INDIANAPOLIS — Every summer rain storm raises the probability of a mosquito invasion in your back yard.
Even this late in the summer, Pat Sullivan from Sullivan Hardware and Garden said you should expect to deal with the pesky insects anytime you head outdoors as late as October.
This week on 13Sunrise, Sullivan offered advice to keep the bugs at bay, especially with rain in the forecast.
First, dumping any standing water around your yard reduces the number of places mosquitoes can nest and lay eggs. They can lay eggs in an area as small as a bottle cap, so clogged gutters, birdbaths or any standing water source is inviting mosquitoes.
When they hunt, mosquitoes hone in on humans based on odors from breath (carbon dioxide), perspiration or cologne and scented lotions.
When a pest control company sprays to prevent mosquitoes, Sullivan said they use other odors to distract the pests.
"They spray combinations of garlic, citronella, clove oil," Sullivan explained, "and that kind of confuses the senses of the mosquito so they don't kind of trail into your area."
Sullivan said burning citronella, either in a torch or candle, will work well to deter mosquitoes away from your patio.
"People always want to plant citronello plants," Sullivan said. But they won't be as effective unless the leaves are crushed to give off more odor.
You can spray any number of over-the-counter insecticide products, but if you would rather use a more environmentally-friendly repellant, Sullivan said a product made with clove oil, garlic oil and citronella is organic and safer.
Watch Sullivan's full 13Sunrise segment in the video player.