Beating the Bugs: Mosquito Control Summer time Ontario
As we approach the warmer summer months, there’s nothing quite like being able to enjoy more time outside in beautiful Ontario. It seems though, that being bitten by insects is somewhat of a rite of passage at this time of year but there are things you can do to help! Insect repellent and mosquito control are great, but there are lots more other things you can do to make your spring and summertime more enjoyable and irritant-free!
It’s nature, of course
It’s worth remembering, of course, that insects and bugs are a part of nature, even if they are a nuisance to us. They’ve been around for a very long time but at least we’re fortunate these days that we have repellents and such like to help them stay away.
Which bugs are around?
Mosquito control is not the only issue in Ontario in the summer. There are lots of other troublesome insects too. Let’s take a look at what you might come across:
Mosquitoes: these are the tiny beasts that are familiar to the majority of people. These start being active in May until September and they like standing water and boggy or swampy areas. Mosquitoes tend to be more active at sunrise and sunset, which is why they become annoying when you’re settling down outside to enjoy your evening.
Black flies: black flies are small insects that lay their eggs in streams and rivers or other running water. The eggs start to hatch towards the end of April and you’ll see them the most between May and June. These flies bite all day long!
Deer flies: these flies are active throughout the months of May to July and mostly act through the day time. These flies are quite large. They look not dissimilar to house flies but they have a bite that is a real stinger! Unlike mosquitoes or houseflies, deer flies are silent so you never know they’re around unless you see them!
Horseflies: another species that is active from the end of May to the end of July is the horse fly. This is the largest type of insect in our group and they’re visible all through the day. They look grayish black but they have transparent wings.
How to beat the bugs
1. Wearing insect repellent
First and foremost, you should wear insect repellent. Besides staying inside, this is the best thing you can do to stop yourself from getting bitten. You should reapply your repellent after a couple of hours and if you have been in water – just like you would with sunscreen. For the best defense, you should use a repellent that contains DEET. These provide the most protection and last the longest (up to 5 hours), according to the New England Journal of Medicine.
Don’t forget though that it is not recommended for children aged 11 or under to use insect repellent with more than 10% DEET. You should apply a maximum of three times per day too. A child under two years of age should only receive one application each day and for a baby under six months old, no DEET should be in the repellent. DEET is strong but it does work.
Alternatives to DEET or insect repellent include lemon eucalyptus oil. This is the only ingredient of plant origin that is approved as an insect repellent by the United States Center for Disease Control. While it doesn’t last as long as DEET, it is a good repellent.
Another DEET alternative is the relatively new compound Picardin. This is a synthetic product that is derived from black pepper. Apparently, it repels ticks and mosquitoes for around 14 hours with a 20% concentration formula.
2. Ultimate pest control: wear long sleeves, long pants, and a hat
It goes without saying that you are less likely to suffer insect bites if you cover up. Lots of people choose to wear a hat with a mosquito net attached to protect their faces. Wearing long sleeves and your pant legs tucked into your socks can also stop insects from getting access to the skin on your legs and arms. Obviously, you might get a bit hot, though!
3. Use smoke
There are lots of flammable anti-insect products around these days and they’re a great way of keeping bugs away. Mosquito coils burn slowly and release incense that repels bugs. Some natural methods also include burning rosemary or sage on your fire or over your coals. You could also burn citronella candles as mosquitoes don’t like these!
4. Make sure bugs can’t get inside
There’s nothing worse than drifting off to sleep then hearing that annoying mosquito buzz around your ears. Make sure you keep your doors and windows closed to stop them from getting in!