June 10, 2009

Skeeter Beaters

Summertime has a lot of good points: Warm weather, swimming pools, gardens blooming and many excuses to perfect your recipes for homemade ice cream and frozen drinks. Unfortunately in order to enjoy all of this outdoor activity we must deal with the ever present mosquito. They come in many shapes and sizes but all of them bite and are annoying, to say the least.

What attracts a mosquito attack on some and not others? There are many theories including what unique chemicals your perspiration contains, what you eat, the cologne you wear and even the color of your clothing. Each type of mosquito is attracted to different qualities. Needless to say they are drawn to moisture of any kind and breed like - well like mosquitoes - in even a tiny amount of standing water, so dump out any you see after it rains.

So how do we deal with these creatures without killing all the beneficial insects or poisoning our environment? Here's a few ideas on how to keep your summer evenings naturally mosquito free:
  • Citronella candles or oil torches lighted at intervals around your yard, patio or pool will help keep mosquitoes at bay. The carbon dioxide released while the candle or smoke rings burn is an additional deterrent.
  • Essential oils of citronella, lemongrass, geranium or cedar mixed with a carrier such as grain alcohol and dabbed or sprayed on skin and clothing will help to deter the biting bugs.
  • Don't have time or inclination to make your own brew? Try these natural commercial products: Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent, St. Gabriel Laboratories Organic Mosquito Repellent, Mosquito Fighter.
Enjoy your summer!

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