Tips & Tricks to Keep Mosquitoes / Sand Gnats Away
Imagine this: You are hosting your very first backyard BBQ for all of your friends and family to celebrate the purchase of your new home. The grill is hot and everyone seems to be having a great time until, suddenly, you notice a collective grumble from the crowd. Pesky mosquitoes and sand gnats have left your guests swatting, scratching and itching to leave.
Nothing should get in the way of you enjoying your new home, especially unwanted insects.
Here are a few tips and tricks to help you keep these pests from buzzing around your backyard:
Reduce Excessive Moisture – Most biting insects, such as sand gnats and mosquitoes, are attracted to damp earth and standing water. Believe it or not, potted plants, clogged gutters, yard puddles and even leaky plumbing can become a breeding ground. Be sure to keep an eye out for heavy moisture around your yard and eliminate any issues you find.
Diatomaceous Earth can be sprinkled on sand, soil or other damp areas; however, it will need to be reapplied after rain.
If your home is near a pond, has a pool or contains a water feature, you can also take these additional steps to reduce mosquito activity in your yard.
Regularly clean and change any standing water features and drain when not in use, i.e., birdbaths and wading pools.
Install pond or pool pumps to keep bodies of water moving.
Use fish-safe insecticides or introduce fish that eat mosquito larvae, such as goldfish or minnows.
Pest-Control Plants – If you are a gardener, then this tip may be right up your alley! Certain plants—like lavender, citronella grass and marigold—are known to repel mosquitos while keeping your yard beautiful and fresh. Keep in mind, however, this could be a double-edged sword as some plants can attract other types of pests, like bees or beetles.
Citronella, Eucalyptus, or Lavender Oil – These scents are popular with humans, but very unappealing to sand gnats and biting insects. If you notice gnats or mosquitoes lingering around damp foliage, spray your plants with any of these oils to deter the bugs.
Tip: Eucalyptus and lavender oils can be safely sprayed on clothes, hats, or caps as well.
Fans (and gentle breezes!) – Additional airflow at your event could also help discourage sand gnats and mosquitos since these insects don’t stand up too well against gusts of wind. Hand fans work well for personal protection, but you may consider outdoor ceiling or standing fans to keep the air circulating where guests may gather.
Tip: If you keep an eye on the local weather, you may be able to select a breezy time of day or year for extra safeguarding.
Reduce The Potential Bite Area – You can always protect yourself from bites by covering as much skin as possible and wearing an insect repellent. Repellents you find in stores typically work better against mosquitoes than sand gnats, so you may also choose to cover your exposed skin with coconut oil for extra protection.
Tip: Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colored clothing, so opt for lightly colored clothes when enjoying the outdoors.
As a new homeowner, there may be many unexpected challenges as you get settled in, but nothing should get in the way of you loving your purchase.
We encourage you to try out some of our tips and tricks to keep mosquitoes and sand gnats from taking over your yard!