How to Mosquito-Proof Your Yard
From pool parties to backyard barbecues, there’s one common bugaboo affecting homeowners throughout central Maryland. Mosquitoes have become a serious nuisance, enough to leave some individuals wishing for winter. Two years ago, the state faced a mosquito population three times its normal size, and last spring Baltimore was named among the nation’s most mosquito-afflicted metro areas. For most individuals, it adds up to evenings spent swatting away the pesky pests and suffering from annoying and uncomfortable bites. Others don’t have it so fortunate, however. Mosquito-borne illnesses like encephalitis, West Nile virus, dengue fever, and Zika virus can be incredibly painful and even fatal when contracted by humans and pets. The insects aren’t going away, so unless you want to spend your summer stuck inside the house, it’s best to take action to reduce the mosquito population around your home. Here’s what you need to know.
Remove Stagnant Water
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in still water, so check your property for areas of undisturbed water. Fill in sunken parts of the yard, remove old tires, and make sure your gutters are clear of debris. Other common backyard features known to collect water, like birdbaths, flowerpot saucers, rain barrels, and trash cans, should be drained and scrubbed at least once a week. Dumping or replacing water in a pond is not so simple, so use a mosquito dunk or stock mosquito-hungry wildlife like minnows, tadpoles, and bass.
One of the most effective mosquito prevention methods starts in the garden. Several plant species contain chemicals that naturally act as insect repellents. In some cases, the scent of these plants alone is enough to ward off mosquitoes, while other plants work best when beaten or burned. Either way, planting lemon grass, lemon balm, lavender, catnip, marigold, and rosemary will bring beauty and fragrance to your yard while also giving you an all-natural pest protection.
Many homeowners look to torches and candles to add ambiance and lighting when entertaining at night – the time when mosquitoes are most active, along with the morning. But when using products containing citronella oil, there is also the added benefit of repelling insects. Many have found candles with geraniol, an oil produced in the scent glands of honeybees, to be even more effective at deterring mosquitoes, although it could affect individuals with sensitive skin.
While screening your deck, patio, or porch won’t do anything to repel mosquitoes, it will keep you and your guests comfortable and bug-free. Installing a screened deck is ideal for homeowners who like to cook and eat outdoors, as the food’s delicious aroma attracts insects as much as it does humans. These deck and patio enclosures also help to keep out precipitation and blowing leaves and other debris, allowing you to get even more use out of your outdoor living spaces.
If you’re considering a screened deck installation in Baltimore, look no further than Excel Fencing & Decking. Our installation experts can design and build a new custom screened deck, or retrofit an existing patio, porch, or deck with a screened enclosure. We’d love to give you a free estimate, so call us today at (410) 803-9499.