Thursday, May 2, 2013

Buzz Off!

Solving your mosquito problem

Mosquitoes are more than just an annoyance. They can be a serious problem because they are potential carriers of diseases like malaria. Fortunately, there are ways to control their existence at home.

Keep your surroundings clean.
Routinely check the home and nearby areas for places where mosquitoes can breed. Get rid of any stagnant pools of water, as these are where mosquitoes lay their eggs. Do not just look at the obvious places - mosquitoes can even breed in puddles that form near the garden hose. Some species only take 4 days to turn from eggs to adults!

Mosquitoes can be quite clever and it does not take much water for the larvae to survive. For instance, mosquitoes can lay their eggs inside trash cans, if water collects at the bottom. Make sure the flower pots have sufficient drainage so there is no standing water.

Clean out the gutters of the house regularly. If leaves and other debris collect in the gutters, the water will not drain properly. These places can be used as breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

For places where the water can be drained, a good tip is to put a few drops of dishwashing liquid to the water. The soap will prevent the eggs from developing into adult mosquitoes.

Keep the mosquitoes away.
Be proactive in keeping the mosquitoes away. There are some easy steps that can be done in order to make your body less attractive to these pests. Aside from specially formulated lotions to keep mosquitoes away, there are some household items that can be used.

Mosquitoes do not like the smell of fabric softener, so use them when washing the clothes. It is also a good idea to stuff a few fabric softener sheets on your pockets while working in mosquito-prone area. Another interesting method is to use a minty-smelling substance such as mouthwash or a cold rub. Simply apply to exposed areas of skin to prevent bites.

In the event that you have already been bitten, do not scratch. Use calamine lotion or spritz on some hairspray to the affected area to stop the itching.

Use plants as natural repellents.
Mosquitoes are naturally adverse to some plants. Citronella, lemongrass, and horsemint have scents that mosquitoes cannot stand. Another useful plant to have around is rosemary. Aside from being a wonderful addition to recipes, rosemary can drive away mosquitoes as well.

Some flowering plants can also be used as a means to keep the mosquitoes at bay. An example is the marigold. Plant these on the ground, or place them in flower pots as a cheerful means of protection.