Puddle Hunt – Make a Game Out of Mosquito Control

With summertime quickly approaching you are probably starting to think about how you’re going to entertain the kids, get them outside, and off the video screens this summer. Outdoor activities are a great summertime ritual—providing fun for kids and a much-needed break for parents. But nothing ruins plans for outdoor fun like mosquitoes or other insects. The last thing you want to hear is the kids running into the house screaming, “I got bitten by a mosquito!” Suddenly all those fun outdoor activities become indoor chaos. It’s hard enough to get them away from the TV. Once the kids are outside, you have to figure out a way to keep them entertained, or it’s game over, literally.

It’s with this in mind that we devised a way for you to combine entertaining the kids with pest control, all in one fell swoop. The puddle hunt game engages kids, keeps them outside, and helps you get rid of any hot spots where mosquitoes like to lay their eggs.

Eliminating Mosquito Nesting Grounds

One of the best ways to minimize a potential mosquito problem this summer is to be proactive about removing mosquito nesting grounds—like standing water. Eliminating these breeding areas reduces the number of places mosquitos can hatch their eggs, which in turn reduces the number of mosquitos, which means you and your children have a better chance to enjoy outdoor activities this summer.

Mosquitoes live in places like puddles and shallow water. These mosquito havens tend to multiply during springtime as rainwater gathers in bird baths, fountains, plant pots and pool covers. In fact, anywhere water accumulates, and sits is an ideal nursery for mosquitoes to nest and hatch their eggs. This can eventually cause big problems once the weather turns warmer and all those newly hatched mosquitos head out in search of a fresh meal. Removing any standing water in the backyard will go a long way towards reducing the number of mosquitos you’ll be swatting this summer.

Make It a Game

One of the best ways to find all the standing water that has gathered throughout the spring is to create a kind of water scavenger hunt for your kids. Kids love games and are usually always willing to hunt and search for things—think Easter egg, hide-and-go-seek. Making a game out searching for standing water can be fun for them and help you eliminate those less than obvious mosquito hiding places.

This game is one game where the more the merrier. Form teams and foster some good-natured competition by asking the children to identify all the spots where water may have gathered before they turn into mosquito breeding grounds.

Provide Rewards

One way to ensure good results is to develop a reward system. Children typically respond well to prizes and positive recognition. For every puddle they find and drain, set up a reward such as a special treat, an extra 15 minutes of TV before bedtime, or a half-hour more of screen time. Offering such rewards as well as, an explanation of why the game is so important, will make children feel like they are contributing to the plan for summer fun—you get something in return too!

What Else You Can Do

When it comes to preparing your backyard for summer fun there are a few extra precautions you can take to ensure those puddles and standing water don’t return with the next rain. Drilling small holes in things like tire swings and trash cans will provide an outlet for the water to drain reducing the number of potential homes for mosquito larvae. Maybe offer an extra reward for each bucket of water the kids turn upside down, so it can’t fill with water again.

The puddle hunt game is a fun and engaging way for children to help minimize the number of places mosquitos like to lay their eggs. But if you really want to enjoy a bug-free backyard this summer, contact Mosquito Joe and make the outdoors fun again.

Back

Planning a Bug-Free Backyard Picnic Area

When the cold of winter finally recedes, most people are eager to get back outside and enjoy the sunshine with some food and friends. After being cooped up for so long, you might be happy with any kind of sunlight you can get, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t be comfortable while you do it. Bugs and pests have a way of putting a damper on a party, even after a long winter.  

To get the most out of your backyard barbecue area, there are a few things you can do beyond conveniently forgetting to invite that one annoying neighbor. By making some simple preparations, you can be sure that your outdoor parties are a hit.  

Decide Where to Place Your Picnic Area 

The location of your eating area is almost as important as what you are eating (although nothing can save a barbecue from overcooked burgers). By planning out the proper placement of your picnic area, you can be sure that you and your guests can eat in peace and not be annoyed by bugs and other pests.  

Take care to place your picnic area a good distance away from the grill. Bugs tend to gravitate towards the smell of cooking food, so if you are far enough away from the cooking area, you can avoid spending your afternoon swatting away mosquitoes. This will also keep the eating area from getting caught in the heat and smoke of the grill. You want your meat to be smoked, not your guests.  

