For many, the scenic views and peaceful vibe of water makes living in a lakehouse a dream. People who are able to go boating, fishing, and swimming at a moment’s notice are really living the good life. There is another benefit that’s probably the most important: “Blue Mind.”
Scientists have found that we have an innate personal relationship with water. “Blue Mind” is similar to a meditative state during which stress fades away as the presence of water calms us. Unfortunately, mosquitoes are determined to ruin it all for us. We see our dream home and mosquitoes see fresh meat!
What to do? We are never going to get rid of mosquitoes. Similarly to cockroaches (gross) they’ve been on this planet since the time of the dinosaurs (65 million years before we showed up). They can kill us more easily than we can kill them (read: malaria). And it can only get worse: With global warming, they are going to grow–and spread disease–in unprecedented numbers.
We can’t win this war, but we can win a few of the battles against mosquitoes when it comes to protecting our lakeside or riverside homes. Here are some of our weapons and strategies to best battle mosquitoes.
Eliminate breeding sites
Anywhere there is standing water is considered a breeding site. First of all, do a “search and destroy” around your property, keeping in mind that mosquitoes can breed in half an inch of water.
- Remove water from clogged gutters, downspouts, birdbaths, fountains, plant pot saucers, and wading pools.
- Remove piles of grass, leaves, firewood and other lawn debris. They are keeping the ground damp.
- Keep buckets covered or upside down, or remove rainwater weekly.
- Keep swimming pools and hot tubs clean and chlorinated.
- Regularly check landscape ponds, refuse containers and recycling bins, particularly after a rain.
- Level the ground around your home so that there are no low spots, holes or depressions that can accumulate water.
Treat the Standing Water That You Cannot Eliminate
Suppose there’s a pond on or near your property. Since draining it sort of defeats the purpose of living on the water, the next best thing is to treat it with mosquito “dunks” and “bits”. Dunks are small round “cakes” that you toss into standing water. They dissolve, releasing a chemical that controls mosquito larvae. Bits are similar to dunks and contain the same chemical. The difference is that dunks release the chemical slowly and treat the water for 30 days, while bits are fast-acting and release it in 24 hours.
Scientists are currently looking for new noteworthy remedies. The idea that coffee grounds added to standing water can prevent the larvae from developing is a very promising and organic solution for the battle against mosquitoes.
Control Tall Grass, Shrubbery and Plants
Mosquitoes like to rest up during the day and often hide in tall grass, shrubs, and plants to be at their best for their evening combat missions. Keep your lawn cut to no more than five inches. If you aren’t able to eliminate the tall grass, place your family outdoor living spaces and equipment—grills, picnic tables, and playground equipment—as far away from that area as possible.
Use Mosquito-Repelling Plants
The plants will not solve the mosquito problem all by themselves, but when used in conjunction with other measures, they are quite effective at helping you win your battle against mosquitoes. Here are some of the cutest and most effective yard additions:
- Citronella grass
- Scented geraniums
Lure and Capture
A mosquito magnet lures mosquitoes with a steady flow of carbon dioxide and then vacuums them into a net. Once trapped, they are dehydrated until they die. An added advantage is that the process disrupts the breeding cycle and mosquito populations are diminished for a more long-term treatment.
A quiet, safe electronic mosquito killer lamp releases varied light waves that attract mosquitoes. A powerful fan then dehydrates them as well. The lamp is powered by USB and can be connected to an adapter, computer, tablet, etc. It’s portable and can be taken camping or to any picnic or other outdoor activity.
The most noteworthy capture device is the popular mosquito zapper. It is very popular for patios and pool decks. It runs on electricity and uses an LED light to attract mosquitoes and instantly electrocutes them with the high-voltage grids. There are no chemicals involved, and a sturdy plastic shell protects children and pets from the grids.
Create a Mosquito Barrier
Mosquito barriers are made from pure garlic oil extracted from the most potent species of garlic. (You’ll never find it in your local supermarket.) Garlic contains high amounts of sulfur, so it’s highly toxic to mosquitoes while being harmless to humans, pets and plants. Mix the mosquito barrier product with water as directed on the package and deliver it using a backpack sprayer or a pump sprayer. One spray around your property should keep mosquitoes away for at least a month.
Mosquitoes are 10,000 times more susceptible to the odor than humans. As a result, the (awful) smell dissipates within 30 minutes for humans, while mosquitoes will smell it for several weeks. Consequently, they will stay away from your dream home. Spray in areas where mosquitoes are most prevalent, namely in wet and damp areas. Target the tall grass, shrubbery, and plants around your home. Seems like creating a figurative barrier around your outdoor living space—where you relax, where you have your cookout, where you watch the sun set (or rise) over the lake or river—is the best way to go.
While this may be new news to all of us, farmers, in contrast, have been using garlic as a mosquito repellent for generations, particularly in protecting their horses and cattle from the painful bites. And because it’s an effective, economical, and environmentally friendly weapon in the battle against mosquitoes.
Finally, if this entire process seems like a lot, you can pick and choose which techniques will work best for you. Don’t let the ideas of property and mosquito management stop you from living in your dream home. Use these techniques to achieve your dream home and, above all, a Blue Mind.