COLDWATER – Summer in Michigan and Indiana means getting outdoors.
Nothing disrupts that more than the buzz of a mosquito looking to bite. Not only are mosquito bites annoying due to itching, but then can spread disease as well. Paul Andriacchi, Director of Environmental Services with the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency, says it's important to take necessary preventative measures to ward off these pests. He say because of the rain we received in June and July, our vector surveillance teams are seeing 2 to 3 times more mosquitoes than last year.
Mosquitoes lay eggs in stagnant, wet areas because their eggs must have a water source to hatch. To reduce mosquito populations, eliminate containers or objects that hold water from your property. Some common items favored by female mosquitoes are flower pots, bird baths, tires and children's toys that stay outside in the rain.
There are also certain plants you can include in your landscape or garden which are natural repellents for mosquitoes. Peppermint, citronella, catnip, lavender, lemongrass, eucalyptus, garlic, rosemary or marigold plants can repel mosquitoes. These plants excrete a smell and oil that mosquitoes and various other insects find distasteful.