Yesterday was Canada Day up here, which is to us northerners what the Fourth is to you down there. Canada Day: day to head out to the cottage, or perhaps just to the back yard; there to kick up your feet, kick back a few beverages (and maybe a few grown-up popsicles), and ... swat a few mosquitoes. Ugh. Vile blood-suckers. Who invited them to the party?
It's been a very wet summer so far in my neck of the woods, and the mosquitoes are loving it! Thankfully, Howcast has a terrific video with several practical tips on dealing with the itch-inducing varmints.
I wasn't surprised to be told to get rid of any standing water, though I was a little appalled to hear that a small plastic lid with some pooled stagnant water could be breeding ground to thousands of them. Doesn't the very thought make you itch?
The other tips range from low-tech, low-chemical:
keep the lawn mowed and vegetation trimmed back
stock any ponds with mosquito fish
seal the house with 16 - 18 gauge mesh
use yellow light bulbs outside the house
wear long sleeves and pants if you're outside, particularly at dawn or dusk
put a fan on yourself to blow those little wretches away
They touch on the usefulness of garlic as a deterrent, but only when ingested. (Sounds like spraying your garlic works a whole lot better than eating it.)
To the higher-tech, higher chemical:
use repellents with DEET or Picaridin
mosquito traps (which attract them with CO2)
Sadly, mosquito zappers are not effective, and are probably a waste of money. Which is really too bad, because there are few things more satisfying to hear, as you scratch on a summer's evening to hear the "BZZT!" which informs you another mosquito has gone to meet its maker. Before it bit you, we hope!