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The Trick to Keeping Mosquitoes Away from Outdoor Events - And Your Own House!
Virtually any outdoor event can be ruined by mosquitoes. Not only are they annoying enough to send people scurrying home, they also carry and can transmit a great many known diseases to humans and animals alike in 2013.
You want to hold some sort of gathering in an outdoor area and you don't want any mosquitoes to bother your guests, but a poisonous mosquito repellent that could kill the plants and pose a danger to those who breathe it in isn't going to make your get-together any better off than it was with the mosquitoes.
I'm going to split this quick tutorial into steps, but there are really only two steps, so don't sweat it. Let's get to business!
Step One: Take a Look at Your Location
It doesn't matter if you use the most powerful mosquito repellent that you can find every day for a week if you have a mosquito breeding ground nearby, so let's first take care of this.
You'll want to do a little bit of exploring in the area that you plan to host your event. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, so you need to first look for any such potential breeding grounds. This might be a lake, pond, or fountain, but mosquitoes are also perfectly comfortable leaving their larvae to mature in a bucket or tire that has collected rainwater, an over-watered patch of grass, or any other source of moisture.
You'll need to be careful when watering grass and plants, and fix any broken sprinkler heads or leaky pipes. Also remove anything that could collect rainwater or already has water in it.
If you do have a lake or pond nearby, there is actually an all-natural garlic extract that can be combined with canola oil and sprayed onto the surface of any standing water to kill any larvae that might exist just underneath the surface without harming fish in the water or damaging any animals that might drink the water. It's called Mosquito Barrier, and it's an amazing natural product that can do a lot more than coat the surface of standing water, but we'll get to that later!
Step Two: Time to Chase 'Em Out!
Now that you've made sure that your event location isn't going to be producing any mosquitoes of its own, it's time to make sure that your guest list won't be turning into an entrée for any of the buzzers that might smell them and come looking.
You see, mosquitoes can actually sense the carbon dioxide that we exhale with every breath, and they will continue to seek you out if you try to run or hide. Actually, mosquito repellents mask the smell of this carbon dioxide and prevent them from being able to sense you.
Very rarely do mosquito repellents actually cause the mosquitoes to avoid the area, but instead they simply cause them to continue on in search of food because they can't sense anyone in the area. This might be well enough for some, but you might be surprised to find that you can take it a step further without using a single harmful chemical or anything that mother nature hasn't already provided to us herself: garlic.
The same product, Mosquito Barrier, that can be used on mosquito larvae in standing water, can also be used to completely flush an area of mosquitoes and keep it that way for the next month.
The smell of the powerful garlic extract will become untraceable by your nose as soon as it dries, but mosquitoes will be able to sense it for about the next month. Not only does this garlic mask the smell of the carbon dioxide that we breathe and keep mosquitoes from knowing that we are there, it is also extremely toxic to these soft-bodied insects and they will do their best to stay far away from it.
You are going to want to get yourself some Mosquito Barrier and mix it with the proper amounts of water (see chart below). You are going to need to purchase a canister pump-sprayer as well. These are perfect because they have a strong spray and split the water into very small droplets to really penetrate into grass and plants.
Apply the mixture generously to all plants in the area, including grass, shrubs, bushes, roses, and anything else you've got.
Spray along the bottom edges of walls and fences, maybe up to a foot from the ground.
Spray under the porch or in any other nooks and crannies that might exist.
Spray low hanging tree leaves and the bottoms of tree trunks.
The very first time you spray, you will want to do a second application about one week from then. After that second application, you only have to apply once a month or less. If possible, try to get both applications finished prior to having your event for the highest level of protection. If you can't, spraying a few days before the event is probably your best bet.
The Gallon Jug
A few applications to a small area
Perfect for one-time events, also suits small residences all Summer.
One gallon covers 5 acres, or 1/2 an acre all Summer.
Some Additional Info That You Might Appreciate
I hope that the problem is taken care of, but I would now like to take a little bit more of your time to talk about some important and related topics.
DEET, or N,N-Diethyl-meta-Toluamide (is that right?) is the dominant product that you find if ever you are searching for a solution to mosquitoes. You spray DEET on your skin and clothing, and it is supposed to keep mosquitoes away from you for 2, 4, 6, or 8 hours depending on the strength of the DEET.
That all sounds well and good, but this mouthful of a chemical is actually extremely dangerous and is known to cause sudden seizures, especially in children. Please, do some research of your own before purchasing or using any DEET product.
Mosquito Misting Systems
Another increasingly popular method of insect repellent is to use misting systems that work much like sprinklers and periodically mist your lawn or outdoor area with a repellent to keep mosquitoes away. The concept may be time-saving, but if you buy one of these systems you will most definitely be sold their "top of the line" poison repellent along with it.
This stuff will not only kill the grass and plants, it can also kill butterflies, bees, and other beneficial insects. These chemical sprays are undoubtedly harmful to the environment over time, but an automated system could easily go off while your neighbor's child or pet are walking by and spray them. I can't say what health complications this could lead to, but I'm sure you can come up with your own conclusions as to the health dangers, not to mention the potential lawsuits. PLEASE, just do it the old-fashioned way!
West-Nile virus, malaria, dengue fever, heartworm, rift valley fever, yellow fever and encephalitis are the names of some of the diseases that mosquitoes carry and can transmit to humans and animals within a split-second. If you don't understand how serious these diseases are, just do a Google News search for mosquito-related deaths. You might be surprised to find that these cases are occurring a lot closer to home than you thought.
Long sleeve clothing is a must when traveling through areas that are likely to have mosquitoes, and spraying your yard with Mosquito Barrier throughout the whole summer is the absolute best way to make sure you and your family are safe while in your home. I've sworn by it for years, and I become a believer again and again every time summer rolls around. If you just give it a try you really won't regret it, and you'll definitely save a couple hundred bucks in the process.
I hope this article can provide some assistance to people planning outdoor events, but homeowners and maybe even real estate agents who would like to have a mosquito-free open house this weekend could also benefit. If it did, please leave me a comment below and let me know how it helped! You can also check out this video for some quick spraying tips and a brief run-through of some of the things I just covered myself.