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The mosquitos are bad, m’kay?
But other than staying inside all season, you can’t easily avoid them. If you’re outdoors in Texas, so are the mosquitos. Besides being annoying pets, mosquito bites are itchy and irritating, especially for our kids. They can also be dangerous; the Zika and West Nile viruses infected thousands and killed approximately 50 people in our country. So what can you do to protect yourself and your family from getting disturbed by mosquitos?
When most of us think of mosquito repellent, we think of the protective aerosol sprays we apply to our bare skin before going outside. The benefits of a body spray are that they prevent mosquitos from landing on the treated areas of your body. Because the repellent is directly applied to your skin, it goes where you go. The downside to body sprays is that they can have an unpleasing odor and feel on your skin.
Cutter Backwoods Insect Repellent is sweat-resistant and effective for up to 10 hours. The brand offers some product variations to improve on the downsides to using a body spray repellent. Cutter Dry is unscented and less greasy, and Cutter Skinsations has a clean scent and also contains aloe and vitamin E.
Off! Deep Woods Insect Repellent also comes in skin- and sensory-friendly variations, including Off! FamilyCare Insect Repellent, for a smoother, dryer spray. They also offer a Clean Feel option, which is also less oily and greasy.
Murphy’s Naturals, Lemon Eucalyptus Oil Mosquito and Tick Repellent Spray is a good option if you prefer a repellent with more natural ingredients. It is plant-based and naturally smells better than other competing products.
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If you’re not going to be travelling much while outside, and plan to stay in the same general area, a fogger repellent may be a good option for protection against mosquitos. Foggers are easy to use, but be sure to follow the product’s directions to make sure you’re using it safely and effectively.
Cutter Backyard Bug Control Outdoor Fogger claims it eliminates mosquitos on contact. Preventively treat outdoor areas by spraying the area. Though it is labeled as safe to use around children and pets, allow at least five minutes after spraying for the fog to dissipate and dry before beginning your outdoor activities.
Off! Outdoor Insect and Mosquito Repellent Fogger is easily to use, just use as directed. It should be effective for four hours for a 900 square foot area.
Wondercide is an eco-friendly option made with natural essential oils. It will repel mosquitos, fleas, ticks, and ants, but it is safe for bees and butterflies. It requires more set up for use: Attach Wondercide to your garden hose and spray a large area. Allow product to dry for 20 minutes before going outside. It is also sold in smaller-size hand-held sprays.
Candles and Incense
Citronella candles are a popular option for use in mosquito prevention. They are functional and smell good, too! They are good for multiple uses over a long period of time, though they don’t offer the same effectiveness as a body spray or area coverage as a fogger. You can find citronella candles in a variety of sizes, prices, and aesthetic designs.
If you’d like to get a citronella candle specifically for mosquito repellent, brands like Coleman, Repel, and Mosquito Guard manufacture citronella candles.
Similar to candles, burning citronella incense also helps repel mosquitos. Skeeter Screen Yard Sticks smell like incense and last for hours, effective in an eight to 10 foot area. The active ingredients are geranoil and lemongrass oil, and the rest is just sawdust. It is also effective against flies, gnats, and other biting insects.
Traps and Treatments
Want to invest the money to have a more consistent means of mosquito prevention? Buying a mosquito trap might be the way to go. They come in a variety of sizes to cover small and large areas, and also have replacement parts to enable effectiveness over time.
Black and Decker offers indoor and outdoor mosquito traps, also effective against flies and gnats. It uses UV lights to lure and then “zap” outdoor pests. Dynatrap mosquito traps offer different sizes and styles to fit your yard’s size or aesthetic. Inzecto may not look as aesthetically pleasing, but it’s a less expensive option that claims it will eliminate mosquitos and their larvae.
If you really mean business, get your yard professionally treated against mosquitos by a pest control company.
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There are several organic ways to prevent mosquitos from swarming outdoor areas. Lighting tiki torches helps to combat all unwelcome bugs. Surround your environment with mosquito-repelling plants, such as catmint, basil, mint, marigold, rosemary, bee balm, lavender, lemongrass, geranium (citronella) and sage.
Several oils also repel mosquitos, like cinnamon oil, thyme oil, soybean oil, and tea tree oil. Place small containers of these essential oils in your area. And though it doesn’t smell as nice, small placements of vinegar also help trap mosquitos and small bugs.