Beat the bugs: Helpful tips and tricks to avoid mosquitoes this summer

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MILWAUKEE -- There's a buzz in the air in southeast Wisconsin this spring, and that's not a good thing. The combination of lots of rain followed by high temperatures is perfect weather if you're a mosquito. The larvae grow quicker and hatch sooner. In the battle over your backyard, here are some things you can do to fight back.

"Counted up to like 14 bites and I'm like, this is a little ridiculous," said Jordan Mathieus, Racine resident.

Mosquito season is upon us and the little pests show no mercy.

Jordan Mathieus

"Look at her face, she's got two right on her right side there. She got nailed too," said Mathieus.

Batzner Pest Control in New Berlin has been around since 1946. This spring, a full 25 percent of their calls have been about mosquitoes.

"Typically it's all range of things, other pests. For a quarter of the calls to be all mosquitoes, that's really high," said Nick Schanz, Batzner Pest Control operations manager.

That means checking the base of your potted plants, low points in the yard and even the length of the grass itself.

Nick Schanz

"You definitely want to keep the grass a little shorter because if it's too long, that'll provide the adult mosquitoes with areas to hide throughout the sunny time of the day," said Schanz.

All in the hopes of soaking in the summer, instead of hiding from it.

"I was sitting outside a few days ago for dinner, and we had to leave and go inside because we kept getting bit," said Grace Emma, Delafield native.

If you don't want to be stuck inside, Batzner Pest Control says have a fan blowing underneath the table if you're on the back deck. Keeping the air moving around your legs will make it harder for the mosquitoes to feast.

Here are some more helpful tips:

  1. Make a homemade mosquito trap! Cut a water bottle in half; pour in a mixture of boiling water, sugar and yeast; tape the top of the bottle upside down into the bottom and tape to secure. Mosquitoes are drawn to the solution and will drown in the bottle.
  2. Wear loose, long, light-colored clothing. Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors, and to our natural body odors. Wearing light-colored clothing that covers your skin will make it harder for mosquitoes to find you.
  3. Avoid stagnant water. Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes! For any water that you cannot completely remove, pour in some coffee grinds. They will draw the mosquito eggs to the surface, causing them to suffocate and not hatch.
  4. Buy basil plants!Basil is a natural repellent, and it's a nice addition to the garden or kitchen. Cook with it, rub it on your skin and keep it nearby to repel mosquitoes.
  5. Use PARA'KITO repellent. PARA'KITO is a natural repellent wristband that uses a patented formula of all-essential oils. Insert the pellet into the band for up to 15 days of protection. PARA'KITO is refillable, reusable and waterproof. Comes in fun colors and patterns for the whole family. Safe for pregnant women and children. All priced under $20.
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