Tips for dealing with mosquitoes and spiders

Mosquitoes may be a nuisance outdoors, where they usually breed. But they'll also invade a home if they can find a way in. Keeping them out of the house is the key to keeping them under control. Besides disturbing your sleep, mosquitoes spread disease to both people and pets.

Tips for dealing with mosquitoes and spiders

1. Mosquito tips

  • Keep mosquitoes at bay by installing screens on windows and doors, sleeping under a net and using natural deterrents.
  • Outdoors, burn citronella candles to help repel mosquitoes.
  • Indoors, burn lavender or peppermint essential oil in a vaporizer.
  • Consider planting tansy or basil around the edges of your outdoor eating area.
  • Use a natural repellent on your skin. Choose from apple cider vinegar or diluted essential oils, such as pennyroyal, tea-tree, lemon balm or lavender.

To repel mosquitoes, try this mixture of oils.

  • I part lavender oil
  • 1 part eucalyptus oil
  • 1 part pennyroyal oil
  • 3 parts unscented moisturizer or almond oil

Mix well. Apply to the skin liberally and frequently. If you have sensitive skin, apply small amounts on exposed areas.

2. Manage mosquitoes

Mosquitoes breed in still water; even the smallest amount will do.

  • Remove any stagnant water left in pots, buckets and plant saucers.
  • Make sure that water runs freely in your roof guttering, downpipes and open drainage pipes.
  • Fit fine mesh screens over inlets to water tanks.
  • Empty and renew your pet's water bowl every day.
  • If you have a pond, keep fish or frogs to eat mosquito larvae.
  • If your garden has a water feature, turn it on regularly to get the water moving and stop mosquitoes breeding.

3. Spiders

Most spiders are best left alone. They can be very helpful at controlling the number of other insects around your home! Inside, keep them under control by clearing their webs frequently.

  • Keep any poisonous spider populations (they are not common in Canada, but we do have a few) at bay by clearing likely hiding places in the garden, such as rubbish heaps and empty cans. Be sure to wear gloves as you do so.
  • Before you put them on, shake out garden shoes, gumboots and garden gloves.
  • Tolerate daddy-long-leg spiders. They are highly venomous to other spiders but not to humans, as their pincers can't puncture human skin. If there are too many, clear most of the cobwebs, but let some stay put.
  • If you need to remove a huntsman spider, cover it with a large glass, slip a sheet of paper beneath, then take it outside and release it.

Note: Don't undertake large-scale spraying under the house because it only encourages spiders to move to safer locations, which may include inside your home.

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