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This has been one of the rainiest springs in East Texas that I can remember! (Thanks El Nino) With all this lovely rain, out comes the mosquitoes!! I swear some of these blood sucking parasites are the size of pterodactyls so you do not want to mess around with these guys at all!!
Mosquitoes makes it pretty miserable just to be outside. The kids come in with whelps from playing and doing yard work while swatting bugs is very annoying. Besides, the poor animals are being attacked as well, which can cause heart worms in your pets. So I wanted to post about the several ways you can reduce the number of mosquitoes in your yard, since that is what is “bugging” me lately!
For the Great Outdoors!
Dump Standing water!!
Any time it rains we have to go back around the yard and dump any buckets, toys, wheel barrows, pots… anything that can hold water because mosquitoes are water breeders! No where to breed, no reproduction!
Clean Fresh Pet/Livestock Water!
Not only is clean fresh water a must if you have animals (you don’t want to drink stagnant water, neither do they) but stagnant water is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes! Change pet water daily (maybe even a couple of times a day if needed) For livestock, change and clean trough twice a week. (I have a small farm and small water troughs so this is not hard to do, I am not sure what large scale farmers do)
Bird & Bat Houses!
Purple Martins are great to have around where there are large quantities of mosquitoes! Buy or build a few Purple Martin House and reduce your inspect population!
D. W. Micks recently wrote that he examined the stomach contents of a Purple Martin killed by a vehicle near Gilchrist, TX one spring approximately 10 years ago and found the stomach full of mosquitoes, most of which were identifiable as Aedes Sollicitans, a salt marsh species that was present there in huge numbers. http://www.purplemartin.org/update/MosCont.html
Add a Bat House to your buy/build list!!
A single little brown bat can eat up to 1000 mosquitoes in a single hour!! ( http://www.batrescue.org/batfacts/batfacts.html)
Buy an Outdoor Insect Killer
There is something quite gratifying when you hear the little “Bzzzt” every time the “Bug Zapper” makes a kill! It works at night, decreasing the mosquito population while you sleep!
Citronella Candles for Outdoor Events!
Here’s how to make your own:
- Prep your jars with a wick by dabbing the metal flat part of the wick with wax and pushing it with a wooden skewer to the bottom of a jar to hold it in place.
- Then tape the top tip of the wick to the skewer and lay it across the jar mouth so it holds it upright until you get your citronella wax in the jar and firmed up.
- Melt 4 cups of soy wax chips in the microwave, 4 cups at a time. Takes about 3 minutes.
- Make sure your soy wax temperature is at 180 degrees.
- Let it cool to 140 degrees then add 15 drops of Citronella Essential Oil.
- Mix and carefully pour into jars.
- Let the candle(s) sit 48 hours before moving them.
How to keep them off YOU!
These are all great ways to reduce the mosquito population in your yard, but there are always “that one (or ten)” that slips through and comes and lands on you attempting to steal your blood like the little vampires they are while you are trying to enjoy a nice quite evening on the porch with your family. For THAT bug, we have essential oil Mosquito Repellant! (Also handy when you are out camping, hiking, biking, fishing, watching ball games or any other event or activity you may attend outside to safety of your fortified yard)
What you Need:
- Distilled Water
- Witch Hazel
- Spray Bottle
- 5 drops Citronella Essential Oil
- 5 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
- 5 drops Lemongrass Essential Oil
- 5 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
- 5 drops Melaleuca Essential Oil (Tea Tree oil)
What you Do:
1.In an 8 oz. spray bottle, fill half full with distilled water.
2.Add essential oils.
3.Fill the spray bottle the rest of the way with witch hazel.
Shake before each use & reapply every few hours!
Insect Deterrent Blend
- 4 drops Thyme
- 8 drops Lemongrass
- 4 drops Lavender
- 4 drops Peppermint
Use 2 drops of the Insect Deterrent Blend in 2 teaspoons of carrier oil as a body rub.
Use 5 drops of the Insect Deterrent Blend in 1 tablespoon of witch hazel and 4 tablespoons of distilled water to use as a splash in or in a spritz bottle.
Use 2 drops of the Insect Deterrent Blend on cotton balls or fabric strips in the area you wish to deter insects.
Worwood, Valerie Ann. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy. San Rafael, CA: New World Library, 1991. 52-53. Print.
Other great essential oils for mosquito repellants are…
A Citronella & Cedarwood Combo has been a popular remedy against mosquito attacks for many year prior to modern insecticides!
Lawless, Julia. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils. New York: Fall River, 2014. 75-76. Print.
Some of the most common oils for repelling insects are:
Citronella, Clove, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Melaleuca, Eucalyptus, Cedarwood, Lavender ,
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