Bring on the Bugs: How to Combat the Pest Population from Your Apartment
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Spring is in full swing, and we all know what that means: time to bring on the bugs! And for many humid areas like Texas and Florida, that means flocks of mosquitoes. We love to see our future and current residents happy and itch-free, so we have just the thing to combat the pest population in this season and the next. After all, your limbs are on the line!
1. The Ol’ Fashioned Spray
This tried and true classic is still one of the most reliable ways to keep the bugs at bay. Your mother was right to warn you to spray before you play! Aerosol repellents are the most effective, with DEET-based sprays providing an average of 5 hours of near-100% protection from the pests.1
Other sprays show mixed success. Citronella-based products provide about 50% coverage2 and soybean-oil sprays last for about 1.5 hours. Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent provides a cheap alternative to DEET-based sprays and gives total protection for an average of 2 hours. In short, go with DEET if you’re comfortable, but if not, be prepared to apply regularly! Either way, these sprays should do the trick nicely, so be sure to use them in and out of your apartment home to protect yourself from the pests.
2. Go Green
If you’re like me, you probably won’t remember to spray at all, let alone throughout the day! Thankfully, there are other options that need less attention than those aerosols. Plants like mint, lemongrass, rosemary, and citronella combat the pests just by being around. All you have to do is add some green to your apartment scene.
Plants like mint and citronella do well in partial shade or indirect light, so keep these next to your windows to form a barrier. Feel the soil regularly and re-water if the top is dry; otherwise, just keep it slightly moist throughout! Plants like rosemary and lemongrass do best with lots of sunligh. Put these on your patio or balcony to form a shield around the door and nearby windows. Rosemary is pretty picky about its hydration, so let it dry out before you water again, and water your lemongrass regularly to keep it lively!
3. If You Can’t Beat ’em, Eat ’em
Sick of subtlety and want to take the direct approach? There are some plants that’ll get the job done on their own by attracting and then the pest population. Without going into too much detail, plants like the Venus fly trap, pitcher plant, butterwort, and sundew mosquitoes and catch them before they get to you.
These plants tend to be pretty low-maintenance since they attract their own food, so that’s less worry for you! Also, Venus fly traps, butterworts, and sundews only need to stay moist, so water about once a week and place in direct sunlight on your patio/balcony. Pitcher plants need more water to meet their tropical needs but prefer indirect sunlight. Grow these inside to mop of the few mosquitoes that manage to get past your other plant defenses!
Your household tickets to relaxation can double as handy mosquito repellents! Aromatherapy oils from repellent plants like mint or citronella can be more potent than the plants themselves since they are more concentrated. Using them in oil diffusers or on your skin can discourage mosquitoes from coming near you and your apartment home. You can also treat your screen windows with the oils once daily to combat the pest population.
Plus, it never hurts to have a relaxing, smell-good apartment!
5. Send the Mosquitoes an Eviction Notice
You rent your apartment to have your own space, so don’t give mosquitoes a home right outside of yours! Mosquitos populate in standing water, so avoid leaving open, water-filled containers on your patio or balcony. But if you’re like me, you love sprucing up your patio/balcony with plants. Make sure you only use media like soil or bark for growing your plants. Water cultures give the ideal breeding ground for the pest population.
6. Keep Calm and Cool Down
Sometimes the best way to fight the mosquito population is to not put in a lot of effort in the first place! Mosquitoes flock to carbon dioxide and then target areas with near-surface blood flow like the ankles, wrist, and neck. Thus, the harder you work up a sweat, the better target you are for the pesky blood-suckers.
If you’ve just wrapped up at the fitness center, jogged at the nearby trail, or finished your apartment spring cleaning, take a breather or take a dip in the pool. The more you relax and cool down your body, the less likely you are to get mosquito bites.
Ready to bring on the bugs at your mosquito-proof apartment? First you’ll need an apartment from the best in the business! Check out our extensive community list and floorplans from Camden Living and pick your perfect future home! Next you’ll need a little herb garden know-how and a quick tutorial on using your essential oils from the helpful folks at Simply Camden!
Good luck combating the pest population from your new Camden apartment!
1. Fradin, Mark S., and John F. Day. "Comparative efficacy of insect repellents against mosquito bites." New
England Journal of Medicine 347.1 (2002): 13-18.
2. Lindsay, L. Robbin, et al. " Evaluation of the efficacy of 3% citronella candles and 5% citronella incense for
protection against field populations of aedes mosquitoes." Journal of the American Mosquito Control
Association 12.2 (1996): 293-294.
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