SUMMER BITE! How to get rid of mosquitos

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 4:59 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - As the weather is getting warmer, you may notice more mosquitoes outside and feel that itch after their bite.

There are a lot of home remedies online for how to keep mosquitoes away, but University of Missouri Extension’s field specialist Kelly McGowan says bug sprays with Deet are the number one repellants. However, you need to be careful with just how much Deet is in the products you use.

”We need to make sure we’re reading those labels very carefully,” McGowan. “That we’re following all the recommendations on the label so that we’re not misapplying it, which can in turn be harmful to us.”

Citronella candles are popular when it comes to repelling mosquitoes. McGowan says that’s because some mosquitoes can be deterred by strong scents.

Fassnight Creek Farm owner Dan Bigbee says people come to his farm to buy plants for that reason.

“Citronella is probably by far the most popular one,” Bigbee says. “We do sell a lot of lemongrass and even some lavender that people seem to think helps with their mosquito problems.”

Bigbee’s farm started selling citronella plants at the beginning of April and by the end of May it was completely sold out.

“We sold out three or four different times and had to re-up on the citronella plants and couldn’t seem to keep them in stock,” Bigbee says.

There isn’t a lot of research to confirm those plants make a difference. McGowan says that’s because different types of mosquitoes may be repelled by different things.

“We see that with deer,” McGowan says. “Sometimes deer like certain plants, but not other things and it’s likely the same with mosquitoes. There are certain things that repel them and things that attract them. Nature always throws us a curve ball.”

When McGowan sits outside, she puts a box fan out with her.

“The gentle breeze from the box fan can help to repel mosquitoes because they’re not strong flyers and they can’t fly against the wind of that box fan,” McGowan says.

McGowan says it’s important to make sure there’s no standing water in your backyard.

“That would be a flower pot, a pet watering station,” McGowan says. “Females can lay eggs in as little as a teaspoon of water so they don’t need very much to lay eggs.”

McGowan says dusk is the most popular time for mosquitoes to be flying around because it’s a little less hot.

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