There’s a lot to love about an Arizonan summer (June through September) – despite scorching hot weather – including trips to the lake, tubing down the Salt River, and exploring the cooler parts of the state. Oh, and let’s not forget, swimming. However, bothersome biting insects, like mosquitoes are certainly not one of them.
Unfortunately, valley residents can expect an increase in relentless, flying bugs due in large part to Arizona’s surprisingly wet winter and spring. Pesky mosquitoes can quickly ruin a nice summer’s day if you don’t take the necessary precautions to fight the bite. Here are some effective ways to fight the bite this summer.
Eliminate All Sources of Standing Water
Adult, female mosquitoes use sources of standing water as their breeding grounds and can lay up to 100 eggs at a time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A half-inch of water, roughly the size of a bottle cap, is an attractive environment for mosquitoes. Devoid of water, these pesky bugs cannot breed or survive, so one of the most effective ways to fight the bite this summer is to ensure your landscaping (front and back) is free of any items that may catch water.
The CDC recommends emptying, scrubbing, and turning over all items that collect water at least once a week. You’ll also need to be diligent about putting away larger outdoor gear after each use as well. If you have a swimming pool or backyard pond, it’s imperative to stay on top of maintenance, skimming the surface and checking chemistry levels daily to keep mosquitoes at bay. Another good idea is to trim back any vegetation that may be growing out of control.
Use Bug-Repellent Candles & Torches
Candles and tiki torches containing citronella, a naturally occurring oil that is distilled from two grass varieties, works by masking scents that are attractive to insects. While they are a great way to add ambiance and keep mosquitoes at bay, they’re only designed to repel bugs in the immediate vicinity. Always read product labels to determine area coverage. Switching to bug-resistant light bulbs can also help reduce the amount of flying insects in your yard.
Add Mosquito Repellent Plants
Not only do they look pretty but some plants and herbs release natural fragrances, though they may need to be roughed up a bit, that repel mosquitoes and other pesky insects. Among the most effective plants are: catnip, citronella, lavender, lemon balm, basil, and marigolds. Place plants and herbs in pots or garden beds near mosquito entry points, such as doors and windows, as well as on your patio.
Install Outdoor Fans
Outdoor ceiling fans are available in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors. Fans are effective at repelling mosquitoes by making it more difficult for insects to fly against the draft. Independent testing conducted by Consumer Reports found that outdoor fans reduced mosquito landings by 45 to 65 percent. Fans also disperse scents that bugs use to target you. Another advantage to using fans is that they are an excellent option for keeping you and, if entertaining, your guests comfortable on hot summer days.
Applying lotion or spray mosquito repellent is an excellent way to fight the bite this summer. Consumer Reports compiled a list of the best insect repellents for you and your family. They found that products made with the active ingredient deet, in concentrations of 25 to 30 percent, consistently provided powerful protection against biting bugs. Off! Deep Woods Insect Repellent VIII was one of their top contenders.
Elite Landscaping and Sprinkler Repair has been servicing residential and commercial clients throughout the greater Phoenix metro area since 1982. Our mission is simple: To provide a high level of professional landscaping service to ensure complete customer satisfaction. As a full-service landscaping company, we provide landscape and sprinkler design, installation and repair. To learn more about these and other services, contact us today at (602) 390-4645.