Have you noticed mosquitoes flying around when you step outside? There hasn’t been enough rain yet for these insects to lay their eggs, and it’s really early in the season, but there they are.
A few evenings ago as I worked outside I saw a mosquito. As my focus turned to watching that blood sucker I noticed a whole bunch more of them. Now I currently live in the Midwest, and the way our weather is I normally don’t expect to see many mosquitoes until at least some time late in May.
But this year things are different. Since we had a mild winter a lot of insects are already out in numbers. Especially – as I found out while working in the yard – the mosquitoes.
Don’t know about you, but I really don’t like those guys. You can’t even plan a pleasant cookout, and invite your friends, if you don’t know how to keep the skeeters away.
Ever tried that? You sit around trying to hold a conversation while the steaks are grilling, and trying to enjoy a couple drinks in the warm sun, but every other word is interrupted by the smack of someone slapping themselves because some mosquito decides it wants to have a little picnic of its own.
Not to mention the fact that before long all your guests are scratching like crazy at those little welts where they were bitten.
Kinda spoils your cookout fun don’t it?
You can take some steps to slow down these attacks. You can’t get rid of mosquitoes completely because a few always manage to slip through your defenses.
One of the first thoughts about stopping mosquito invasion is to plug in a bug light. Those things kill a few mosquitoes, but not very many in my experience. Bug lights get the insect by attracting it to the glow, and mosquitoes don’t seem to be very attracted to lights. They zoom in mostly on the way something smells – most especially things that smell like food to them.
A bug light might help you keep your cookout area free of many insects, but not so much these guys.
You can use spray repellants. Deet works okay, but I don’t personally like to spray chemicals on my body, so I don’t recommend sprays. If you spray the outside of your clothing though you’ll probably be okay. You’d still be breathing the fumes though.
Fans placed around your cookout perimeter, pointed in different directions, help. Mosquitoes are weak fliers, and the wind from the fan pushes them backward. If you position enough fans blowing in enough different directions you’ll keep a lot of the blood suckers out.
But fans blowing on your guests all afternoon takes away from the outdoor atmosphere. And you probably need more than just a few fans.
One thing I find that works is Skin So Soft from Avon. I mix it with water, and spray it on my clothes. Mosquitoes apparently don’t like the smell of that stuff. Another item I use, though this one doesn’t work as well, is a sheet of fabric softener. I hang it from my pocket, or roll it up in a neckerchief.
Smoke pots work pretty good too, but then you breathe the chemicals they put into the air. I have the same aversion to putting chemicals inside my body as I do putting them on my body.
Mosquitoes are rather determined pests. Seems to me a few of them always sneak through my defenses no matter how strong I think I make those defenses. My best recommendation is to learn the various mosquito defense techniques you have available, and experiment with them to find what works best for you.