Say so long to pesky mos­qui­toes

The Covington News - - Showcase Of Homes - Metro Creative Ser­vices

Learn how to avoid the both­er­some, po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous in­sect

One of the more an­noy­ing things that can bother an out­doors en­thu­si­ast is the pres­ence of mos­qui­toes in his or her yard.

In ad­di­tion to be­ing a pest, a mos­quito can also carry dis­ease, mak­ing it po­ten­tially very dan­ger­ous to work in a yard with a mos­quito in­fes­ta­tion. How­ever, gar­den­ers and lawn en­thu­si­asts can take steps to avoid all the scratch­ing and swat­ting that comes with un­wanted mos­quito guests.

• Watch what you wear. How you dress can go a long way to­ward de­cid­ing how much you’ll be af­fected by a mos­quito prob­lem. Al­ways wear socks and long-sleeved shirts in ar­eas that are heav­ily in­fested with mos­qui­toes.

While a mos­quito net might be over­do­ing it in most yards, that’s not the case in ar­eas that are heav­ily in­fested.

The color of your cloth­ing plays a role as well. Mos­qui­toes are drawn to darker cloth­ing, so keep the wardrobe light when work­ing out­doors.

• Re­move stand­ing wa­ter. Mos­qui­toes breed in stand­ing or stag­nant wa­ter. Af­ter a heavy rain, check your prop­erty for any stand­ing wa­ter and elim­i­nate it as soon as pos­si­ble.

Typ­i­cal sources of stand­ing wa­ter in­clude clogged gut­ters, chil­dren’s pools that weren’t emp­tied or turned over be­fore a rain, fire pits, and un­used flower pots that might be scat­tered around the yard.

Even if it hasn’t rained, empty kid’s pools at least once per week and check to see if there are any con­tain­ers or pots scat­tered about your prop­erty.

• Use in­sect re­pel­lents. Re­pel­lents make it harder for mos­qui­toes to find you but will not dwin­dle their num­bers.

So if you use re­pel­lents, don’t think they’re not work­ing sim­ply be­cause your yard still has a mos­quito in­fes­ta­tion. Re­pel­lents such as DEET make it hard for mos­qui­toes to find any­one who’s put it on, as does the odor­less Pi­caridin.

Which­ever re­pel­lent you choose, note that they’re meant to keep the mos­qui­toes away from you, not your yard.

• Try the al­ter­na­tives. Many com­pa­nies have made lots of money sell­ing mos­quito de­ter­rents.

The prob­lem is, th­ese de­ter­rents vary in their ef­fi­cacy. There are plenty of peo­ple who swear by de­ter­rents such as cit­ronella can­dles and bug zap­pers, while oth­ers find they pro­vide no re­lief.

Since th­ese meth­ods may or may not work, be care­ful not to spend too much money in­vest­ing in them with­out first try­ing them. If they work, great. If they don’t, back to the draw­ing board.

• Leave mos­qui­toes for the birds. Proof is also lack­ing that at­tract­ing birds and mam­mals, such blue martins and rats, that feed on mos­qui­toes is an ef­fec­tive de­ter­rent.

How­ever, if you don’t mind hav­ing such an­i­mals in your yard and all else has failed, by all means give it a shot. But bear in mind that your new guests might end up be­ing more an­noy­ing than the ones you’re cur­rently try­ing to get rid of.

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