DEET – Mosquito repellants with DEET have been proven to be the most effective at repelling mosquitoes. They are safe and long lasting in comparison to other repellants. They come in a variety of options. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says mosquito repellents that contain DEET or picaridin are safe for adults and children over the age of 2 months, when used correctly. It is recommended to use DEET repellants with a smaller percentage of DEET on children. The common percentage of DEET found in sold repellants is 25%. When applying any repellant it is important to cover all exposed areas (avoiding hands and face) as well as your clothes. Mosquitoes will bite through your clothing. Although DEET is the most recommended of the repellants there are several other options as well.
Picaridin – If used in higher concentrations can be almost as effective as DEET. You may have to reapply more often than products containing DEET.
Some “natural” repellants:
Oil of citronella, IR3535, and Oil of eucalyptus have all been proven to provide some repellency to mosquitoes. They will have to be reapplied more often than DEET or Picaridin because their repellency is short-lived.
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Yard sprays work better in enclosed spaces as opposed to wide open. Mosquitoes like to rest in shaded areas or areas where they can get away from the elements. This includes back and front porches, trees, and bushes. Most people encounter mosquitoes as they are walking in and out of their doorways, causing them to follow them to their car or inside their house. By spraying these areas with yard spray you can reduce the current mosquito populations. However, the sprays do not leave a long lasting residue so more mosquitoes may move in during the evening or night (peak hours). You may need to re-spray the area again the next day. This can also be good for spraying back porches before having a BBQ or outdoor gathering. But again, during the peak hours (evenings and night) the mosquitoes from nearby may move in your area after you have killed the current populations. This type of treatment is not long lasting and may need to be reapplied. Yard sprays come in aerosol sprays or liquid sprays that you can hook up to a water hose.
Yard foggers work similar to yard sprays. They are a temporary fix but may provide relief from mosquitoes for several hours when enjoying backyard activities. You can spray bushes, fence lines, porches, and around shaded areas (areas where mosquitoes usually rest). Yard Foggers can be bought at many local stores including: Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot and local feed/hardware stores. There are several brands, including Black Flag and cutter, and they can be bought in propane or electric. The pesticide that goes into the foggers can be purchased at the same place as the fogger. They are relatively inexpensive and easy to use.
For more information on Backyard Control, visit the Source Reduction Page.