Mozzies be gone! Two steps to deter mosquitoes from infiltrating your home

A leading gardening expert has shared his insights on how to keep mozzies at bay. Source: Getty Images.

Mosquitoes, those tiny buzzing pests, often seem like nature’s most persistent irritants. Their incessant buzzing, itchy bites, and uncanny ability to ruin a peaceful outdoor experience or a good night’s sleep, make them universally loathed.

But understanding their biological habits, and penchant for human blood, provides the key to keeping them out of your home.

As mozzies infest homes across Australia following a hot and humid summer, leading gardening expert Rob Palmer offers up two simple steps to take to keep them away from your home.

Speaking on the Today Show, Palmer explains that it’s impossible to kill all mosquitoes as there are “16,000 mosquitoes for every human in the world.”

Instead of fighting a losing battle, he suggests making our homes less attractive to them.

Speaking to Today hosts Karl Stefanovic and Sarah Abo, Palmer said, “They turn up when it’s hot and wet because they’re cold blooded and they need water to lay their eggs, because all their larvae they’re completely aquatic, they survive in water and it needs to be completely still,

“So what you’ve got to do is look around your home and eliminate all the puddles and if you’ve got stagnant water, put a net over it. The worst one is the water tank, if you’ve got a water tank at home they go in the top and they lay their eggs in there and out it comes. Put some mesh over your water tank – simple.”

Other things he recommended doing to prevent water pooling around your home is cleaning gutters, having a running water feature, or putting mesh over a still water feature.

Because mosquitoes feed on human blood and are attracted to our sweat, Palmer’s second suggestion was to add strongly fragrant plants like rosemary, mint and lemongrass, the main ingredient for citronella, to your garden. 

If you’re one of those people that gets bitten all the time, the Professor Cameron Webb from New South Wales Pathology offers some helpful tips for alleviating irritating and itchy mozzie bites. 

Everyone’s body reacts differently to mosquito bites, but Dr Webb says the best way to deal with bites is to use a cold pack for the swelling followed by an anti-itch cream. This precaution is especially important for younger children.

“When they are scratching at them, they tend to break the surface and they can sometimes get a secondary infection,” Dr Webb says.

And when all else fails, invest in a decent mosquito repellant. Webb said, “If you’re choosing a product, you’re better off using one that contains an insecticide because they’re going to be more effective.”

For those opting for personal repellents, all brands currently sold in your local supermarket are approved by authorities and safe to use. Though personal repellants offer over four hours of protection, Dr Webb says the trick is knowing how to use them “correctly”.

“The secret to using mosquito repellents is to ensure you have even cover over all exposed areas of skin. And there’s no point putting a dab here and there, or spraying it around in the air or applying it to clothing,” he says.

Repellent needs to be placed directly on the skin to provide a barrier to stop mosquitoes from biting.



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