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A good mosquito yard repellent is one that is not toxic to humans and pets, but that mosquitoes find unattractive and seek to avoid. Several natural and commercial repellents exist and are believed to effectively keep pests at bay. Natural mosquito yard repellent choices include citronella or garlic-based repellents. Pests can be discouraged from entering an area simply by strategically placing mosquito repellent plants, such as a citronella plant, in areas frequented by humans and pets. Commercial mosquito yard repellent choices typically contain DEET, which is made up of chemicals that are safe to apply to human skin, as well as spray around a yard.
Although a mosquito yard repellent is used to keep mosquitoes out of a specific area, individuals visiting areas where contact with mosquitoes is likely may also benefit from applying mosquito repellent to skin and clothing first. As an added barrier of protection, such repellents are available in lotion, cream, spray or towelette form. Similar to a mosquito yard repellent, these products may also be made of citronella, garlic or DEET.
Garlic is believed to be an effective mosquito yard repellent because of its smell. The scent of normal human skin is attractive to mosquitoes and serves as an invitation to feast on human blood. When human scent is altered, particularly with an unpleasant odor like garlic, mosquitoes are repelled by the scent and are less interested in feeding on the blood of that particular host.
Citronella has a similar effect as garlic does in repelling mosquitoes. Citronella plants and oils are frequently used in yards, in homes and on skin surfaces by individuals attempting to avoid contact with these aggressive pests. A combination of citronella oil and garlic may also be an effective repellent.
When spraying a yard with bug spray, health experts recommend that instructions be thoroughly read first. Some sprays may be toxic to pets or may bear misleading labels. For example, some mosquito yard repellent brands may bear a label describing the product as natural, which a consumer may assume to be safe to use on yard plants, pets and humans. Some products labeled as natural, however, can actually be toxic and should not be used in areas where pets and humans will frequent.
A pet insect repellent may also be necessary if pets are allowed to wander around a yard. Animals groom themselves by licking, which makes them poor candidates for the same mosquito repellents used by humans. Experts recommend that pet owners desiring to protect their animals from mosquito bites consult with a veterinarian before choosing a pet insect repellent.