Felicia English with Rusty E. Allen, NHG Education and Outreach Coordinator This month, I joined…
North Texans are used to dealing with mosquitoes every summer, but the concern has grown beyond a simple nuisance to a fear of mosquito-borne illnesses.
There’s no magic bullet for dealing with these insects.
However, it is possible to effectively control them and protect yourself so that you can enjoy your outdoor space.
Here’s our simple, three-part system for success:
P is for PREVENTION: The most important step is to prevent them in the first place.
Mosquitoes can lay eggs and develop larvae in just a tablespoon of standing water, so being vigilant is crucial. Don’t forget that your rooftop gutters are a prime location for standing water.
Additionally, we recommend using Mosquito Dunks (and Mosquito Bits) to prevent existing larvae from maturing into biting adults. This biological control releases the Bacillus thuringensis i. (Bt i) strain of bacteria, which is harmless to pets, birds or aquatic life but kills mosquito larvae.
Sprinkle into areas that stay moist, such as under a dripping faucet, in rain gutters and beneath shrubs. Crape myrtle trees are multi-trunked and small amounts of water can collect in the crevices after you run your sprinkler system or after a rain.
Dunks are a solid form that can be floated in ponds, creeks, water features or bird baths as needed.
E is ENVIRONMENT: Treat the area where adults fly.
Dynatraps are available in several sizes, and they don’t zap mosquitoes. They lure them in with a combination of natural carbon dioxide (the primary way that mosquitoes locate you in the first place) and ultra violet light. They’re sucked into a basket where they are dehydrated by a fan. These traps are durable and quiet, and when set 4-5′ off the ground and left to run continuously, they provide a great means of control.
Essential oil products: these include foggers, cedar granules, oil diffusers, and citronella candles. They’re all chemical free (although there are chemical products if you prefer them) and rely on essential oils of cedar, rosemary, lemon grass, citronella geranium, and others to repel adult mosquitoes. Use a combination of granules, fogger and diffuser to treat your patio or garden ahead of a summer party, and you’ll see a huge reduction in adult mosquitoes–at least temporarily.
ST is for SELF TREATMENT: Protect yourself and your family.
Eco-Smart Insect repellent and Skeeter Screen Personal Spray contain essential plant oils and can be applied directly to the skin.
Use this system to protect yourself and your loved ones–and have a great time outside this summer!
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