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Vancouver Pest Management: Natural Mosquito Repellants

The Pacific Northwest is experiencing a record year for mosquito populations. As Vancouver pest management experts know, this is the natural result of our record-setting cold, wet spring. According to the Oregonian, this year’s spring was the second wettest Oregon has seen in 117 years of record keeping. All of that spring rain has created plenty of pools where mosquitoes can breed.

Across Oregon and Washington, mosquito populations are up and biting with a vengeance. However, certain areas will naturally see more mosquitoes than others. Vancouver’s location on the Columbia, paired with plenty of nearby standing water for agricultural applications, makes for near-perfect mosquito breeding conditions.

Recently, a non-native species, Ochlerotatus Japonicus – commonly called the rock pool mosquito – has been seen in increasing numbers, as many Vancouver pest control service providers can attest. Hailing originally from Asia, rock pool mosquitoes are different than the 25 species we typically see around Vancouver in that they bite all day long, not just at dawn and dusk like their native counterparts. And like all mosquitoes, rock pool mosquitoes can carry serious diseases including Dengue fever, West Nile Virus and encephalitis.

Fortunately, Vancouver residents can take advantage of a few natural bug repellants to enjoy the great outdoors this summer without being eaten alive by mosquitoes. We recommend avoiding traditional DEET-based repellants if possible, as research has shown that DEET kills brain cells in the areas of the brain responsible for movement, learning, memory and concentration. Thankfully, you don’t need to use DEET. Effective Vancouver pest management for mosquitoes can be as simple as using the earth-friendly, plant-based repellants listed below.

How to Make Natural, Earth-Friendly Mosquito Repellants

First, visit your local grocery store and pick up one of the following essential oils. Many Portland and Vancouver-area stores stock essential oils in the “natural health remedies” area.

  • Castor Oil
  • Cedar Oil
  • Cinnamon Oil
  • Citronella Oil
  • Clove Oil
  • Geranium Oil
  • Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
  • Lemongrass Oil
  • Peppermint Oil
  • Other oils that may be effective in repelling mosquitoes include: allspice, basil, cajeput, garlic, lavender, pennyroyal, pine, soybean, and thyme.

To create a repellant, place a few drops of the essential oils in a spray bottle, add a tablespoon of vodka, and top off the bottle with water. Spray on your hair, skin and clothes every two hours, or as often as necessary.

Another option is to mix the essential oils with a carrier oil, such as grape seed or coconut oil, and apply directly to your skin.

A combination of oils is usually more effective at keeping away various species of bugs, as Vancouver pest management gurus know. Finally, a note of caution: some people’s skin is quite sensitive to essential oils, so stop using your natural repellant mixture right away if you have any adverse reactions, and see your doctor if necessary.

These essential oil-based repellants can help keep mosquitoes at bay. However, if you are dealing with a large population of native or rock pool mosquitoes on your property, it’s wise to contact a Vancouver pest management company for professional help. A Vancouver pest control service can take steps to keep your home and property blissfully mosquito-free, and cutting-edge pest management firms can do so without relying on toxic chemicals.

[ photo by: cbb4104 ]

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