Keeping Your Deck Mosquito-Free
Nothing beats kicking back to relax on a beautiful outdoor deck with friends and family. Perhaps the only thing that could put a damper on such a lovely pastime is an abundance of mosquitos! Fortunately, there are many easy ways to control this problem if it does arise.
Prevent standing water. As you may already know, mosquitos love standing water. Logically enough, this is because they lay their eggs on water. So leaving standing water on or around your deck will attract mosquitos–who will then make more mosquitos! The number one rule of avoiding mosquito problems in your deck, therefore, is to eliminate any sources of standing water. In fact, many of the tips that you see in this article will be aimed (at least in part) at minimizing the possibility for pools of water to form.
Improve Drainage. Even if you’re careful about preventing the buildup of water on top of and around your deck, you may still notice that you are experiencing an ongoing mosquito problem. In that case, you may need to get suspicious about water buildup underneath your deck. Decks that are not properly designed can sometime create the perfect environment for mosquitoes right underneath your perfect hangout environment–and the results are obviously going to be less than ideal. If your deck has such problems, putting gravel underneath may be a feasible way of solving this problem.
Clean out Gutters. Uncleaned gutters pose many problems–from leaking roofs and basements to, well, broken gutters. Among the problems posed by neglected gutters is the standing water. (We mentioned that this was going to be a recurring theme!) Cleaning up your gutters, therefore, offers many potential benefits–not least among which is the fact that you will likely experience less problems with mosquitos.
Keep plants and grass trimmed. Long grass and overgrown plants provide a hidden, out of the way, humidity and water-filled place for mosquitos to live. Make sure that you practice routine yard maintenance and your entire outdoor experience–both on the deck and in the yard–will improve immensely.
Plant mosquito repellant herbs. Certain plants (chief among which are citronella, mint, rosemary, and lemongrass) have been shown to be mosquito repellant. Growing them on or around your deck, therefore, can help keep mosquitos away. That being said, make sure that your plant pots don’t become a resting place for standing water–the mosquito repelling effects of these plants are limited compared to the need to reproduce, and there’s no sense in creating a breeding ground!
Mosquito Dunks. Perhaps you have a fountain, or a fish pond, or some other source of standing water that you don’t want to do away with. Don’t despair. There are options that will grant you the freedom to allow such exceptions to the general rule against standing water. Mosquito dunks are small pellets that can be placed into standing water, where they then release a compound that is toxic to mosquitos yet completely harmless to nearly all other living organisms.
Install Bird Houses. The natural enemy of mosquitos? Birds. (Well, and bats, to be fair, but most people don’t want bats flying around their houses!) By installing bird houses and bird feeders, you can attract the birds who will, in turn, eat mosquitos and keep your problem at bay–all while creating a lovely opportunity for bird watching, as well.
Use an oscillating fan. Mosquitos have another important weakness worth exploiting: they are not capable of flying in winds greater than 2 MPH. Leaving a fan out while you are hanging out on your deck, therefore, can be a very easy and hassle-free method of keeping mosquitoes at bay.
Burn mosquito repellent incense. This is another cheap and hassle-free way to make sure mosquitos don’t bother you–and it has been shown to be safe by a number of medical and environmental studies.
Use DEET. Last but not least, if these other methods are not working as well as you would like, you can always spray on a bit of DEET. This mosquito repellant is special because of the way that it works. Rather than applying a substance that is dangerous to mosquitos (which, even if not dangerous to humans, can be a cause of some understandable concern), DEET works in a truly innovative way. It simply masks the “human smell” that mosquitoes find so delectable, thus ensuring that mosquitos focus their attention elsewhere.
The importance of proper deck construction. As mentioned earlier in this article, a poorly constructed deck can cause mosquito problems down the road. Moreover, similar drainage and height problems can cause rot and termite issues as well. In order to protect against all these potential issues, it is very important that prospective deck owners choose a trusted deck construction company. That is why we encourage everyone reading this article to visit Diamond Decks online and learn more about how the best decks in Texas are built!