Last weekend my family ventured onto the patio for some yard work - only to flee back inside with a thousand mosquitoes on their tail. Okay, maybe not a thousand but who is going to stop and count? They vowed to not go back out until the problem was solved. I usually keep up with my mosquito control but had let it lag because I never saw any!!! Well, that was because of what I have been using and goes to show how VERY effective it is when used consistently!
I believe that no one product alone is the complete answer for bug control so I use a myriad of family friendly, eco-friendly, natural and safe products to deter bugs (mosquitoes, chiggers and fleas being my main focus). Here are my tried and true (and effective if you are consistent in your use) products and plants for bug control.
1. Beneficial Nematodes. Let's start with something good for your entire yard, completely safe and healthy for your yard overall. These little nematodes can be found here (http://amzn.to/2vbrCXO) or at your better gardening stores. You simply spray them in a lawn sprayer, when it is overcast or evening, and they eat flea/mosquito eggs, chiggers, and lots of other garden nasties. Worth EVERY PENNY! I suggest spraying these every month for May, June, July for best results. This product has completely cured my garden chigger problem and those white sluggy things underground!
2. Skeeter Screen Patio Eggs. These diffusion eggs can be hung at the front door or on your patio and refilled every 1-3 months (depends on your weather and the placement). Smells nice, works wonders. They also look nice which for me is sort of important as my patio is my haven. I would suggest refilling at least every other month (although they say 3 months) just to be completely safe. Large refills for the egg can be found (along with the patio egg) here: refill http://amzn.to/2vb8JUG Patio egg with small oil refill http://amzn.to/2vvbEqR. Although the initial investment is a little pricey, the diffusers last year after year and the small oil it comes with lasts a season! Next year, just buy the larger refill and you will be set!
3. Skeeter Screen Spreadable Insect Deterrent. This sprinkle product has the same base ingredients as the patio eggs above but you can spread it around the area you want protected (along the patio perimeter) and it will keep pretty much every little flying annoyance bug away. It won't last a long time, maybe 5-7 days at most (depending on the weather) but it works well for planned events, picnics, or camping where you want to keep a bug perimeter! I use it in the potted plants on the perimeter of the patio and it provides added protection. Find it here: http://amzn.to/2tzcam5
4. Plant Therapy Nature Shield (formerly Insect Shield) essential oil blend. This is magic in a bottle. Drop 10-15 drops in a spray bottle (4 ounce glass bottles: http://amzn.to/2u309Y5) with water filled to the top, shake well and spray on clothes, skin, the area. It smells really nice and bugs might hover nearby but they won't touch down! This is SAFE. My kids use it, I use it and we have had no reactions. Always dilute in water though. We have been using this for 4 years with incredible success and I won't go into the yard without it now! Chiggers won't even touch me (at least last year they didn't but this year the nematodes ate them all!). Get it here: http://amzn.to/2t8Jj8V
5. Birds. Birds eat mosquitoes. So, more birds means less mosquitoes. We have a couple of bird feeders in the yard to convince them to hang out here and in the evenings, you can see them swooping in. Cheap, easy, effective and you get the beautiful bird song for free! Spread your feeders around further out in the yard and away from each other to promote more birds around the ENTIRE yard.
6. Plants: Planting catnip, peppermint, lavender, lemongrass, and/or rosemary can all help ward off bugs naturally and these are plants that can be used for household cleaning, cooking, pets. Once established, most of these plants need very little to survive each year and flourish. They are a super easy way to bug proof your yard.
With a little investment and some planning - your yard can be pest free - naturally, safely, eco-consciously. Now head out and enjoy some backyard time!
I have been "playing" and experimenting with yoga, aromatherapy and healthy living since my late teens - researching, testing, reading, investigating, and learning anything that would make my life - and the lives around me - better naturally.
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