The large swarms of our favorite flying insects are here to stay, at least for a few weeks. If you had the chance to sit outside and view the amazing colors of explosive fireworks over the Fourth of July, then you also likely had the chance walk away with multiple bumps covering your exposed arms or legs.

As the Battle Creek Enquirer points out, one of the reasons that these pests have showed up in force in the last week is due to the large amount of rainfall that recently fell on SW Michigan. This amount of wet and dampness allowed a spike in the amount of summer mosquitoes, as they had plenty of locations to breed and hatch. That is the key: the areas around your home, yard, and work that these insects can breed or hatch directly affects how much you have to deal with them. The standing water around town from the rainfall has created a mosquito haven. Continued rain fall only perpetuates their cycle.

Last month reports out of Ingham County confirmed cases of West Nile Virus, a serious disease carried by mosquitoes that can lend to contracting meningitis and other serious conditions. With this in mind, we wanted to give you a few tips on how to dissuade these pests from hanging around your home.

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  • Bug Spray: The staple in protection against bugs is to pick up a heavy duty bug spray that contains a dose of Deet and use as directed.
  • Fog The Area: Available at most of your local stores, you can purchase a insect foger that you can be sprayed around your campfire or deck a few minutes before you gather there. This will kill any initial insects it comes in contact with.
  • Torches & Candles:Try setting up a border when you're outside with torches or citronella candles. These are available at any local grocery store. Look for burn length and perimeter sizes that work best for you.
  • Standing Water: Clean out those dirty dog bowls outside that are just collecting water for mosquitoes to breed in. Remove any standing water around your home and you'll notice a lesser amount of bugs buzzing around. Don't forget to check for clogged rain gutters or abandoned yard work items that could collect rain water.
  • Repellent Plants: Take a natural approach and create a mosquito repelling
    garden or potted plant area. Plants such as Catnip, Citronella and even Marigolds can deter these insects from hovering around your yard. Most local nurseries will carry these plants.
  • Essential Oils: Another natural approach that is safe for you, your pets and  your kids is to make your own insect repellent spray. This can be a more mild approach to mix together high grade essential oils such as peppermint, lavender and melaluca to create a spray that keeps the bugs away and doesn't involve chemicals.
  • Manage Your Yard: While tall grass isn't where this bugs reproduce, it is where they rest during the day. Need to cut the grass? Have that back corner of the yard that is overgrown with weeds all summer? Spending some time on these tasks could help eliminate a favorable environment for the not so favored bugs.
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