Use Sun Protection 

Umbrellas and canopies are a great idea for any backyard barbecue. It’s great to get some sun, but too much heat and glare can make your party guests uncomfortable. Having something to protect you from the harsh summer elements will give everyone a chance to relax and breathe easily.  

One important thing to avoid, though, is using trees and other foliage as protection from the sun. Bugs and birds love to congregate in trees, which makes them a perfect hiding place for other little critters. Not to mention the fact that anyone who has parked under trees for long enough knows what comes down when there are birds up above. That’s definitely not something you want to be eating underneath. 

Consider Netting 

Mosquito netting is a great idea if you live in a place that deals with these annoying pests on a regular basis. If you decide to go the canopy route, netting is easy to install and can be easily taken down once the party’s over. Netting can also double up and act as a shade for when the sun gets low in the sky. If you have a built-in awning on your porch, consider keeping the netting up for a more permanent solution that will be effective all summer long without the hassle of putting it up and taking it down each time you use your backyard.  

Keep Vegetation Pruned 

Having a backyard with a lot of plant life can make any outdoor party into a beautiful and enchanting experience. Unfortunately, a lush ambiance isn’t the only thing plants are good for. They’re also perfect hotels for mosquito larvae and other nasty critters that have a way of ruining backyard barbecues.  

If you have a lot of plants in your yard, be sure to keep them pruned back and trimmed throughout the summer. This will not only keep them from overgrowing your yard and taking it over, but it will also make plants less inviting for things like wasp nests and mosquito eggs. 

Choose the Right Lighting 

We’ve all heard the expression, “like a moth to a flame” but fire isn’t the only thing that moths are attracted to. Any kind of harsh, bright light will act as a beacon for nocturnal bugs that have a way of showing up when the sun goes down. Be sure to choose your lighting carefully when the time comes to fire up the grill.  

Softer lighting is a much better choice for your outdoor picnic area. String lights give a twinkling, elegant ambiance and will be less likely to bring out the moths and other nighttime bugs. While you’re at it, you can also light up some citronella candles. They not only give off a pleasant, flickering light that is perfect for the magic hour, they also keep mosquitoes and other pests at bay while they’re at it.  

Contact the Pros

It’s never too early to start planning for your summer get-togethers. While you’re arranging your backyard picnic area, check out the services offered by Mosquito Joe for all your pest and bug control needs. Our experts have all the knowledge and professional experience to help you make outside fun again! 

Back

Keeping Your Pool Ready for Fun

Summer is fast approaching and soon you will want to get a cold drink and spend some time out by the pool. Even though winter isn’t quite over, it’s never too early to start thinking about how to keep your backyard free of mosquitoes. After all, nothing ruins a barbecue or pool party like a bunch of pests (and we don’t mean the neighbor kids).

Fortunately, there’s still time for you to do what’s necessary to get your pool ready for the hot summer months. By going through a few simple steps, you can be sure your backyard oasis will be ready in time.

Keep the Pool Free of Debris

One of the most common issues with swimming pools is that mosquitoes tend to lay their eggs in the pool water. While this is fairly common everywhere, mosquitoes are even more attracted to pools that have leaves, twigs, and other debris floating around. That’s because the debris secretes oils that make the water much more hospitable to mosquitoes and their larvae, which could spell disaster for your casual summer get-together.

To make your pool less attractive to insects, be sure to skim the water year-round. Skimming can be done by hand or with a motorized automatic skimmer. Getting rid of any leaves or floating dirt gives bugs fewer places to hide and it keeps them from invading your backyard when the weather warms up.

Use a Pool Cover

Whenever possible, cover your pool when it’s not in use. This not only keeps debris out of the water, but also makes sure that mosquitoes can’t get in there in the first place. This simple step is pool ownership 101, but it can work wonders for your sanity on those warm summer nights when the mosquitoes love to bite.

When using a pool cover, make sure to keep it free from is to keep from standing surface water. Covers can settle over time and create dips where water can collect and sit. These dips are like five-star hotels for mosquitoes, so it’s important that you shake off the cover regularly, even during the colder months.

Maintain Disinfection Levels

Keeping your pool chlorinated is another great way to ward off bugs, dirt, and other irritants. While a properly disinfected pool is an important safety consideration anyway, it’s even more helpful in keeping the bugs from moving in.

