For many of us in the Northeast, mosquitoes are the perennial thorn in our summer’s side, sometimes making it near impossible to enjoy the outdoors without liberally applying bug repellent. There are steps you can take, however, to help naturally prevent your own yard from becoming a mosquito haven, so that humans—not insects—can enjoy the space.
You may want to enlist the help of a professional like OPC Pest Control to handle the mosquito control problem, especially if it’s a serious infestation. However, here are some natural mosquito control general rules and practices to get you started, before you call in the pros:
- Destroy/Eliminate Mosquito Breeding Areas
If they can’t reproduce, they can’t bother you. The easiest way to start putting a damper (no pun intended) on the mosquito life cycle through natural mosquito control is to eliminate any places on your property where standing water accumulates. This can be bird baths, planters, buckets, old tires, empty trash cans, etc. And if parts of the yard/lawn seem to hold water, you can add drainage and/or improve the soil with products that increase aeration.
- Kill Mosquito Larvae, Naturally
If you can’t eliminate all standing water (like if you have an outdoor fish pond, fountain, etc.), you can kill mosquito larvae by distributing a variety of natural products, which are much more preferable for use than potentially toxic chemicals. One of the most popular and effective forms of these natural mosquito control solutions are products containing the organic ingredient Baccilus Thuringensis, commonly sold as “mosquito dunks.” Drop these tablets into the affected water supply and say goodbye to mosquito larvae.
- Wipe Out The Adults
Once you’ve killed-off as many larvae as possible, the next phase of your mosquito-killing initiative should focus on the adult mosquitoes, which can also be accomplished with non-toxic natural mosquito control methods. Some of the organic solutions to try include:
- Cedar Oil: This is an essential oil derived from conifer trees (trees that bear cones and needle-like leaves) from the pine or cypress families. It has many uses, including medical and industrial products, but also for perfumes, aromatherapy and pest control. It is toxic to fleas, ticks and mosquitoes, yet is considered safe enough by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to be used as a food preservative. Roughly every two weeks, try spraying your yard and/or other affected areas with a commercial cedar oil spray, from the ground up to about 5 feet high on structures.
- Garlic Juice/Oil: Another concentrated natural extract, garlic juice/oil is hated by mosquitoes, and makes a very effective repellant. For double the stopping power, combine the garlic juice with a cedar oil spray and treat the entire yard and affected structures every 2-3 weeks, reapplying after periods of heavy rain. Test the spray in advance though, as it may discolor some surfaces it comes in contact with. There will also be a notable garlic smell in the yard that should last about 24 hours.
- Other Essential Oils/Extracts: Other essential oils, extracts and natural ingredients that you can use to repel and control mosquitoes include lavender, lemongrass, orange, citronella, tansy, cedarwood, peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus, thyme, rose geranium, clove, blue cypress, cinnamon and sage. You can use these essential oils in your watering can, as a bug spray, and even in candles.
If your mosquito problem is more than you can handle yourself, call a licensed pest professional such as OPC Pest Control immediately to determine the extent of the problem and begin prompt treatment. Call OPC Pest Control at 518-877-6425 or contact us online and we will get right back to you!