Some ways to ensure a mosquito-free holiday home
Come June, and the monsoon sets in, with lush foliage, the heady fragrance of earth and a freshness typical of this season. Travelers look forward to rain holidays, trekking opportunities and then returning home to hot snacks and freshly-brewed mugs of tea.
Unfortunately in this season, along with holidaymakers, comes another set of uninvited but also eager visitors – mosquitoes.
Gardens and lawns which are generally a big draw throughout the year, now pose a problem during the rains as they attract more mosquitoes. Owners often wonder what effective preventive measures they can take to keep pests at bay. Guests, too, dislike using coils, chemical sprays and tablets, etc. to ward off mosquitoes.
Here are some suggestions to reduce the mosquito menace:
Install Mosquito Traps: These vary from brand to brand and either run on electricity or are powered by propane tanks. They range from indoor units which are the size of an air-purifier to large outdoor units that resemble a barbecue grill.
Where mosquito traps are not available, here are some other measures that owners can take:
- Check for effective netting on doors and windows. When checking-in, guests can be reminded that as evening sets in, it would help to shut windows and doors which lead to the garden.
- Reduce mosquito breeding by eliminating standing or stored water around the house.
- Dispose of accumulated items like tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers, etc. Also get rid of containers where moss and other vegetation has begun growing.
- Ensure that drains and other outlets carrying waste water are cleaned and bleaching powder is sprinkled regularly.
- Clean clogged roof gutters before the monsoon sets in. The leaves from surrounding trees usually plug the drains and can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Clean the bird baths and change the water regularly.
- Discard old flowers kept in vases and do away with dense foliage and dead plants surroundings your holiday home.
- If you have a garden pool or an ornamental pool, keep fish in them. Fish will eat larvae of mosquitoes and add to the beauty of the garden.
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools when not in use.
Use Natural Repellents: These repellents made with lemon grass oil, neem oil and eucalyptus oil, etc. are not only effective, but are also safe on the skin and environment. If you have a caretaker on duty, while guests are out of the house, he can use incense powder to smoke out mosquitoes. Incense powder, also known as Dhuna in the eastern part of India, can be burned over smouldering coconut husk in a metal or earthen container.
So try and figure out what would work best in your holiday home to keep your guests happy and bugs out of sight.
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