Considering the risks associated with repellents and pesticides, it’s natural to think twice about whether alternative methods of pest control might be better for you and your family. If you’re looking to make a more informed decision on the mosquito treatments you use in and around your home, keep reading for a helpful rundown on the topic from the experts at Gregory’s Pest Control.
It used to be that the word exterminator conjured images of full-body protective suits, houses covered in plastic, and families staying away from their homes for the weekend. These days, tent fumigation is a rare sight, and treatment for pests like mosquitoes can take place without the family ever having to set foot outside. Freshly sprayed yards are typically safe to use around 30 minutes after a professional treatment.
The ban on certain pesticides like DDT and advancements in new formulas massively contributed to current pest control standards. Modern pesticides are still dangerous but pose fewer health risks to humans, plants, and wildlife. You may even see the technician from your trusted pest control company applying your mosquito treatments in a standard uniform with basic PPE. While the EPA recommends minimizing contact with pesticides as much as possible, they also acknowledgethat smaller amounts present little harm.
Still, one would assume it’s better to avoid chemical mosquito treatments altogether, right? With so many natural mosquito pest control methods, why even bother contacting mosquito control companies?
As you’re about to see, the answer isn’t so simple.
What is Natural Mosquito Control?
Natural mosquito control involves using simple tools or ingredients from plants, animals, and minerals to reduce or eliminate a mosquito problem. Technically, all-natural ingredients have chemical compositions, but we differentiate them from the biochemical pesticides that, unlike natural methods, can cause serious harm to humans over time.
These mosquito treatments are done using ingredients found in the kitchen or at your local grocery store. South Florida homes with gardens containing citronella, lavender, mint, and other plants that mosquitoes do not like will also have some natural protection from the blood-sucking insects.
Another important part of natural mosquito control is the use of preventative measures. By eradicating potential breeding sites like old tires, drip pans, and pet bowls, homeowners can avoid a greater number of mosquitoes altogether.
Natural Mosquito Control Methods
While these methods are far safer than commercial mosquito pest control products, it is important to exercise care, especially for substances applied to your skin.
- Homemade repellent – The CDC has recommended lemon eucalyptus oil as an effective form of mosquito protection. It can be mixed with water or diluted with ‘carrier oil’ to create a spray or salve that is gentle enough for the skin, though it should never be ingested. The crushed leaves, flowers, or oil extracts from other plants like lavender, camphor, or thyme are alternatives.
- Candles – Look for candles containing the ingredients recommended for DIY mosquito repellents. You’ll be able to drive mosquitoes off while having the added effect of a home that smells great.
- Zappers – These are sold primarily as rackets and lamps and eliminate mosquitoes by zapping them with electricity once they come into direct contact with their surface.
- Fans and traps – Mosquitoes don’t handle air movement well, so an oscillating fan set up in your yard is a great way to keep them from biting you once they’ve drifted close by. Some mosquito traps work by vacuuming up the mosquito once it comes close enough.
- Seal your home – This is another great preventative measure. By ensuring your doors and windows remain closed or are covered in mesh screens to allow in air and light while keeping out mosquitoes, you’ll drastically reduce their chances of getting inside.
Natural vs. Chemical Mosquito Treatments – Which Is Better?
Now that you know some of your natural mosquito control options, it’s time to compare them to professional treatments. Here are the three questions you need to ask:
- What is the size of the infestation? – Natural methods can work well on a smaller scale, but if your mosquito problem is too big, they will make the problem much worse. Zappers and repellents are helpful when dealing with a few mosquitos, but considering the health risks posed by a single infected bite, it is not advisable to spend weeks trying these solutions.
- When was your last treatment? – It’s recommended that homeowners in South Florida and the rest of the county get scheduled pest control treatments at least three or four times a year. If you’re due for a next treatment and only have a few mosquitoes, natural repellents, and tools could do the job in the interim. If you’ve had a recent treatment, it may require a second look from your provider.
- Are you at risk of mosquito-borne diseases? – While it only takes a single bite from a mosquito with diseases like dengue, malaria, and West Nile to infect you or your loved ones, there are times when infection rates are higher in certain counties. Rather than risk a bite while using natural methods, treatment from a mosquito control company could completely rid your home of mosquitoes in less than a day.
The safest, most effective way to remove bugs, pests, and rodents from your Florida home is to get a full-service treatment from a professional pest control provider.
Gregory’s Pest Control, based out of Coral Springs, Florida, has over thirty years of experience protecting families in Broward, Palm Beach, and other South Florida areas from infestations. We also have a barrier protection program to eliminate entry points and breeding areas, and an advanced maintenance service that sees one of GPC’s expert personnel returning for a checkup every 21-30 days.
Contact us today to get a free quote or schedule a complimentary pest evaluation visit.
Owner/President of Gregory’s Pest Control
I’m a 2nd generation pest control owner who started working for my father in 1999. I was raised in South Florida and feel blessed to call it home for my entire adult life. As a long-term Florida resident, I recognize the challenges of controlling the many different pests that thrive in our subtropical climate. In particular, I understand how difficult it can be to prevent pests from invading our homes and businesses. By helping families solve their pest problems so they can live safer, more comfortable lives, I feel I am also meeting my family’s commitment to help our community. When I’m not out fighting pests, you can find me on the golf course or out on a soccer field where I have been fortunate enough to coach soccer to kids of all ages for the past 20 years.