Summer means more time outdoors soaking up the sun and family gatherings in the backyard, but it also means battling mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes are considered “vampires” of the insect world. The females crave human blood, but unlike vampires don’t need it to survive. Instead, drinking human blood allows them to reproduce and lay eggs.
If only mosquitoes weren’t real…
The pesky bloodsuckers know how to ruin a perfectly good day. Aside from being a nuisance, they can transmit deadly diseases to people and pets.
There are countless products on the market that claim to repel mosquitoes, but if you are more of a DIYer then read on for some easy ways to create effective mosquito traps and deterrents.
Mosquitoes can be found everywhere, but prefer humid and damp areas. If citronella candles aren’t doing the trick, try some of the methods below.
DIY Mosquito Traps
The Ovitrap Mosquito Trap
Mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide, body heat, sweat, and dark clothing. When not feeding, the females spend their time looking for stagnant water to lay their eggs.
Female mosquitoes can lay up to 300 eggs at a time, so this trap lures them in with stagnant water but then makes sure the hatched larvae never leave.
The females will lay their eggs on the screen and the larvae will fall through and into the water. Once they hatch they will be too large to escape.
It is so successful that the U.S. military uses a form of it in malaria zones.
Check out this easy DIY ovitrap shared by Bob Vila.
Large plastic container or bucket (preferably black)
18 or 20 gauge wire
Metal screen or mesh
Watch the video below created by Show and Tell which gives step-by-step instructions on how to create a ovitrap.
Once it is complete, hang the trap in a shaded area. The key to this trap is the stagnant water and moist sock, so make sure there is always water in the container.
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Box Fan Mosquito Trap
This trap takes a different approach to capturing mosquitoes. Instead of attracting them with smells or dark objects, the air from the fan pulls them in and then traps them in the mesh.
Items You Will Need:
20-inch box fan
Mosquito netting or mesh food cover
Magnets or binder clips
This trap is so simple to make and super affordable. The one method used by MosquitoKiller on YouTube takes minutes to create.
- Step 1: Attach the mesh food cover to the box fan with the binder clips.
- Step 2: Place the fan in an area (where you have access to power) and turn on high.
- Step 3: Sit back and watch the trap do its magic.
DIY Mosquito Deterrents
The best way to eliminate mosquitoes is by inviting a natural predator, like bats, to your property.
Bat Conservation International suggests you place your bat house fifteen feet off the ground in an area that gets at least six hours of sunlight and mount it to a wooden or concrete building.
In addition to freeing your yard of mosquitoes, you are providing a home for important pollinators.
Many of us associate the menthol smell of Vicks VapoRub with congestion and colds, but it works as a mosquito repellent, too!
The strong scent and essential oils, like cedar leaf oil, in the product deters the pesky insects and even helps soothe mosquito bites.
Mosquitoes hate the smell of garlic, so be sure to add it to your diet. Disney World uses liquid garlic spray as part of their mosquito control program. It is a safe and natural way to fend off the biting pests.
The effective deterrent is also potent to vampires, so maybe the biting insects have more in common with the supernatural creatures than we think.
Pesticides are commonly used to control mosquito populations but are harmful to other vital insects. These easy and safe methods will hep, but no method kills 100% of mosquitoes – so always wear bug spray.
In addition, wearing light-colored long sleeve clothing will provide a protective layer from bugs and the sun, a win-win.
Mosquitoes are not only a pest and danger to humans, but to animals as well.
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