How to mosquito-proof your yard on a budget

Nice weather isn’t the only thing that returned to the Inland Northwest this spring.

The bugs are back and your beautiful backyard may have become a breeding ground for them.

Ryan Larsen, who is a civil engineer at NDS, Inc, said there are several ways to prevent mosquitoes from taking over your yard.

The first thing you should do is get rid of any standing water in your yard or garden. Many insects, like mosquitoes, thrive around that stagnant water. Don’t forget to check under your kid’s yard toys and in discarded cans or pots. If you have a bird bath, change it often.

Larsen said moving potted plants inside during the muggy summer months will also deter mosquitoes. Those plants can fill up with extra water, creating a perfect place for mosquitoes to breed.

Certain planted herbs and essential oils can repel mosquitoes, according to Larsen. Mosquitoes usually avoid areas filled with the scent of citronella, lemongrass and chrysanthemum. Scented oils and candles can be purchased at most stores.

Your morning cup of coffee could also help in the battle against mosquitoes. Try scattering coffee grounds wherever there is standing water in your yard.

Mosquitoes also loathe plants like lemon balm, mint, chrysanthemums, marigolds, basil, and lavender. Plant these herbs and plants as a natural deterrent.

Yellow bug lights or LED lights have also been known to deter mosquitoes. Home good stores usually carry these products.

Larsen explained that you can also hire a professional to spray your yard. Many sprays contain toxic chemicals though, so if you’re concerned about that, ask for nontoxic bug control solutions.

Home drainage solutions could also keep bugs at bay. Larsen advised installing a French drain, which is a slightly sloped trench filled with gravel surrounding a perforated pipe. It becomes an easy channel for water to flow through, collecting water over the entire length of the drain, instead of one particular area. It redirects surface and ground water away from your home.

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