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Avoid Mosquito Bites This Summer

Scott Monge

Summers in the South are generally celebrated with a lot of outdoor playing, eating and even sleeping. Swimming in a lake or river, grilling on the patio and camping in the backyard are rites of passage for most Southerners. But the warmer months aren’t always picture-perfect. One of the curses of hot, humid summers are the bugs. Gnats circle kids’ faces and hornets dive-bomb sunbathers. But possibly the most infuriating pest is the mosquito. They’re everywhere and leave behind itchy skin and tiny welts on those who are very sensitive. Improve your odds against the flying blood suckers by following these tips.

  • If you’re planning a weekend in your yard, spray it down with hints of lemon. The citrus scent wards off mosquitoes. Combine lemon dish soap, lemon ammonia and lemon juice in a sprayer and douse the yard to keep the biters at bay.
  • Avoid areas where water gathers. If you have buckets or flower pots or any other container in your yard, be sure to dump out any water that collects after rainfall. Sitting, stagnant water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
  • Turn to the ever-faithful citronella candles and torches if you need some added protection. Place citronella plants in your landscape and burn citronella oil when outside. Some soap makers use citronella oil in some of their soaps, shampoos and lotions to amp up the bug repellent.
  • Buy a bat house. Bats are a great source of insect control. Put up a bat house and let the critters take care of the pests for you.
  • Tall grasses and areas of heavy ground cover and foliage promote breeding. Keep your grass short and trimmed to keep the ‘skeeters out of your yard.
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