Pest Problems

How to Repel Mosquitoes In Your Garden – Internet Myths and Reality

Let’s say you are lounging in your garden after a long day. Blighty is finally blessing you with a couple of sunny days to enjoy some free time outdoors. And all of a sudden – smack! – you notice a little critter thirsty for your blood. So, instead of spending the rest of your day relaxing in your garden, you will probably continue looking around in an attempt to spot the buzzing invaders.

To avoid a similar situation, it is important to find an effective way to repel mosquitoes in your garden. In this article, we take a look at the most popular methods of mosquito control so that you can once and for all decide which of them are effective and which are just another myth.

So, if you:

  • Wish to know how to get rid of mosquitoes in your garden;
  • Want to find an effective mosquito-repelling technique;
  • Are searching for helpful information;

Then you are in the right place! Keep on reading to find out how to control mosquitoes in your garden.

A few words about mosquitoes

Even though it might seem that there are no mosquitoes in the UK, this is not the case. There are more than 30 species of mosquitoes native to Britain. Usually, you can notice them between April and September. 

When a heatwave hits, mosquitoes start their breeding season. Interestingly, with the global temperatures rising, scientists predict that climate change can affect the survival of mosquitoes and their ability to transfer diseases. They believe that because of the change in temperature and climate deadly mosquitoes can come to the areas, where they are still uncommon. However, this is just an estimate and there is nothing to fear for the moment. 

It is good to note here that these blood-suckers are more likely for them to bite you at dusk and dawn. And what is more fascinating, Canadian researchers revealed that mosquitoes are more active during a full moon. Moreover, they are more attracted to a certain blood type. So, if you are a blood type 0, we have some news for you – you are most likely to get bitten.

Apart from the above factors, mosquitoes are known to be attracted by bright-coloured clothes, perfumes, standing water and carbon dioxide that we exhale.

Crane flies are commonly mistaken for large mosquitoes. If you notice a big flying insect, resembling a mosquito with stretched-out wings, we suggest checking your lawn for a leatherjacket infestation (the larvae of crane flies). See our helpful post on the topic.

Mosquito control techniques that really work

Reducing open-water sources

Remember we mentioned that mosquitoes are attracted to standing water? This is because they use it as a breeding ground to lay their eggs. The water source shouldn’t even be big, a single bottle cap with still water will be enough for a female mosquito to lay eggs. The most common water sources mosquitos can utilise in your garden include flower pots, ponds, birdbaths, dog bowls, fountains, gutters.

To get rid of mosquitoes in your garden, remove all the open-water sources. That way you will eliminate any surfaces used by female mosquitoes to lay their eggs.

Clean the gutters, turn over any items that you believe might hold water, change the water in dog bowls daily. In water fixtures, such as fountains, you can kill mosquito larvae with larvicides like mosquito dunks. And when it comes to paddling pools and the likes, cover them appropriately and empty them out when not in use.

Keeping your lawn tidy

We see mosquitoes more often during the cooler parts of the day when they are actively feeding. But what do they do during the heat of the day? The answer is simple – they hide. 

Tall wet grass can create perfect conditions for mosquitoes to hide from the midday sun and predators. Therefore, mowing your lawn regularly should help you deal with a mosquito infestation. However, you should still remember that your lawn may attract not only irritating mosquitoes but also bees, which like to rest after a hard day of work in the cool and damp grass.

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Lawn aeration is also something that you should consider implementing in your garden maintenance practices. Due to heavy rains, your lawn can get compacted and pressed, not allowing water to go through. Mosquitoes are attracted to standing water, so aerating your lawn can help you deal with the problem. 

Installing mosquito traps

Mosquito traps are designed to attract female mosquitoes by mimicking a human or an animal. The deadly traps combine several cues that mosquitoes usually use to indicate people – light, colour, temperature, chemical odour and carbon dioxide. 

There are various types of mosquito traps. Their effectiveness will depend on the type of attractant that the trap uses, how often it is being maintained, and where you place it in your garden. 

When choosing your mosquito trap, always consider the size of the area you want it to work on. The placement will define the type of the trap you need. For instance, outdoor traps usually use UV light and carbon dioxide to attract blood-feasting insects. They also have a larger capacity than indoor traps and can hold more mosquitoes until the trap is emptied.

