A deck or porch is a great place to hang out in the summer. Whether you are stepping outside to grill or just reading a good book in the fresh air, spring and summer is prime deck time. But all of that can be ruined by a swarm of pesky mosquitoes. Who wants to be outside when your being eaten alive? There are a number of ways to keep mosquitoes off your deck or porch this season. Some work better than others, but here’s our list!
1. Get Rid of Standing Water
Mosquitoes need standing water to lay their eggs. Larvae live in standing water. So without standing water, there is no way for mosquitoes to reproduce. On the other hand, the presence of standing water won’t just provide a home for baby mosquitoes, it will attract adult mosquitoes looking for a place to lay their eggs.
Look around for any containers or children’s toys that might be collecting water and spill them out. Turn containers upside down when you’re not using them to avoid collecting rainwater. Also check your gutters. If your gutters are collecting water you may need to unclog them or just fix the angle so they drain properly.
2. Fix the Drainage
It’s easy to empty out water that collects on your deck. But if you have standing water under your deck you are doing yourself no favors. If water is pooling under your deck you have a couple of possible solutions. If you have small puddles, you can try putting sand under the deck. The sand will absorb the water and prevent mosquitoes from laying their eggs in the puddles. If you have bigger puddles, you may need to install some drainage. A french drain can work well under a deck to clear standing water.
3. Treat Standing Water
If you have standing water on your deck that you can’t drain, you have other options. One example would be a bird bath. Or perhaps a water feature. Since you won’t be draining these, you can either get the water moving with a fountain or treat the water with mosquito dunks or bits. A fountain will circulate the water enough to make it inhospitable to mosquito eggs. Mosquito dunks and bits are products that can be added to standing water and release a bacterium that kills mosquito larvae.
4. Clear Out Clogged Gutters
If you think you’ve cleared all the standing water from your deck, there is one last place to check. The gutters above your deck could be harboring standing water that you don’t see. If that’s the case, you need to get in there and unclog those gutters. Any standing water is an open invitation to mosquitoes and their eggs.
5. Install a Fan (or Two)
Mosquitoes like still air. In fact, they find it almost impossible to fly in a breeze over 2 mph. But you don’t have to wait for a windy day to go outside. Installing an oscillating fan (or two) can make it harder for mosquitoes to fly around your deck or porch. As an added bonus, the fans will keep you cool during the hot, sticky Georgia summers.
6. Plant Mosquito Repellent Plants
This one is a little questionable. But there are some plants that are said to repel mosquitoes. Mosquitoes find their prey mostly by scent, so some of these strong smelling plants may help keep them away. Some suggested plants are citronella, mint, rosemary, and lemongrass. Make sure that the pots you plant them in have proper drainage. The last thing you need is more standing water. While this method is somewhat suspect, you have little to lose trying it out. At least your deck will smell nice!
7. Mow the Lawn
Mowing the lawn isn’t just a way to keep your grass neat. It can also help keep mosquitoes away. Mosquitoes tend to rest in tall grass, thick bushes, and forests. The more you can keep your grass short and your bushes trimmed, the fewer places mosquitoes will have to hide. If your yard backs up onto a forest or a slow-moving creek this is especially important. You want the mosquitoes to stick to the forest and slow-moving water and not venture out into your well-manicured lawn.
8. Burn Some Incense
Like planting mosquito repellent plants, this relies on the mosquitoes’ sense of smell. There are retailers who sell special mosquito repellent incense. Supposedly the smoke is really unpleasant to mosquitoes and will keep them away. We’re not sure how well they work, but it’s worth a shot.
9. Attract Birds and Bats
Birds and bats are a mosquito’s natural predators. Both birds and bats feed on mosquitoes and can help control mosquito populations in your yard. You can attract birds and bats with feeders or bird and bat houses. Just make sure that the feeders and houses aren’t collecting standing water. As usual, anything that increases standing water is not a good way of keeping mosquitoes away.
10. Burn Citronella
For localized, short-term mosquito relief you can use citronella candles or torches. Placing a burning candle on or near the table where you are eating may keep some mosquitoes away while you enjoy a meal. This won’t actually reduce the mosquito population, but it can keep them out of your face for a little bit.
One way to use citronella is to go all out and try to build a citronella wall. Place the citronella candles around the perimeter of your deck or porch, about 6 to 8 feet apart. If you have a heavy mosquito presence, you can put them 2 to 3 feet apart. The theory is that this will create a wall of mosquito repellent that mosquitoes won’t cross to get to your deck. Again, we’re not sure how effective this is and the smoke could be unpleasant. But if you feel like going to war with your local mosquito population you can try this at your own risk.
11. Break out the DEET
This won’t actually keep mosquitoes away from your deck or porch, but it will keep them away from you. The World Health Organization strongly endorses DEET as an effective mosquito repellent. It is tried and true, with billions of people using it since its invention by the U.S. Army in 1944. A newer repellent is Picaridin, also recommended by health organizations.
12. Install Screens
This is a bit drastic, but if you are really just tired of mosquitoes it may be worth it. Enclosing a porch with screens is not the cheapest option. But it can keep mosquitoes and other bugs out of your private space. If you are enclosing a deck, make sure to install screening under the deck floor, as well, so mosquitoes don’t fly up through the space between deck panels.
13. Get Professional Mosquito Control
Unlike the other options, this option will really rid your deck of porch of mosquitoes. In fact, it will create a mosquito-free zone around your entire property. Mr. Mister Mosquito Control offers two great ways to keep mosquitoes far, far away from you and your yard all season long.
The first way is their ClearZone Mosquito Misting Service. With this plan, a Mr. Mister Mosquito Control expert will visit your home every 21 days throughout the mosquito season. They will apply a fine mist of a 100% biodegradable solution. The solution sticks to the underside of your foliage and both controls mosquitoes and inhibits their reproduction.
The second way Mr. Mister can clear your property of mosquitoes is to install an automated mosquito misting system. This system works like a sprinkler system to automatically release a mist of mosquito solution on a regular basis. This eliminates the need for return visits and will keep your property mosquito free all season long.
If you are ready to live mosquito free, don’t wait any longer. Contact Mr. Mister Mosquito Control today to get started.