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Published: 6/25/2010

Saying So Long to Pesky, Invasive Mosquitoes

(MS) - One of the more annoying things that can bother an outdoors enthusiast is the presence of mosquitoes in his or her yard. In addition to being a pest, a mosquito can also carry disease, making it potentially very dangerous to work in a yard with a mosquito infestation. However, gardeners and lawn enthusiasts can take steps to avoid all the scratching and swatting that comes with unwanted mosquito guests.

Watch what you wear.

How you dress can go a long way toward deciding how much you'll be affected by a mosquito problem. Always wear socks and long-sleeved shirts in areas that are heavily infested with mosquitoes. While a mosquito net might be overdoing it in most yards, that's not the case in areas that are heavily infested.

The color of your clothing plays a role as well. Mosquitoes are drawn to darker clothing, so keep the wardrobe light when working outdoors.

Remove standing water.

Mosquitoes breed in standing or stagnant water. After a heavy rain, check your property for any standing water and eliminate it as soon as possible. Typical sources of standing water include clogged gutters, children's pools that weren't emptied or turned over before a rain, fire pits, and unused flower pots that might be scattered around the yard. Even if it hasn't rained, empty kid's pools at least once per week and check to see if there are any containers or pots scattered about your property.

Use insect repellents.

Repellents make it harder for mosquitoes to find you but will not dwindle their numbers. So if you use repellants, don't think they're not working simply because your yard still has a mosquito infestation. Repellants such as DEET make it hard for mosquitoes to find anyone who's put it on, as does the odorless Picaridin. Whichever repellent you choose, note that they're meant to keep the mosquitoes away from you, not your yard.

Try the alternatives.

Many companies have made lots of money selling mosquito deterrents. The problem is, these deterrents vary in their efficacy. There are plenty of people who swear by deterrents such as citronella candles and bug zappers, while others find they provide no relief. Since these methods may or may not work, be careful not to spend too much money investing in them without first trying them. If they work, great. If they don't, back to the drawing board.

Leave mosquitoes for the birds.

Proof is also lacking that attracting birds and mammals, such as blue martins and rats, that feed on mosquitoes is an effective deterrent. However, if you don't mind having such animals in your yard and all else has failed, by all means give it a shot. But bear in mind that your new guests might end up being more annoying than the ones you're currently trying to get rid of.



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