eliminate Standing Water
Mosquitoes lay eggs in water, and they’ll use practically any body of water to increase their numbers.
This means you don’t need a pond in your yard for the pests to multiply – even a small puddle of standing water will do.
Water can accumulate in various spots due to rainfall and yard watering. Inspect your yard for any standing water and drain it. You might need to do some light gardening work to fill out any holes.
While this method might not eliminate mosquitoes completely, it will give them fewer possibilities of making your yard a permanent habitat.
Maintain Yard Plants
When it comes to mosquito-repellent plants we’ve mentioned earlier, you can let those grow as much as possible. However, the same doesn’t apply to bushes or grass in your yard.
Any greenery that doesn’t stave off the insects will effectively serve as their resting spot.
Although mosquitoes have wings, they aren’t known for exceptional flying prowess. In fact, the small bloodsuckers can only cover short distances in one go, but they can migrate from one bush to another to get closer to their prey.
Ensure your yard greenery doesn’t get out of hand, and you’ll deny the mosquitoes new landing platforms.
How Do You Sit Outside Without Getting Bitten by Mosquitoes?
Staving off mosquitoes has a lot to do with how you treat your yard. However, you can take certain steps to make yourself less of a target, too.
It’s worth noting that the following techniques won’t represent a complete solution to mosquito attacks. Instead, they’ll make it slightly less likely for the insects to bite you.
Firstly, you should understand how and why mosquitoes track us.
Contrary to popular opinion, this has nothing to do with blood types – a mosquito will gladly consume any blood. Rather, the answer lies in chemistry. The primary mechanism through which mosquitoes track humans is via CO2 emissions.
The insects can sense the plumes of CO2 that form when we exhale and congregate towards the mere presence of the gas. In other words, larger people with greater lung capacity will have the same chances of getting bitten as those letting out less CO2.
Once a mosquito gets close to you by following CO2 emissions, it will rely on moisture and heat to pinpoint its target.
Finally, the mosquito will find an exposed section of the skin to bite. While you can’t help breathing out CO2, you can become a more difficult target.
You can use antiperspirants and avoid activities that make you sweat to reduce the moisture on your skin. Of course, this will be easier said than done on a hot summer day, but if you can keep your skin less moist, mosquitoes might not bite as much.
For both heat traces and exposed skin, clothing will be your best friend. Choose lighter colors like white or yellow, as those will confuse the insects and reflect more sunlight to help keep you cool.
Also, if the outside temperature allows it, go for maximum coverage. The less skin you leave exposed, the fewer spots mosquitoes will have to bite.
You should also avoid products with flowery or particularly strong scents since those can attract mosquitoes as well.
Finally, you can use different repellents but focus on those based on natural ingredients.
Is There a Natural Way to Repel Mosquitoes?
When it comes to natural ways to repel mosquitoes, essential oils and products based on them will be most helpful.
To that end, you can use repellents with rosemary, mint, citronella, basil, eucalyptus, lemongrass, or similar plants and herbs.
Chemical repellents can be efficient, too. In fact, some may produce better results than those based on natural ingredients.
However, the ingredients in such repellents might be less healthy and, in certain cases, harmful.This is especially true for particularly sensitive people and kids.
The bottom line is simple: If you’re applying something to your skin, it’s always best to make it as natural as possible.
Not all chemicals are detrimental, but there’s no reason to take a risk when so many plant-based oils do a good job of keeping mosquitoes away. Such products will give you the best fighting chance against these flying pests.
How Do I Control Mosquitoes on My Lawn?
Plants aren’t the only mosquito deterrent at your disposal. If you don’t have ample garden space or a green thumb, here are some tricks you can use.
Firstly, mosquitoes and other insects are attracted to bright lights. Switching your standard lamps for LED, sodium lamps, or specialized bug lights will likely cull your local mosquito population.
Next, candles with specific scents will repel any insects that do notice the light. As to which scents you should use, consult the section of this article where we discuss the most efficient plants and herbs.
An electric fan can be another line of defense in your yard. We’ve already talked about mosquitoes being poor flyers, and that means they can’t get their bearings even in mildly windy conditions.
A fan will create an environment in which mosquitoes won’t be able to fly precisely.
Finally, you can set up specialized mosquito traps for those particularly tough individual insects that make it through all other obstacles. These traps are light- or scent-based but may also be DIY projects, requiring only a plastic bottle and some sugar water.
Find a Solution That Chases Mosquitoes Away
Staving off mosquitoes isn’t always an easy task.
However, if you use several proven techniques at once, you can be relatively sure that the next summer in your yard won’t be marked by constant scratching. If you’re looking for efficient, natural repellents to improve your mosquito-fighting arsenal, look no further than Tougher Than Tom.
Find the repellent you like, supplement it with other suggested methods, and prepare for a relaxed, enjoyable summer.