Mosquitoes are terrible. It is difficult to enjoy any activity in your backyard when mosquitoes show up. But what can you do? Who wants to put bug spray all over themselves every time they go out into the yard? Many Mooresville residents have turned to candles, torches, bug zappers, and other products to keep mosquitoes away. Unfortunately, these offer little or no relief from mosquito bites, and these products are noxious. This has led to a new trend. Folks are starting to look to natural smells that mosquitoes don't like, and they're purchasing products known as essential oils to keep mosquitoes away. Essential oils like lemon balm, lavender, basil, and rosemary have a nice smell, and can be applied to the skin for mosquito protection. This sounds great, but do they work? Here are a few things you should know.
Are Essential Oils Effective For Mosquito Control?
According to the CDC, essential oils don't measure up. Not one essential oil product made their list of approved products. Only one natural, plant-based repellent is suggested: Oil of lemon eucalyptus. Don't let the fact that it has "oil" in the name throw you off. It is not an essential oil. Understanding what makes oil of lemon eucalyptus different from essential oils is key to understanding why essential oils are not yet recommended for warding off mosquito bites.
Mosquito repellents that have oil of lemon eucalyptus don't have the essential oil from the plant. They use the waste distillate that remains after the hydro-distillation of the essential oil. As it turns out, the distillate lasts longer than the essential oil itself. This problem plagues all essential oils. When they are applied to the skin, they cease to be as effective after they have dried. Studies are still being conducted to determine how long they last, but it can be less than an hour.
Manufacturers are aware that people want an alternative to chemical bug sprays, and they are working hard to develop products from essential plant oils that will be more effective and last longer.
If you plant citronella grass, lemon balm, basil, peppermint, lavender, rosemary, or some other mosquito-repellent plant in your outdoor recreation areas, you can have some protection from mosquito bites. You can rub these plants and rub the oils on your skin when you're near them. If you do this a few times while you're outside, you might have some success at keeping mosquitoes away that aren't determined to get a blood meal. But, ultimately, this is where the real problem is. Some mosquitoes don't take no for an answer.
Have you ever gotten mosquito bites even though you were covered in bug spray? It happens. This is because female mosquitoes need a blood meal in order to reproduce. If she is desperate to get the job done, she will brave candles, torches, smoke from a fire, and even chemicals applied to your skin. You won't have success keeping all mosquitoes away with any scent that they don't like.
How Do You Prevent Mosquito Bites In Your Yard?
We don't recommend applying anything to your body, or buying any products that promise to drive mosquitoes away. The best way to prevent bites is to reduce the number of mosquitoes in your yard.
It is possible to drastically reduce mosquitoes in your yard because mosquitoes don't get around much. They tend to stay within a few hundred feet of where they hatch. If you have an image of mosquitoes flying around your neighborhood looking for someone to bite, you need to replace that with one of mosquitoes spending most of their time resting because that's what they do. They rest in your landscaping and in other places in your yard. That's why they're able to get to you so fast when you go outside. If those areas are treated, mosquitoes that rest in them will be eliminated. Not only will this stop mosquitoes (even the determined ones) from biting you, it will prevent female mosquitoes from laying eggs in your yard and creating more mosquitoes that want to bite you.
Do You Want To Break The Cycle Of Reproduction In Your Yard?
If you're tired of getting mosquito bites, we can help you take your backyard back. Reach out to Lake Norman Pest Control and schedule seasonal mosquito services for your yard. Routine application of an EPA mist product can stop mosquitoes before they bite. Find out what a difference it can make.