7 Ways to Wage War Against Mosquitoes—and Win!

By Mary Hunt
Mary Hunt
Mary Hunt
Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a frugal living blog and the author of the book “Debt-Proof Living.” Mary invites you to visit her at her website, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at EverydayCheapskate.com/contact, “Ask Mary.” Tips can be submitted at Tips.EverydayCheapskate.com. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Copyright 2021 Creators.com
September 6, 2021 Updated: September 6, 2021

Mosquitoes are nasty creatures. They bite; they transmit terrible diseases to people and pets; and from what I read, they have no redeeming value in the ecosystem.

Malaria infected some 212 million people worldwide in 2016 and killed an estimated 429,000. Mosquitoes spread yellow fever, dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, Rift Valley fever, Chikungunya virus, and West Nile virus.

If that’s not reason enough to hate them, they can turn a beautiful backyard, deck, or patio into a nightmare area not fit for humans during their peak season. But it doesn’t have to be that way, provided you are diligent to take control of your home and property.

Mosquito Trap

When I discovered that we’d be dealing with mosquitoes here in northern Colorado, my research knew no bounds and led to purchasing a Dynatrap, available online and in-home improvement centers and discount warehouse clubs like Costco.

This insect trap is engineered for three-way protection. First, a fluorescent UV bulb generates a warm light, attracting insects.

Then, a second lure, an exclusive titanium dioxide-coated surface, produces harmless CO2, which mosquitoes find irresistible (no wonder they love you so much—you emit CO2, too).

Third, a powerful, whisper-quiet vacuum fan sucks insects into the retaining cage, where they dehydrate and die.

Every few weeks, I empty my mosquito morgue—I mean trap. A full trap is proof positive that this thing is very effective. Dynatrap is definitely not a bug zapper. No sizzle noises, odors, or other annoyances. I give Dynatrap two thumbs up and five stars.

Commercial Repellent

It is important to make sure mosquito repellent is applied to any exposed skin during mosquito season. Repellents that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 are the most effective at warding off mosquitoes. At the height of the Zika virus threat, pregnant women were especially recommended to choose a repellent with Deet. Health officials say Sawyer Picaridin, Natrapel 8 Hour, and Off! Deep Woods VIII are the best at keeping the bugs at bay.

Natural Homemade Repellent

Mix one part lemon eucalyptus oil with 10 parts witch hazel. Rub or spray on your skin.

Planted Lavender

It’s easy to grow; it produces a beautiful flower; and it smells fantastic! Even better: Mosquitoes hate it and will stay away from it.

No Standing Water

This is where mosquitoes breed in the thousands. Birdbaths, fishponds, puddles, and even flowerpot drip trays and dog dishes are prime breeding grounds.

Empty or Drain as Much Water as Possible

If you can’t drain a water source, try pouring a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil on top to deny access to mosquitoes and larvae. Note: Do not pour vegetable oil into fishponds; it inhibits oxygen flow and can kill the fish.

Clean Yard

Keep your yard clean and your vegetation under control. Mosquitoes prefer densely vegetated areas where they are protected from sun, wind, and rain. Keep your lawn well-trimmed, and clear out piles of brush where moisture can accumulate. Rake up leaves, and dispose of them when they start accumulating.

Mary Hunt
Mary Hunt
Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a frugal living blog and the author of the book “Debt-Proof Living.” Mary invites you to visit her at her website, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at EverydayCheapskate.com/contact, “Ask Mary.” Tips can be submitted at Tips.EverydayCheapskate.com. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Copyright 2021 Creators.com