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Taming Your Outdoors
Slapping yourself silly trying to keep mosquitoes from biting you? Besides causing irritating itching bites, mosquitoes can also carry and transmit several diseases including the West Nile Virus. Although you cannot get rid of every mosquito, there are many ways to protect yourself and those around you.
The most important way to help fight mosquitoes is by breaking their breeding cycle. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water and those eggs hatch within 48 hours. Once hatched, the larvae feed on debris in the stagnant water until they move into the resting stage. In this stage, the larvae become pupae. The mosquito begins to develop and finally emerges as an adult mosquito. All this can happen in less than 5 days!
Be pro-active and check the area around your home for places where standing water may accumulate such as birdbaths, clogged gutters, buckets, kiddie pools, toys, even bottle caps ? mosquitoes can breed in just a thimble full of water. Change water often in birdbaths. Empty kiddy pools and turn them upside down when not in use so they do not collect water. Keep your gutters clear of debris.
If you have done your best to help prevent breeding and are still being bothered by mosquitoes, there are many products on the market to repel or kill mosquitoes. The available products range from low-cost items such as lotions and sprays to higher priced solutions such as traps and misters. Along with a range in cost comes a range in effectiveness.
Citronella candles and torches are ineffective except in very small areas. One study showed that use of citronella candles resulted in people still being bitten by mosquitoes, but they had half as many bites as those who were not around the candles. Other products that do not perform well are 'sonic' repelling systems. While these products are inexpensive, laboratory studies have shown that they do not work.
When looking for lotions or sprays, the Center for Disease Control recommends selecting those, which contain DEET, picaridin, or lemon eucalyptus. Products containing these ingredients can be obtained from most drug stores or home and garden stores. In addition to the products recommended by the CDC, there are also all natural products available. Lewey's Eco-Blends offers an all-natural product that contains essential oils such as rosemary and thyme, which have shown repellent properties. Eco-blend comes in bottles for human use and spray bottles for equine use. Always be sure to read the label instructions and follow these instructions carefully.
If you would rather choose a more high-tech solution which helps reduce the population of mosquitoes, then you may want to investigate a propane based collection system or a mosquito misting system. The propane collection system works by converting the propane to carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide draws the mosquitoes to the unit in the same way your exhaled breath draws mosquitoes to you. In the collection system, the mosquito is 'trapped' in a bag when the pest enters the unit. These units need to have their collection bag cleaned frequently and you must change/refill the propane tank. Placement is critical. The units need to be placed downwind of your area and must be moved every time the wind direction shifts. These types of units require a fair amount of human intervention to operate at peak performance so the cost vs. the price should be weighed accordingly.
Another high-tech solution that is fairly new to the market, the mosquito mister system is permanently installed around your home. The system is comprised of a reservoir, pump, timer, and nozzles. Once the system is installed, it is set to mist a diluted Pyrethrum concentrate, at specified intervals ? usually 4 times per day for about 30 seconds each period. The active ingredient in Pyrethrum is Pyrethrin, which is a natural pesticide made by crushing a special type of chrysanthemum flower into powder form. The powder is then added to an insecticide, commonly referred to as PBO, to increase the effectiveness of the solution. Misting Systems require only occasional maintenance and refilling, but are priced higher than other options. More advanced mister systems can be equipped with a remote control and variable timing functions in addition to automatic weather control options.
Now that you know how mosquitoes breed and how to protect against their bites, don't let them run your life. Take action, tame your outdoors and enjoy your summer!
Bill Hackel is General Manager of http://www.MosquitoMister.com, the top supplier of mosquito misting systems for the do-it-yourself consumer.
A Little Known Secret to Successful Outdoor Gardening
Metal Garden Furniture
Since Victorian times metal garden furniture has become a popular way to decorate gardens. In fact, since this furniture can easily last for many years with the proper maintenance, some people are still using pieces in their gardens that were made in the Victorian era. Metal garden furniture adds both a classic style and durability, which demand that it should be considered as the preferred choice of garden furniture.
Viburnums are related to the honeysuckles, so it should come as no surprise that many of them have fragrant flowers. But that's not all they have in their favour. No, this genus includes plants for all seasons and all reasons; foliage, flower, autumn colour, scent, groundcover, shrub or small tree, evergreen or deciduous, it's all there among the 120-odd species and the many hybrids and cultivars. Indeed, they're so variable that it would be quite possible to have an interesting garden of viburnums alone.
Rose - The Flower of Love and Romance
What is the flower that everyone visualizes and associates with love or romance? ‘Rose’ is the instant answer by anyone. The rose is placed on a high pedestal by almost all the ancient civilizations which is indicated by the fact that the flower has been associated with numerous myths and legends. Numerous instances abound in the Greek, Roman, Hindu, Jew and Egyptian mythologies and legends. No wonder, the flower is a delight to the viewer and has made inroads into our everyday lives and true to its importance the rose has been acclaimed as the ‘queen of flowers’.
How To Build A Waterfall
The number one, most asked question that I receive about water features is "How do I build a waterfall?"
10 Free Gardening Products
One of the pleasurable spin-offs in organic gardening is finding alternative ways of coming up with the same, if not better, end result.....
The Incredible Daylily
Some people have referred to daylilies as the poor man's orchid. Indeed, daylilies, like orchids, are a beauty to behold. Daylilies are no longer just the muted yellow and orange plants grown in road ditches. They come in every color from white to deep purple (almost black) and in a variety of sizes.
