Arm yourself against mosquitoes on the cheap

April 4, 2011 9:00:42 PM PDT
The weather is warming up and summer is around the corner, and that means we will soon be in mosquito season.

Fancy mosquitoes systems in your back yard can cost more than $2,000, but for around $6 there is a plant that can combat mosquitoes on your backyard patio.

Having just moved to the area from the midwest, Holly Vescogni is trying to figure out how she is going battle the pests.

"We have mosquitoes up there, but they are not as big," Vescogni said. "I don't know what we are going to do. We were thinking of having it sprayed."

Susan Axelrod turns to the internet for advice.

"I did read once that if you use bounce sheets and tuck them in your clothes that it repels mosquitoes," she said.

But Eddie Russell at Cornelius Nursery says you don't have to install fancy systems or use dryer sheets to get rid of some of the pests on your patio. Instead, he says plant a citronella plant.

"It releases a citronella odor or fragrance and confuses the mosquitoes senses, and they don't bite you," Russell explained.

Each plant costs $5.99 and can be purchased at most nurseries. You can keep these plants in containers around your patio. The more you containers you have, the better the shield. The plants works so well, Russell says, it sells out every time the nursery gets them in stock.

"It's been on the market for 10 or so years, so it does work very well," he said.

And there are other ways to battle the mosquitoes around your home. If you have a pond or fountain at your home, try Mosquito Dunks for $14.99.

"You can throw these in here because, of course, mosquitoes like to breed in water and this will kill the mosquito larvae safely," Russell said.

Other patio protectors on the market are citronella candles and foggers. Mark Fontenot with Unique Outdoor says these things offer good protection on a short-term basis.

"You can put this on your deck and it will go on a 15x15-foot area and it will last up to four hours," Fontenot said.

But if you are looking for an economical way to protect your family from mosquitoes that will last longer than one night, you may want to consider a treatment done by the pros at

"It's $69 to $89 depending on the yard, and what we do is come out and fog the foliage of the yard and we use a backpack mist blower and basically it lasts about three to four weeks, depending on the weather," Fontenot said.

He added that there is no offensive odor and family and pets can return to the yard after 30 minutes. It's a much cheaper alternative than the permanent mosquito misting systems that cost $1,700 or more.

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