Internet myths

Natural mosquito repellents 

You might have heard that some plants repel mosquitoes. Lavender, basil, citronella, melissa, peppermint and other highly fragrant plants and herbs are actively advertised as natural mosquito repellents. On that note, these plants can indeed deter mosquitoes to some extent, however, simply planting them in your garden is not enough.

Essential oils contained in certain herbs are believed to scare away mosquitoes but not as effectively as the Internet promises you. Even commercial repellents with a high concentration of natural-based components show short-protection properties. Scientists explain that cedarwood, lavender, geranium and peppermint can repel certain types of mosquitoes but only as a 100% concentration oil. And yet, the effect won’t last for more than an hour.

If your motivation to plant these flowers and herbs is actually based on improving your garden’s look, then we won’t stop you. However, you should be aware, that despite popular opinion, the effectiveness of “mosquito repellent plants” hasn’t been proven yet. 

If you want to repel mosquitoes with essential oils, try installing an essential oil diffuser instead. These compact machines disperse the oil-infused mist in the air and will keep the mosquitoes away for some time. 

You may also like:
Plants in the UK
The Ultimate Herb Gardening for Beginners’ Guide

Do citronella candles keep mosquitoes away?

Another popular opinion states that citronella candles have mosquito-repelling properties. We decided to dig deeper into this theory, and this is what we have found.

According to the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, citronella candles show a low repellency rate. The scientists tested three oil-based candles (citronella, geraniol and linalool) in a high biting pressure environment. Geraniol candles showed a twice higher repellency rate in comparison to the linalool candles and were five times more effective than citronella ones. 

If you want to make mosquitoes shy away from your garden or patio, try lighting geraniol candles instead. Citronella oil is banned from use as an insect repellent in any form, including candles, therefore, it will be hard to find them in the UK. 

Natural predators as a solution to mosquitoes in your garden

According to numerous sources on the internet, mosquito populations can be significantly reduced by their predators, such as birds, bats, frogs, dragonflies and many more. However, is this solution as viable and effective as it has been presented? 

While trying to install a bird feeder to attract naturally some of the common enemies of mosquitoes can become a whole entertaining activity for your family and kids, especially, there are drawbacks to this idea. Grain that is used for bird feeding can attract rodents and other pest insects, or even birds that are also considered as vermin. 

Bats can theoretically become your mosquito-controlling neighbours if you provide them with a comfortable nesting place. In summer, they search for a shelter to raise their pups. To attract them to your garden, you will need to install a bat box. However, unlike birds, bats don’t favour mosquitoes. While they can include mosquitoes in their daily menu, bats prefer to eat moths and spiders. 

Overall, you cannot fully rely on natural predators to help with mosquito control. This method should be supported with proven repelling techniques, like removing standing water or fogging.

Have mosquitoes moved indoors?

If mosquitoes started bugging you at home, then the most effective solution would be to treat the problem professionally. Mosquitoes can move indoors if they find a perfect spot for breeding. Usually, they choose dark and humid areas like under a sink or in the laundry room. The solution for that is fogging.

Fogging is a professional and long-lasting solution for eliminating mosquitoes and other flying insects. The process represents a pest treatment with a special machine – a ULV fogger that spreads a plume of the anti-pest agent. 

Need help with getting rid of a mosquito infestation? Fantastic Services is here to help! We work with certified pest controllers, who know how to get rid of mosquitoes professionally and with guaranteed results. Once you book a treatment with us, we’ll assign a licensed specialist to inspect your property and treat it accordingly. After the service, you can be sure that no more mosquitoes will bother you in your home! Book you fogging pest treatment, now!

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Takeaways

  • The best way to get rid of mosquitoes outdoors is to keep your garden tidy. Remove open-water sources, so mosquitoes have no place to lay eggs, and also, mow your lawn regularly;
  • Another effective mosquito control solution is to install mosquito traps on your patio or around backyard;
  • Mosquito-repellent plants are not so effective, unless you know how to extract and use their essential oils, which have been known to deter the insects. Even then, they will not show long-term effectiveness;
  • Despite popular opinion, natural predators, like birds and bats, do not repel or control mosquitoes as we wish they would.

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What is your experience with using mosquito repellents? Do you have any tips of your own on how to deter these blood-craving insects? Let us know in the comment section below!

Image source: shutterstock / jiade

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