CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Citronella candles are useful for keeping mosquitoes at bay. Your oil remedies can work too, but an expert we spoke with said it only takes one ingredient in a repellent to be effective.
Lauren Harris of Mosquito Hunters, said deet is the gold standard when it comes to mosquito repellent. It’s found in many of your basic store bought repellents.
But she says what you may not know is you have to treat it like sunscreen. Deet is to repellent as SPF is to sunscreen. She said you have to re-apply repellent every few hours according to the label on the product you're using.
The label is key she said. Adhere to the directions and warnings, and they're safe to use around your pets.
"If they're used as directed," she said. "So if they get in your eyes or you get some exposure that's not on the back of the label then there could be an issue."
The next best option are some all natural oil fixes, like oil of lemon eucalyptus. She also mentioned using olive oil mixed with ingredients like lemon grass or thyme, but you have to boil and cool it to use it. She said they aren’t as good as using a repellent though.
"Unfortunately, some of the all-naturals, just because to be able to call them 'all-natural' you can’t put things in there to make them stick longer and work for longer," Harris said. "So, they can be just as effective, but they just don’t last as long."
When dry, they can be safe around your pets as well.
She said yard work can also be used as a repellent. By that, she means keeping your lawn short, trimming bushes and removing any standing water will keep the bugs away.
"One place that a lot of people don't think about that can produce plenty of mosquitoes, (are) your gutters," said Harris. "If they're clogged at all there's plenty of water in your gutters for mosquitoes to breed... It only takes just a cap full of water. They can lay up to 300 eggs in a cap full of water. And they can hatch, depending on the species in as little as three days.”
Fans and citronella candles outside can be helpful. Harris also recommends checking your furry friends for mosquitoes and other bugs, so as to not bring them into your home.
At Mosquito Hunters, they aren’t just there to repel the insect, they’re hunting them with a synthetic formula.
“We’re trying to kill them. Our main active ingredient is the same active ingredient in a lot of flea and tick shampoos. It’s a derivative of the chrysanthemum flower.”
Harris said you should encourage your neighbors to take similar preventative measures, or mosquitoes could still be drawn to your area.
For more info on mosquitoes you can visit MosquitoHunters.com .