Riding Lawn Mowers
Most riding lawn mowers are machines fun ride and extremely cool to look at. However, they are just a dream for many gardeners who can not afford one of these powerful gardening equipment. A riding mower can be a practical time saving machine for professionals as well as for beginner or amateur landscapers. If you are on of those homeowners, lucky to maintain a large yard, it can be a good idea to invest in a riding mower. We will explain first the type of mowers on the market and then which one would fit better with your current needs. Basic riding mowers are actually those featuring rear engines. They use to come with small horsepower engines, usually mounted under the operator's seat. These mowers have reasonable power sized cutting blades and fit perfectly into small lawns with less than 1 acre. The next level up is for medium horsepower riding lawn mowers; these mowers use to include their engines at the front; there can fit larger engines due to the space. They have a stronger and faster cutting capacity. Medium riding mowers provide better performance on hilly gardens and are the perfect complement for yards between 1 and 3 acres. Commercial riding lawn mowers are designed for really large yards, including sport fields, they can be extremely expensive for homeowners and won't really provide their best performance in yards no bigger than 3 yards. Riding Lawn Mowers Types Here you can find some important points to have in mind before you decide on the most suitable model that would better fit with your necessities. The final choose will depend basically on: ? The type of terrain of your mowing area as well as the size of it. And what other tasks would you like to do with your new lawnmower?. It is also very important to know whether or not the area includes slopes or hilly areas. The most flat is your mowing area the better performance you will get from the machine. ? It is always extremely important to select a comfortable seat, especially when you will be sitting for a long time. You will save a lot on back injuries and other common diseases related with sat jobs. There is no choice with that, it's preferable that the mower's seat be comfortable enough, don't make the mistake that most do, it worth. ? Does the garden include trees or rocks that require permanent change of direction during the mowing process? It's very important to find all the finishing touch to choose amongst steering wheels and tires. ? There are different bagging or recycling grass options; here you have mainly to mulching or to bagging. While mulching will cut the grass into fine clippings and then give it back to your lawn, providing nutrients to it, the second will just fill up a rear bag, being easier for the rider to empty and replace it with new ones. ? There are many attachments on the market to choose from. You probably just need a riding lawnmower including normal features. In addition, you can usually attach other features, like the ones to remove snow during winter time.
Flowers That Beautify Your Home and Garden
To help gardeners choose flowers, various systems for rating hardiness have been developed. A plant is considered hardy in a region if it can grow and thrive there without requiring special protective measures such as insulating with straw mulch.
The Swallowtail -- A Beautiful Butterfly
Swallowtail butterflies are some of the most beautiful butterflies found anywhere. The North American species are large, brightly colored butterflies with tailed, rear wings. There are more than 600 species worldwide with only about 30 of those living in North America. They have wingspans of 2 to 5 ½ inches long.
Caring For Tropical And Exotic Flowers
Tropical flowers make an exciting change from the more traditional floral gifts such as roses and gerberas, assuming that they're available in your area. Their stark and colorful beauty makes them an impressive gift for special occasions like Mother's Day, Valentine's Day, birthdays and anniversaries.
Composting and Composters: A Basic Introduction
A Look at Planting Flower Bulbs
Flowers are a favorite of many backyard gardeners. Thanks to their ease of planting and relatively low cost, flower bulbs are a popular choice for flower gardens. Not only are flower bulbs beautiful, but planting them is a very simple undertaking.
Roses and Juniper Rock Gardens
Wide circle driveways don't happen much anymore, but when they do, what do you do with them? Clear out the grass, mound up some soil, and park a few boulders in strategic positions and you've got the perfect spot for an artistic rose garden. Plant some dark green Juniper and a few golden-tipped junipers for background color before adding your roses.
Vegetable Garden Layout
The size of your yard will determine your final vegetable garden layout. What can be fun is the planning of the garden and the decisions surrounding the kind of garden you want. One of the very first decisions is whether it will be a ground level or raised bed garden.
Straw Bale Culture Technique
In general, plants grown in straw bales appear to require less water than when grown in soil. Another benefit to using straw bale culture is the garden bed will turn into compost offering some additional nutrients to your vegetables and herbs. The constantly composing environment warms up to provide gentle heat to the roots of plants and for your greenhouse. After some preparation and processing the compost will also begin to generate Co2 which will help to boost your plant's growth rate.
Adirondack Chairs - How to Choose One
In Blue Mountain Lake, New York, you will find a unique museum called the Adirondack Museum. According to the experts that run this museum, the Adirondack chair was originally called the Westport chair, named after a small town located nearby Adirondack Mountains. The design of the chair was first created back in 1900 by Thomas Lee. On a mission of designing a chair that could be used indoors or outdoors and one that was overly comfortable, he began his work, using standard boards and nails.
Add Rich Color To Your Garden With Blue Perennial Flowers
Blue flowers are some of the most striking plants around and can add a rich splash of color to any garden. Plant them in a cluster of all blue or mix them in with other flowers for a rainbow of color.
The Heralded Teak Furniture Manufacturer: Kingsley-Bate
With an average lifespan of 75 years, teak wood has long been commended as the ideal choice for outdoor furniture. It has qualities unlike any other wood in its ability to withstand the rigors of adverse climates, yet weather attractively.
Planning a Water Garden...
A water garden is the area of your landscape that will provide you with relaxing sounds of the water, while adding to the overall details of your landscape. The water garden is a project that you must 'plan' for continued success. If you are lucky enough to have the room in your lawn for a water garden, you are already one step ahead of many gardeners! Let's talk a little about how to plan for your water garden. A few important factors about placement of a water garden that often are forgotten are:
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