Rejoice! We're heading into the warm weather, which means swimming, boating, hiking, barbeques, picnics and outdoor sports! It's summer, and the living is easy!
But it's also the start of a new bug season. How can we avoid those unwanted pests of Canadian backyards everywhere: mosquitoes!
First, be sure to get rid of standing water around your property, where mosquitoes can breed. PIck up any vessels, like garden pots, and turn them over so they can't fill with rainwater. If you have a birdbath, water barrel or ornamental pond, flush it out once a week to break the egg-laying cycle. Mosquitoes breed in still water, so agitating it will upset their development. Did you know there are about 75 different mosquito varieties in Ontario? Mosquitoes that breed around cities and towns tend to fly only a short distance from where they hatched, about 300 feet, so it's very important to deprive them of a place to breed.
Keep vegetation trimmed to eliminate resting areas for adult mosquitoes. As well, encourage insect eating predators like birds, bats and even other insects like dragonflies. Although natural predators are not considered a major defense against the hordes of mosquitoes trying to invade your turf, they will offer some degree of eradication.
To protect yourself, wear light coloured clothing and a hat, avoid scented personal products, and whenever possible wear long sleeves and pants. Try our natural insect repellent, just follow the directions on our recipe. I hike on trails all summer, and I don't like using DEET-based products. Natural insect repellent is an effective substitute. I keep it in my knapsack and re-apply when I need it. It smells wonderful, and feels good on my skin.