How to Naturally Repel Mosquitoes in Fort Collins
How to Repel Mosquitoes Naturally in Northern Colorado
As the warm and sunny days of our Fort Collins summer arrive, everyone gets excited about fun activities like camping, going to the beach at Horsetooth Reservoir, hiking and having picnics. However, with summer comes swarms of mosquitoes that can make any outing miserable. Not only are mosquitoes annoying, but they also spread many diseases such as West Nile Virus, Dengue Fever and the Zika Virus. Bug spray isn’t always effective, and covering your body in sticky chemicals is far from appealing. Luckily, there are many natural and effective ways to deter mosquitoes.
One of the most common natural methods of repelling mosquitoes is by lighting citronella candles. Citronella is not so much a deterrent as it is a cloaking device. Carbon dioxide and lactic acid are two substances in the human body that mosquitoes seek out in order to find sources of blood. You can’t mask these scents on your own very easily because they’re emitted in every breath that you exhale and in your natural scent.
Citronella masks the scent of these substances by covering an area in its own more powerful scent. As long as you stay within a reasonable radius of the candle, mosquitoes won’t be drawn to you. In fact, research has shown that properly formulated citronella products are as effective as chemical mosquito repellents with DEET.
In addition to being a cheap and natural solution to keeping mosquitoes away, citronella is well known for its sweet citrus smell, so it won’t be a bother during outings.
Dry Ice can Repell Mosquitoes
Another way to repel mosquitoes away from an area is to drive them somewhere else. You can accomplish this by putting out a wide-lipped container filled with dry ice about 50 feet away from the center of the area. Mosquitoes are drawn to carbon dioxide, and dry ice is solidified carbon dioxide. As it melts, the carbon dioxide will turn into a gas, which will attract most nearby mosquitoes.
Remove Any Sources of Standing Water
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water. Even small sources of water such as little puddles or dog bowls can attract mosquitoes to your yard. To prevent your yard from becoming a breeding area for mosquitoes, remove all sources of standing water. When a dog’s not outside, flip the water bowl upside down or bring it in the house. Move bird baths as far away as possible. You can also combat puddles by filling them in with dirt or sand.
Mosquitoes Don’t like Lavender
The scent of lavender is a great mosquito repellent. You can utilize lavender as a pest repellent either through the plant itself or through oil. Planting lavender in your garden or in your home is a great way to constantly repel mosquitoes, and using lavender oil on your clothes or skin is a very effective alternative to bug spray.
Make Your Own Mosquito Trap
There are some commercial mosquito traps available, but many of them use poisons. You can make your own mosquito trap with a two-liter soda bottle, some water, brown sugar, yeast and tape.
First, heat up about two to three cups of water. The water should be hot but not boiling. Add about a half a cup of brown sugar. Stir well and let the mixture cool. Second, cut the top off of the soda bottle. Don’t make the cut any further than an inch or two away from where the plastic starts to curve. Third, pour the solution into the bottle and add some yeast.
Finally, take the top and place it upside down into the bottle. Ensure that the top of the bottle isn’t touching the solution. If it is, pour some out until it’s no longer touching. Using masking or duct tape, secure the top back onto the bottle. Take the trap to the affected area and place it in a spot where it won’t be disturbed.
Mosquitoes will be attracted to the sweet solution inside, but they will be unable to leave the trap. For best results, change the solution every two weeks. You may also want to consider making numerous traps for larger areas.
Install Air Curtains
You can’t get a more natural mosquito repellent than air. Air curtains are devices that are installed on doorways and windows. They create a wall of air in the entryway that is easy for humans and animals to pass through, but is nearly impossible for most insects to breach. Air curtains have been commonly used by restaurants, supermarkets and other businesses for years, but they are becoming a popular feature in homes and other private dwellings as well.
Don’t let mosquitoes ruin your summer fun just because you don’t want to use harmful chemical-based mosquito repellents. Whether you’re indoors or out, there are many natural and simple ways of deterring mosquitoes from you, your family and your guests.
Backes Landscaping is a full-service landscaper in Fort Collins offering landscape design services. Please give us a call for your landscaping needs at (970) 222-1730. Our professional landscapers install water features, retaining walls, xeriscaping, hardscaping, firepits, sprinklers, and offer Commercial Landscaping Services.