Early spring is an excellent time to enjoy the outdoors from the comfort of your patio or porch. Unfortunately, many flying pests think the same thing. Mosquitoes are especially active at dusk, when is the exact time that most families want to be outside. Mosquitoes are more than a nuisance. In many cases, they are also a health issue and they may intimidate your guests.
There is no way to completely bug-proof your outdoor space. However, if you follow some simple tips, you will get a lot more enjoyment out of your patio this spring.
Most experts agree that DEET (N,N-Diethyl-m-toluamide), which the U.S. Army first used in the 1940s, is the most effective mosquito repellant. But if you prefer a non-chemical alternative, keep reading.
The answer to the age-old question “do citronella candles work?” is a qualified yes. Citronella candles work, but they are not terribly effective. If you light a candle but ignore all the other tips in this post, you will probably have mosquitoes. But citronella is an important part of an overall strategy. Plus, these candles usually set a nice mood.
Clean the Area
Even the smallest bit of food attracts flying insects. So, when you take the matches outside to light a citronella candle or torch, take a washcloth as well. As a bonus, a cleaner outdoor space also makes the area more attractive for the guests you actually want in your yard.
Garlic, rosemary, lemongrass, chives, and other herbs repel some flying insects. These plants release subtle scents that most people find pleasing, but most mosquitoes consider annoying. In fact, they hate the smell so much they may stay away from your patio altogether. Furthermore, since mosquitoes are so small, a few strategically placed plants go a long way.
White bulbs attract lots of flying insects. Sodium vapor lights and yellow bulbs do not attract as many bugs. Much like burning citronella, changing the lighting also alters the mood.
Start the Fan
If your patio includes a ceiling fan, use it. Mosquitoes are not very good flyers, so they have a hard time navigating through any breeze.
To keep bothersome and unhealthy insects away from your
family, contact A+ Pest