Did you know the mosquito is the most dangerous animal on Earth? Mosquitoes transmitting malaria kill 2 to 3 million people and infect another 200 million or more every year. Millions more are also killed and infected other mosquito-borne diseases such as filariasis, yellow fever, dengue and encephalitis.
While Charleston is home to mosquitoes similar in size to a small bird ;-), they don’t have to ruin an outdoor event, dinner party or wedding. Here are a few tips to make your yard and business less inviting to one of Charleston’s most annoying outdoor pests.
10 Effective Ways to Eliminate Mosquitoes
Get rid of stagnant water. Remove any standing water on the property such as in toys, flowerpot plates, kiddie pools, rainwater barrels and low lying areas. Eliminating even the smallest amount of water can deter mosquitoes from starting their breeding cycle.
Apply repellent! Lotions or sprays containing eucalyptus, picaridin, DEET or IR3535 may be used on the skin and/or clothes to repel mosquitoes. Depending on the product, it may need to be reapplied frequently to remain effective over a period of time. Make sure to read and follow the included application directions to maximize the effectiveness against mosquitoes or gnats. DO NOT use sprays or lotions on children younger than two months old, instead you can dress them in clothes to protect their arms and legs, or place mosquito netting over the stroller or carrier.
Introduce natural repellents to your yard, patio or porch. Many plants and herbs act as a repellent for insects including mosquitoes and gnats. Some plants or herbs, such as citronella, will need to be broken up or trimmed to release the scent and provide the necessary protection.A few common natural repellents include:
Dress in light colors. Wear light-colored clothes such as white or pastel colors. Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colored clothing.
Prep is everything. Hosting an outdoor party? We recommend spraying the area at least 24 hours in advance of the party to ensure maximum protection.
Set up tents or install screen material. Consider providing a tent for a party, porch screens or even nets for canopy umbrellas to provide mosquito protection during a dinner or party.
Use candles or lanterns. Look for candles or lanterns that contain geraniol or citronella for repelling mosquitoes while outdoors. Make sure to review and follow the directions for maximum coverage. Also, place candles away from any flammable materials to help avoid any party or dinner disasters.
Maintain pool water. Run the pool filter frequently, regularly chlorinate and use a skimmer to remove any pool debris. Chlorine does not kill mosquitoes or the larvae, however, it will help in maintaining the health of your pool which in turn, deters the mosquitoes from breeding.
As weather permits, dress using long pants or long-sleeved shirts.