Summer and patio weather are just around the corner – and while pool parties, barbecue weekends and backyard fun are on the horizon – so is mosquito season!
Mosquitoes and other biting insects such as wasps can quickly sneak their way into your backyard and turn quality family time into a nuisance. Fortunately, there are certain things you can do to thwart and prevent them from invading your backyard. From practical tips to prep your yard to bug repellents and other options for bug bite protection, we’ve got you covered with 4 useful tips to keep insects out of your outdoor living space so you can enjoy summer days to the fullest.
1. Use the Right Bug Repellent & Wear Protective Clothing
Bug skin repellents are one of the most effective ways to keep mosquitoes away; they make your skin unappetizing to hungry mosquitoes. Choose natural repellent creams that are DEET-free, non-toxic for the environment and hypoallergenic. Opt for bug lotions instead of sprays (as they can be inhaled) which include essential oils that repel insects like lemon, camphor, geranium, eucalyptus, lavender, pine and clove. Keep in mind that while natural mosquito repellents are a safer option for you and your kids, you will need to reapply often for maximum efficiency, especially during times of day when mosquitoes are most active (at dawn and dusk).
Avoid fragrant creams and skin products: floral or fruity scents and perfumes tend to attract mosquitoes. Choose unscented shampoos, soaps, lotions, and oils and wear scents that repel mosquitoes (mentioned in paragraph above).
Lastly, dress your children with light-colored and loose-fitting clothing that will keep them well protected, as insects can bite through tight clothing. Choose lightweight knits and cotton garments that will help them stay cool while covering their entire body. In addition, we all know that mosquitoes love to bite lower extremities, so ensure to keep their feet (and yours!) well protected with socks and closed-toe shoes. If you live on the countryside or near a wood, you can also opt for specialized insect and mosquito repellent clothing lines that shield against insect bites.
2. Keep Your Landscape Well Maintained
Take proper care of your landscape by regularly keeping the grass and bushes well-trimmed; overgrown grass, hedges and weeds provide an open invitation to mosquitoes; they seek refuge in the overgrowth and take shelter in cool vegetation on hot summer days.
It’s also important to keep your lawn trimmed to keep other sorts of biting insects at bay such as bees, wasps and ticks, which have increased in number in the last couple of years and can potentially carry Lyme disease.
In addition, mosquitoes love humidity and breed in stagnant water: they will target water puddles in lawns for a spot to lay their eggs. If your patio has any natural or artificial grass, check that it is draining correctly and that no miniature pools are forming. If you have bird pools, outdoor flower pots or containers where water can accumulate, make sure you empty them regularly.
3. Protect Your Terrace with Shade Nets
Don’t let bugs and insects keep you locked indoors! Although mosquitoes thrive in the countryside near lakes and ponds, an increasing number of city homeowners are resorting to protective netting systems for their patio or terrace.
If you're planning a family get-together and want to dine outdoors, shade nets provide a great solution to shield your outdoor dining area. In addition to adding more privacy, detachable mesh side curtains will safeguard against from mosquitoes and other unwanted invaders by creating a fully secure and cozy atmosphere.
The mosquito nets can be easily attached to the fixed retractable awning thanks to a revolutionary system integrated to the roof and sides of the sun shade. Whether you live in the city or in the countryside, you can equip your balcony with hand-cranked or motorized mosquito nets that extend vertically, and can be rolled up when if not needed.
Decorative and highly functional, these soft, retractable mesh walls or vinyl drapes can be easily installed, whether you have a fixed retractable awning, a pergola, a gazebo, or even just a balcony! They come in various colors and are made with aluminum painted support frames.
4. Equip Your Terrace With Candles and Lanterns
When you’re spending time outdoor, we recommend you buy citronella candles, torches, and lanterns. Derived from lemongrass, citronella oils provide a natural way to outsmart mosquitoes and minimize their bites. When burning, the oils’ smell and smoke confuse mosquitoes - effectively disguising human and animal body odors.
Since citronella oil is free of any pesticide, it may be a better option for pets, your family, and the environment. However, for it to alter a mosquitoes’ attack path, you must be in very close proximity to the burning oil. They will be less effective if the nearest oil-burning device is more than a few feet away. Make sure to strategically place your candles in close proximity to ensure adequate coverage and protection.
To conclude, don’t let mosquitoes and insects mess with your backyard fun! Applying these four tips will keep flying pests from making your summer outdoors anything less than perfect.