BY CHECKLISTSJULY 11, 2012 @ 2:58 PM
One thing that I hate about New York summers is the mosquitoes. I’m one of those people that are extra delicious, and often get several bites just walking the two-block round trip to pick up Charlie from daycare! And if you’re pregnant, you’re probably extra delicious to mosquitoes as well.
We’ve tried lots of different methods to combat these pesky bloodsuckers over the years. In our last apartment, the mosquito situation was so bad that we almost never used our backyard during the summer. Our current apartment has a mostly concrete backyard though, and that has greatly impacted the mosquito population.
Things we’ve tried to combat mosquitoes include: removing all standing water, mosquito repellent,Flowtron Electronic Insect Killer, Dynatrap, citronella torches/candles, and mosquito coils. I think everything helps a little, but when you’re as delicious as I am, you still get at least a couple of bites. Luckily I’m the one sustaining the most bites — Charlie has only had a couple of bites and Olive has had one. With summer in full swing though, it’s time to get serious about cracking down. As Charlie says, “Go home to your mommy squitoes!”
I’ve been compiling tactics on how to get rid of mosquitoes for some time. Right now we slather onNatrapel repellent any time we go outside, but I’d much rather find a solution that doesn’t involve repellent for our backyard. Other than the basics like removing standing water and planting mosquito repelling plants like lemongrass, rosemary, and catnip, these are some of the best tips I’ve learned:
- Keep a large fan blowing on you. The breeze dissipates the carbon dioxide you expel and also keeps the mosquitoes off you.
- Build a bat house. A lot of people have done this in our neighborhood, and apparently it’s been extremely effective in keeping the mosquito population down.
- Have less foliage where mosquitoes can hide. Most of our backyard is concrete, but we covered the grassy areas with mulch, which seems to have helped.
- Off Clip-ons are portable repellents that you clip on yourself, and a battery-operated fan circulates repellent around you. I’ve heard really good things about this, but I’m not crazy about the idea of putting one on Charlie and Olive.
- Spray Mosquito Barrier — an all natural product made of garlic which is a natural mosquito repellent. It’s used by a lot of public parks.
- Thermacell lanterns or Off Powerpads heat a mat containing allethrin, a synthetic copy of a natural insecticide found in pyrethrum flowers, and is supposed to keep a 15×15 area mosquito-free. A lot of people have found this to be very effective.
- Create your own all natural repellent by combining 1 tsp of almond or sesame oil (the kind used for massage) with a couple drops of a mosquito repelling essential oil like eucalyptus, geranium, lavender, peppermint, rosemary, etc.
At one point we even considered buying a propane powered skeetervac because it seemed like it was the most effective weapon in the battle against mosquitoes, but it also required quite a bit of maintenance. So for now I’ve placed an order for Mosquito Barrier because I really like that it’s a natural solution to mosquitoes. I also plan to use a fan when we’re outside, as I’ve heard that that is also a very effective tactic.
Are you extra delicious to mosquitoes like I am? How do you combat mosquitoes? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add your suggestions to our list!