If you’re like most homeowners, you take a fair bit of pride in your lawn and outdoor areas. And what’s not to love? Long days, beautiful lawns, comfortable chairs, a cozy fire pit—so many ways to enjoy the great outdoors this time of year. Until the mosquitoes move in.
This year, get back your yard from the biting bugs. These five tips will allow you to take a big bite out of the good life, without having bugs return the favor.
Use Cedar Mulch
Cedar has long been used as a natural way to repel and inhibit insects like termites, certain ants, moths, mosquitoes, and cockroaches. More expensive than most mulch varieties, cedar is effective as long as its scent remains apparent; savvy homeowners use cedar for areas closest to their homes and entertaining spaces, saving conventional mulch for everywhere else.
Cymbopogon, known to the rest of us as lemongrass, is the active ingredient in most natural bug sprays and citronella candles. Purchased as a herb, these full-sun plants add more than just a huge ball of ornamental interest in your garden; when their leaves are bruised or crushed, they release a scent that is lovely to humans, and unattractive to bugs. Rub the oils on your hands or clothing for stronger protection.
Add Geraniums And Marigolds
In addition to adding a punch of color, geraniums and marigolds have a light scent that repels several insects, including mosquitoes, Japanese beetles, and soil nematodes. Other plants to consider in your landscaping include basil, lavender, mint, and lemon balm; they won’t deter mosquitos on their own, but they can up your protection if you crush the leaves in your hand while you’re out in the yard.
Find And Remove Areas With Standing Water
Mosquitos love to use stagnant pools of water to lay their eggs, so the fewer sources of standing water you have, the fewer mosquito hotbeds you will have as well. Common sources are bird baths, puddles of rain water, poorly draining areas, kiddie pools, and even bucket lids; mosquitoes only live for 14 days, but in that time can multiply exponentially—and even faster in warmer temperatures. Stop the eggs at the source, and you’ll have a better chance of standing your ground.
Use An Effective Indoor/Outdoor Insecticide
There are good bugs, and there are bad bugs, and there is the peace of mind that comes from not seeing bugs at all. Using an insecticide is a personal choice, and an effective one; a product like Compare-N-Save Insect Control can help reduce bothersome pests on around your patios, fire pits, and walkways, as well as any other place in your yard or home without the need for additional plants, upkeep, or landscaping.
Learn how other Ragan & Massey products can help with insects or your other gardening needs.