Pool disinfectant is specially formulated to kill off mosquito larvae before they are hatched. By properly maintaining your pool’s chlorine levels, you can be sure that you will stop these pesky bugs before they even get a chance to start flying. It also helps to keep your swimmers safe when the pool is in use.

Trim Vegetation Around the Pool

One of the most overlooked steps you can take to prevent pests in the summer months is to maintain the vegetation around your pool. Having a lot of green in the backyard is desirable and makes for a great atmosphere. However, it also creates a lot of opportunities for mosquitoes and other living things to make a home in your backyard.

Keeping your lawn trimmed and your plants pruned will go a long way towards keeping you and your friends and family free of mosquito bites. Cleanly trimmed vegetation not only reduces the number of hiding places for bugs, but will also keep leaves and debris from gathering in the pool. The last thing you want to do is spend more time skimming when you could be swimming.

Get Help from the Pros

Although there is a multitude of things you can do yourself to keep mosquitoes from moving in and using your pool without your permission, it’s always best to consult a professional. Companies like Mosquito Joe can help you make sure your backyard and pool are mosquito-free with barrier sprays, natural treatments, and other effective services to control insects. Mosquito Joe has tools and the know-how to get rid of the most stubborn pests and bugs. Schedule a consultation today and let them help you make outside fun again!

Back

What Can You Eat to Deter Mosquitoes?

It seems like some people have all the luck. Especially when it comes to getting bitten by mosquitoes. The lucky few who seem to repel the buzzing, biting marauders of summer swear their repelling power is associated with what they eat and/or drinkWe’ve all heard the myths that eating and/or drinking certain foods and beverages will deter mosquitoes from using us as a buffet. Well, despite what our grandmother, neighbor, or the Internet tells us, nothing we eat or drink will keep the pesky insects from feasting on us and our loved onesSo, it’s time to sort out the facts from the fiction so we can all enjoy the outdoors – eat and drink what we want – without downing a gallon of pickle juice first. 

Mosquito Myth 

Most of us are hesitant – and for good reason – to apply gallons of insect repellant each summer so we can enjoy the outdoors. We’re all anxious to find a more natural way to keep mosquitoes from biting us. Here’s a list of the foods most talked about as mosquito repellants 

Garlic and Onions 

Two of the most common foods touted as natural mosquito repellants are garlic and onions. While these foods can work wonders at keeping your spouse, significant other, and the occasional blood-sucking vampire awaythey have no effect on mosquitoes. Mosquitos don’t really care how bad our breath smellsSo, if garlic and onions are on the menu at the next BBQ, enjoy! Just don’t expect them to keep the mosquitos away.  

Hot Peppers 

Another common myth related to mosquitoes and dietary choice is the one about hot peppers. Rumor has it, hot peppers – especially jalapenos or habaneros – will keep mosquitoes awayWrong. Visions of a mosquito bursting into flames after biting us because we consumed a healthy portion of peppers is simply not true. The only way these hot foods will keep mosquitoes from biting is if we take off running in search of the nearest glass of water to put out the fire in our mouth.  

Apple Cider Vinegar 

Apple cider vinegar is great for a lot of things. However, preventing mosquito bites is not one of them. So, unless you’ve grown accustomed to the bitter, face-puckering taste of apple cider vinegar, skip it and spare yourself the discomfort.      

Mosquito Facts 

While there are no foods that will keep mosquitoes away, there are some things we can do to minimize our attraction to these flying pests during cookouts or other outdoor activities.  

Avoid Beer (insert sad face emoji) 

Yes, studies have shown that drinking beer can make people seem more attractive. Well, the same holds true for mosquitoes. The odor of beer attracts mosquitoes as does the rosy appearance of our face as we become flush from the alcohol consumptionThis gives the term, “getting a buzz on” a whole new meaning. So be aware and drink responsibly.   

Apply Lemon Eucalyptus Oil 

Lemon eucalyptus oil is a fantastic, natural mosquito repellant. Bonus fact – it’s also good for muscle spasms and osteoarthritis. So, if mosquitos aren’t the only thing bugging you, rubbing a little lemon eucalyptus oil on your skin just might help take the sting out of what’s ailing you 

As long as there are mosquitos there will be myths about how to prevent them from making a meal out of us. Fortunately, when it comes to mosquitos, Mosquito Joe knows what’s up. They know the difference between fact and fiction and can help make the outdoors fun again! 

