Prevention key when dealing with mosquitoes

  • Precautionary measures: protect yourself and your surroundings from mosquitoes if you plan on eating outside this summer

    Precautionary measures: protect yourself and your surroundings from mosquitoes if you plan on eating outside this summer

Dear Heather,

We have followed your great advice and have our patio/entertaining area looking fabulous. However, we are having a problem with mosquitoes. Any advice on how to keep them away?

Entertaining Outdoors

Dear Entertaining Outdoors,

It is getting to be that time of year unfortunately. I understand your concern; I hate them but boy do they love me! Fortunately we do not have Zika virus in Bermuda so they are an uncomfortable nuisance rather than a health hazard. Here are a few ideas for you:

Get rid of standing water

Make sure there’s no standing water anywhere — from toys left out on the lawn, plates under your flowerpots or garbage in an open can. Ponds, kiddie pools and improperly drained yards can also attract mosquitoes; even something as small as a bottle cap can become a breeding ground.

The good thing is that they can’t fly very far so if you can eliminate breeding spots on your property you can greatly reduce the number of mosquitoes near your house. One watery area you don’t have to worry about, though, is your swimming pool; as long as it’s chlorinated and the filter is working, mosquitoes will buzz right on by.

Hire a professional

If you feel the problem is extremely bad, call Vector Control. They will come out and inspect your property and all properties within a certain radius. An exterminator can find and inspect areas that you wouldn’t necessarily think of; anywhere that can collect water could become a prime breeding spot. Something you can do yourself is to inspect all your window screens, which will help to keep them out of the house.

Make natural repellents

Some plants produce defensive chemicals. However, these repellents aren’t usually released unless the plant is actually cut or broken. If you fill your yard with species such as citronella, rosemary, lavender, catnip and marigolds, make sure to pick some, chop them up and place them in small dishes outside immediately before you entertain.

Repeatedly apply repellent

A lotion or spray of your choice (preferably environmentally friendly), lemon oil, lavender or eucalyptus is your best bet for keeping mosquitoes away, but it will wear off after a certain number of hours depending onthe formula. Be sure to put it on children too. Some people swear by Avon’s Skin So Soft.

Cover your feet

Mosquitoes love sweat and bacteria, making your toes a prime bloodsucking spot.

Dress for success

Wear lightweight, light-coloured clothes that hide your arms and legs. Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colours. So relegate black and navy to the back of the closet and embrace those on-trend summer whites and pretty pastels.

Eat indoors when possible

Most mosquitoes bite in the evening however, if you are travelling, you should be aware that the type that carries the Zika virus tends to bite during the day. You might want to consider eating inside.

Spray the day before

If you’re hosting an outdoor soirée, try a backyard pre-treat. Simply attach the bottle of insecticide to a hose and spray down the area you are planning on using at least 24 hours in advance.

Use a mosquito net

If you’re having a small get together, it may be easiest to net or screen the area where guests will be eating.

This will eliminate any concerns of food accidentally being sprayed with repellents and keep out other unwanted guests such as bees and flies. There are all sorts of these items available for purchase.

Have some great parties and make sure you remember to enjoy the summer.

Heather Chilvers is among Coldwell Banker Bermuda Realty’s leading sales representatives. She has been working in real estate for nearly 30 years. Contact her at or 332-1793. All questions will be treated in confidence. Look for Ask Heather Real Estate on Facebook

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Published Jul 3, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Jul 3, 2018 at 7:14 am)

Prevention key when dealing with mosquitoes

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