Mosquitoes season has arrived in New England, marked by an incessant buzzing from dusk until dawn. While these seasonal critters are definitely considered a nuisance, they also carry a health threat as a common carrier of both EEE and West Nile.
There are many ways to shield and protect the body from these summer pests. Common deflectors include insect repellants, foggers, mosquito traps, protective clothing and more, but there are many surprisingly organic remedies many gardeners may not realize are right at their fingertips that can also help prevent and reduce mosquitoes.
Reduce any standing water in the garden. Mosquitoes breed in standing water and a female mosquito can lay up to 400 eggs at a time but do need a water source to lay them in. When the larva hatch, they live in water for 7-14 days before transforming (through multiple moltings) into an adult fly. By actively attending to standing water at least once per week, that will help reduce the mosquito population around the home. Common places for water to accumulate include puddles and birdbaths.
In The Garden
Another clever way to deter mosquitoes is to add plants and flowers to the landscape as a natural repellent. Marigolds are not only brightly colored garden accents with rich shades of yellow and orange, but they give off a strong smell that tends to repel mosquitoes. Citronella is another plant whose natural odor is a ready-made deterrent. Citronella is so effective that the essential oils of the plant are often used in repellents and candles to keep bugs at bay. Mostly known for its ability to attract and entertain feline friends, catnip can also be planted to ward off mosquitoes.
Finally, try adding bat houses to the property. These small, bat-friendly confines may take a while before they are inhabited, but once they are, there should be a noticeable decline in local mosquito populations. The colonial bat can eat up to 500 mosquitoes in an hour. Wow!
Mosquitoes are considered a major annoyance in the summer, but people and pets can also obtain dangerous consequences from their presence. These helpful tips can assist in driving them off of personal property, but every precaution should still be taken to repel them from physical contact as well.