What can we do to protect ourselves from mosquitoes?
By: Wendy Kennedy
- Get rid of standing water: empty buckets, plastic containers, bird baths, unused horse troughs, usused swimming pools
- If you want/need your bird baths or horse troughs full change the water at least once a week.
- Unclog rooftop gutters
- Discard spare tires or store indoors.
- Drill holes in the bottom of recycling or garbage containers so water will drain out or put covers on them.
- Turn wheelbarrows & wading pools upside down when not in use.
- Store boats unside down, cover or drain water weekly.
- If you have a pool make sure it is properly chlorinated and don't let standing water accumulate on the cover.
- Fill in low spots in your yard if water sits there for a long time.
- If you have an ornamental pool, stock it with mosquito-eating fish (e.g., minnows, "mosquito fish," or goldfish which eat mosquito larvae)
- If you can't drain standing water put fine netting (16" mesh) over it or apply mosquito larvacides.
- Keep weeds and tall grass cut short; adult mosquitoes like a shady place during hot daylight hours.
- Wear light colored, long sleeved shirts & pants.
- Mosquito's are most active at dawn & dusk so stay indoors at that time.
- Use mosquito repellents when outdoors. Use mosquito repellents with DEET according to product directions. Use a repellent with less than 10% DEET on children 2 - 12 & never on infants.
- Use mosquito netting over baby playpens & carriages.
- Repair any holes in your screens.
Here's some other suggestions which may or may not work but some are worth a try :-)
- Use mosquito repellent soaps
- Burn citronella candles when outdoors
- Wipe yourself with Bounce Fabric Softener Sheets
- Take one Vitamin B-1 (Thiamin Hydrochloride 100 mg) tablet a day. The odor the tablet gives out through your skin (you cannot smell it) repels mosquitoes, black flies, no seeum's, and gnat's. It does not work on stinging insects.
- Don't eat bananas - apparently gives you a scent that attracts mosquitoes.
- Vick's Vaporub mixed about half and half with alcohol.
- Use Avon Skin-so-Soft although I have read it only lasts for 40 minutes.
- Mix clear real vanilla (not the grocery store vanilla extract which is mostly alcohol) half and half with water. This is the pure vanilla that is sold in Mexico. If not, health food stores usually carry it or can order it for you.
- Catnip is being tested as a mosquito repellent. The results are not in. If you decide to try this do not put pure catnip oil on your skin. Scientists working on this are using a mix containing 1 - 5% catnip oil.
- Mosquitoes are attracted to lights so lights AWAY from where you're sitting may help but they may just attract more bugs to your yard!
Are there plants that you can grow in your yard which will repel mosquitoes? From what I understand - no. I've had rose geraniums and marigolds suggested to me. Some plants like lemon balm, lemon thyme, rose geranium & citronella have oils in them that are effective as mosquito repellents. I understand that if you crush the leaves of lemon balm & rub them on yourself you'll smell lemony fresh & the mosquitoes will stay away.
Wishing you a mosquito free summer :-)
Wendy Kennedy owns and operates www.CanadianCountryGifts.com which carries a wonderful selection of country products including citronella candles & handmade mosquito repellent soaps.
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