Ah, summer. A time for barbecues, picnics and trips to the beach. The days are long, the nights are hot and there doesn’t seem to be a reason to go inside at all. Well, that is, unless your al fresco dinner party is crashed by a gang of mother nature’s flying syringes. Oops, we mean mosquitoes.
We can’t stand those pests at all but with how wet this spring has been and the flooding in Ottawa and Quebec, entomologists are saying that we could be in for even more than normal. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water so any standing body–from a kiddy pool to a lake–is a potential breeding ground for the little buggers. Ew.
Our first reaction might be to grab the Off!, set up the bug zapper or even stay indoors, but there are other options for mosquito-haters everywhere. Here are a few lesser-known ways to keep the bugs at bay.
Eliminate Stagnant Water
Your first step is prevention. No place for the mosquitoes to breed, no mosquitoes. Done. Make sure that you empty out any places where water collects on your property so the little buggies can’t lay their eggs in there. If you can’t remove all the water near your property (i.e. it’s an immovable lake) put old coffee grounds around the water. It sounds crazy, but it actually draws the eggs to the surface of the water where they then suffocate. If you want the science, check it here.
Yes, there is such a thing. A few of them, actually. There are several plants that mosquitoes just can’t stand, which means we love them. Citronella, Catnip, rosemary, garlic, lavender and marigolds are just a few of the plants you can add to your garden to naturally repel mosquitoes. Looks like we’re replanting the whole backyard this weekend.
Rosemary on the Barbie
Mosquitoes tend to make their presence known right around dinner time and we know they’re not there for your homemade burgers. Grilling is the cooking method of the summer so don’t let the bugs drive you inside. Throw a few sprigs of rosemary on the coals of your barbecue and the scent will drive the mosquitoes away. Like we said, it doesn’t hurt to grow your own either for good measure.
Bats are your friends
It might be kind of freaky when a bat swoops down at you in the dark, but they’re not after you, they’re after bugs. Mosquitoes mostly. So those cute little creatures are your friends if you want fewer blood-suckers around. To attract bats to your backyard you can set up a bat box or plant pale-coloured flowers that are easily visible at night. It’s also good to reduce outdoor lighting at night and keep your pets inside.
Don’t just plant lavender, wear it
Lavender is one of the plants you can keep in your garden to ward off those unwanted pests, but the scent on your body can be just as good (and a lot more portable). You can use lavender essential oil on exposed skin to smell lovely to humans, but terrible to mosquitoes. Win-win! You can also put a few drops of oil on ribbons and keep them around the house to get the whole place smelling like a mosquito’s worst nightmare.
Get bug repellent perfume
We’re not kidding. All bug spray doesn’t have to smell like you just doused yourself in rubbing alcohol and Windex. Intelligent Ingredient’s Smart Armour Perfume Spray smells nice AND keeps the bugs away. Plus it’s totally organic. It’s definitely worth it, trust us.