Mosquitoes are always looking for a blood meal. (Gross, we know.) You basically have two options: keep them from biting you or eliminate them from your yard. And with the recent announcement from the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) that the number of illnesses caused by mosquito, tick & flea bites have tripled in the United States over the last 13 years, it only makes sense to evaluate your protection options.
Apply an insect repellent containing DEET
The most effective insect repellents contain the active ingredient DEET (chemical name, N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide). When applied directly to skin it repels insects— not by killing them— but by making it difficult for biting bugs to smell you. Originally designed by the U.S. Army, DEET has been used since the late 1950s and is available in over 120 products registered with the EPA. Consider one of these readily available products or find the insect repellent right for you.
Since mosquitoes are attracted to body heat, a spray like OFF! Active may be effective for outdoor activities when you work up a sweat. Think sporting activities or playing outside.
If you want to avoid an aerosol or spray products, consider an easy application, family friendly product in a wipe. Cutter mosquito wipes come in several pleasant scents that won't repel your friends!
Consider non-application repellents
EPA safety studies confirm that normal use of DEET does not present a health concern to the general population, including children. Nonetheless, if the idea of a skin application bothers you, consider some other alternatives.
With a "wearable" repellent you can get mosquito protection without skin application. Consider Off Clip-On with the active ingredient methofluthrin. You can literally clip the device on to clothing, a lawn chair or even a backpack.
If you are looking to control biting insects in a larger area like a patio or deck, you may want to consider a device like the one made by Thermacell. Containing allethrin, a synthetic copy of a natural repellent found in pyrethrum flowers, the appliance can protect an area up to 15 feet and is relatively odorless. But with an investment of $25 for a 12-hour period and the need for refills, they are on the pricier end of mosquito relief.
Get creative and go organic
Recent concerns about West Nile and Zika Virus mean that mosquito control is a hot topic. Every day new products and concoctions appear in the news. Many are USDA approved organic and available online.
If you are interested in trying a DIY mixture, look no further than Survival at Home blogger Patrick Blair's favorite mosquito recipes. While we can't speak to their efficacy, with ingredients like lavender, lemon juice and cinnamon, they are bound to smell good!
Eliminate mosquitoes from your yard
If a cabinet full of sprays, wipes and devices sound like a hassle, consider professional pest control to eliminate mosquitoes from your yard. Major advances in products used and application methods mean that it is possible for a professional exterminator to get rid of mosquitoes in your yard. Companies specializing in mosquito treatments charge an average $75 per monthly application. For a similar rate, a Cingo plan covers every single pest—from termites and bedbugs to spiders and squirrels — plus mosquitoes too.