Don't let mosquitoes ruin your ability to enjoy an outdoor deck or patio in peace and quiet. Discover five natural ways to eliminate the problem.
When you hear the buzzing of a mosquito the next time you're relaxing on your back patio, it's not just an annoyance. These flying, biting insects can also carry diseases, such as the West Nile virus and dengue fever. Enjoy outdoor patios and decks in peace and quiet by repelling mosquitoes safely and naturally.
Get Rid of Mosquito Breeding Grounds
The mosquitoes that flit around gardens, decks and patios are adult mosquitoes. These pests start off as wiggling, wormlike larvae that hatch and grow in stagnant bodies of water. When you get rid of sources of stagnant water, you shatter the life cycle of the mosquito and eliminate the adult insects on patios and decks. Sources of stagnant water include anything that can catch and hold water:
Empty plant pots
Clogged rain gutters
Unused pet food dishes
If you don't get rid of mosquito breeding grounds, no amount of repellants will truly help since the source of the problem will continuously attract and breed mosquitoes.
Eliminate Dense Plants
As the sun heats up your back patio and surrounding landscape, mosquitoes seek the cool shelter of dense plant growth, such as thick shrubs and tall stands of grass. Clear out and eliminate dense plant growth from around the back patio to make your landscape less appealing to mosquitoes, repelling them and forcing them to look for more hospitable backyards.
Pruning back dense foliage also increases air circulation, and increased air flow repels and deters mosquitoes.
Keep the landscape around your back patio free of weeds. Weeds attract mosquitoes and other insect pests.
Drive Away Mosquitoes With the Power of Smell
A variety of annuals have richly scented oils in their foliage that repel mosquitoes. Additionally, these strong scents help conceal the smell of human bodies, which may help to prevent attracting more mosquitoes to the site. Plant these annuals in pots and arrange them around the back patio to add color and life to the area while also keeping mosquitoes at bay. These plants include:
Marigolds (Calendula officinalis)
Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)
Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
For increased aesthetic appeal, use pots that complement the textures or paint scheme of your back patio.
Set Up an Outdoor Fan
A room fan blowing across an outdoor patio or deck doesn't just help to keep you cool on a hot summer day, but it also gets rid of mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are very weak fliers and aren't able to struggle against the breeze created by the fan. As an added benefit, the fan keeps the scent of humans from building up on the patio so more mosquitoes aren't attracted to the patio.
Add a flickering candle to a back patio to create a soft-lit ambiance. The smoke and citruslike odors emanating from citronella candles repels mosquitoes and hides the smell of humans.
Only light citronella candles when you're on the back patio and blow them out as soon as you go back indoors. Additionally, keep candles away from potted plants, wood mulch or any other flammable items.
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