So Why Do Bugs Love Me but Never Bite My Spouse or Kids? 

Ever wonder why you seem to spend an endless amount of your outdoor time swatting at mosquitos, but your kids or spouse can enjoy the outdoors without getting bitten? Well, there are a few factors at play.  

Blood Type 

People who have Type O blood are twice as likely to be bitten by mosquitoes. They are also more likely to produce a secretion that tells mosquitoes what blood type they are. So, if your spouse or kids don’t have these risk factors, chances are, mosquitos don’t find them as tasty 

Clothing 

Darker colors are much easier for mosquitoes to see and zone in on when they are hungry. If you are someone who always wears blue or black, you are much easier for them to see. This is especially true in the evening or late afternoon when mosquitoes are the most prevalent.  

There are more factors that come into play when determining how appetizing you are to a mosquitoBut there is still one sure-fire way to keep mosquitos away, Mosquito Joe! So as you’re planning your next barbecuegarden party, or just want to make outside fun againcontact your local Mosquito Joe today!. 

Back

What to Put on Mosquito Bites for Babies?

There’s nothing more heartbreaking than watching your baby cry. And an itchy, sore mosquito bite will only give them yet another reason to burst into tears. Unfortunately, your little one’s skin is much more sensitive than your own. The creams and ointments you put on your own bites may cause more harm than good for your infant. If you want to know what to put on mosquito bites for babies, keep reading.

Ways to Relieve an Itchy, Red Bump on Your Baby

Although your child probably won’t bat an eye when a mosquito bites, the itching afterward may keep them awake at night. If you notice your baby frantically scratching a red welt, it’s time to jump into action. Here’s what you can put on an infant mosquito bite:

  • Ice: Mosquito bites cause inflammation. Applying ice directly to the bite may help reduce swelling. The cold sensation will also calm the itch.
  • Baking soda: If your baby seems especially bothered by a painful bite, you can try covering it in a baking soda paste. Simply mix a small amount of baking soda with a few drops of water to form a thick paste. Apply it to the welt, and let the paste harden for about 20 minutes. Not only will it reduce the itch, but the baking soda will also help dry out the bite.
  • Breast milk: Lactating moms can apply breast milk to a mosquito bite to soothe the spot. Some studies have shown that breast milk is just as effective as hydrocortisone ointments on babies.
  • Soap and water: A mosquito bite can become infected. Your child may even scratch until the spot bleeds, and broken skin can lead to an infection. Washing the bite as soon as possible with soap and water will reduce bacteria on the skin.

All of these mosquito bite remedies are gentle enough for your baby’s delicate skin. Best of all, you probably have everything you need on hand already.

Protecting Your Baby from Mosquitoes Before One Bites

Mosquito bites on babies are very common. While you can’t avoid every mosquito out there, you can take steps to prevent them in the first place. Try these proven methods:

  • Dress your baby from head to foot when heading outdoors. A hat, socks, and even mittens will help deter mosquitoes. The less visible skin, the fewer areas a hungry mosquito will be able to attack.
  • Choose light-colored clothing over dark items. Mosquitoes are attracted by dark colors such as black, blues, and browns. Even bright colors, such as red, are very appealing to these unwanted pests. When dressing your baby to go outside, choose clothes that are white, cream, beige, or yellow instead.
  • Go back inside when the sun goes down. Mosquitoes are most active when the sun is low. Try taking your baby to the park after dawn and return before dusk to avoid a swarm of these blood-hungry insects.
  • Look for stagnant water around your home. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water. Even a small amount of standing water can harbor a lot of mosquito larva. Dump out any standing water to prevent mosquitoes from setting up home on your property.
  • Schedule a natural mosquito treatment. Babies are more sensitive to chemicals than adults. That’s why a natural barrier treatment is the best option. And when you don’t have mosquitoes flying around, you’ll feel much better about letting your little one take their first steps outside.

Prevent Bites Before They Happen

Mosquito Joe understands your concerns. That’s why we offer natural mosquito treatments. We use a combination of proven essential oils to protect your yard from mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks. After we leave, you’ll be able to let your curious child roam outside without worry. Connect with us online or call 1-855-275-2563 to schedule our natural barrier spray today.

 

Back