What is the most effective mosquito repellent in Cordova, TN |  Allied Termite & Pest Control

Especially in the middle of summer, it can feel impossible to avoid mosquito bites here and there. While you may still sustain a bite or two if you spend a lot of time near infested areas, there are still a few steps you can take to keep mosquitoes away from you and your property—and some ways you can reduce your risk of an infestation.

Natural Mosquito Repellents

Mosquito repellents are meant to deter mosquitoes from certain areas, usually by emitting a strong scent or other chemical signal that interferes with their ability to feed on hosts. Repellents are usually applied to the skin or clothing, though there are other forms like candles. Here, we’ll talk about the most common all-natural mosquito repellents and whether or not they’re effective.

Homemade Mosquito Repellents

Essential oils are often praised for their numerous uses, which may even include homemade insect repellents. While they aren’t as reliable as clinically tested products like EPA-registered mosquito repellents, some diluted essential oils could help you avoid bites. Some of the most common homemade insect repellents include:

  • Peppermint Oil: When mixed with a carrier oil such as olive or canola, peppermint oil emits a fragrant scent that may help deter mosquitoes.
  • Catnip Oil: Derived from catnip through steam distillation, catnip oil is EPA-approved and purported to provide up to seven hours of protection against mosquitoes.
  • Lemon Eucalyptus Oil: Lemon eucalyptus oil has been classified by both the CDC and the EPA as a mosquito repellent. However, it’s essential to note that it has not been approved for use on children under three years old.
  • Lavender Oil: With its pleasant fragrance, lavender oil has been shown in studies to be effective at repelling adult mosquitoes and preventing bites.

Always remember to dilute the oils with water and perform a skin patch test to minimize your risk of a serious skin reaction. If you are concerned about using essential oils on your skin or clothing, consult your medical provider for personalized advice.

Do Citronella Candles Work?

Derived from leaves and grass, citronella oil possesses a distinctive yellow or brown hue with a floral-citrus aroma. Citronella candles have gained popularity for their perceived ability to ward off mosquitoes by interfering with their ability to smell and therefore locate potential prey. While burning a citronella candle outdoors may offer some short-lived reprieve from mosquitoes, it’s important to note that the effectiveness diminishes after a couple of hours.

Another form of citronella that many people try is the lemon-scented geranium plant. Unfortunately, the plants do very little to repel mosquitoes; since the citronella oil is inside of the leaves, the leaves need to be crushed or rubbed in order to release the potent scent that may help deter mosquitoes.

EPA-Registered Mosquito Repellents

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) works to protect human health and the environment. As such, they maintain a list of mosquito repellents that have clinical evidence of success and that have been proven to meet certain health standards. When shopping for a repellent in a store, we recommend choosing one that meets the EPA’s requirements.

Regardless of the repellent chosen, always carefully read and adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions. Some may require reapplication for sustained effectiveness, and skin patch tests are recommended to check for allergic reactions. If you have questions or concerns, always seek advice from a medical professional.

Picaridin Vs DEET

DEET, developed by the U.S. Army in the 1940s, has a long history of use and is EPA-approved. Concentrations between 10 and 30% provide up to 12 hours of protection against mosquitoes, though it can damage plastic and synthetic gear.

Picaridin, effective against various insects including ticks and flies, has minimal odor and no adverse effects on plastics. It offers comparable protection to DEET against mosquitoes and is particularly effective against flies.

Are Picaridin and DEET Safe?

A lot of EPA-registered insect repellents contain 10-30% DEET or up to 20% picaridin. While many people are hesitant to use these products, they have been shown to be highly effective in keeping mosquitoes away. And, when used in accordance with manufacturer instructions, these products are considered safe to use.

Other Ways to Keep Mosquitoes Away

While repellents are effective at reducing mosquito bites and minimizing the risk of mosquito-borne illnesses, they are less effective if you’re hanging out in a heavily infested area. If you have a lot of insects in your backyard, you’ll want to look into other treatments or preventative measures that reduce their populations.

Mosquito Traps

Mosquito traps operate on the principle of attracting and capturing female mosquitoes, the ones responsible for biting. They achieve this by replicating the scents or signals that mosquitoes utilize to locate blood sources. Common attractants include carbon dioxide (mimicking human breath), heat, fragrances, and light. The trapping mechanisms vary, ranging from electrocution setups to sticky surfaces.

While mosquito traps can be helpful if you want to avoid bites, especially in areas where you regularly spend time outdoors, they aren’t necessarily the best at tackling a full-blown infestation. They also don’t make much of a difference if they’re placed in areas where mosquitoes don’t regularly travel.

Natural Mosquito Prevention

Keeping mosquitoes at bay requires proactive prevention efforts that target their breeding and resting grounds. By implementing simple measures, you can significantly reduce mosquito populations in your vicinity. Here are some effective strategies to keep mosquitoes out of your yard:

  • Remove sources of standing water around your property, such as birdbaths, clogged gutters, and flowerpots, as they serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
  • Mow your lawn and trim back landscaping to eliminate overgrown vegetation where mosquitoes like to hide and rest during the day.
  • Install screens on windows and doors to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home. You can also try adding mosquito nets to decks to reduce your chances of a bite.

Professional Mosquito Control

Professional mosquito control services offer comprehensive solutions to mitigate mosquito populations and reduce their impact on residential and commercial properties. These services typically involve skilled technicians who conduct thorough assessments of the property to identify breeding sites and areas of high mosquito activity.

If you keep getting mosquito bites when you step into your backyard, it may be worth looking into mosquito extermination services from a qualified expert.
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