Apartment Living BlogApartment Living › 7 Ways to Mosquito-Proof Your Apartment

If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, you’ve most likely heard about the growing number of cases of the Zika virus disease. First discovered in 1947, the virus is spread primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito and has been usually found in areas like tropical Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. However, on Feb. 1, 2016, the World Health Organization declared “Zika virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.” The CDC reports that as of May 2016, there have now been 544 reported cases in the United States.

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While Zika is certainly a concern, it shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying the outdoors — especially that amazing balcony in your new apartment. And you can enjoy a mosquito-free, and safe, lifestyle by taking the following seven steps.

1. Seal Entrances

Mosquitoes, and bugs in general, can easily enter your home through openings in doors and windows. To prevent these unwelcome guests from getting into your apartment, seal these entrance points by installing door sweeps and weatherstripping. Not only will this prevent mosquitoes from entering the inside of your home, it will also help cut down on energy bills.

Since you’re renting an apartment, consult your property manager before making any modifications to your residence.

2. Invest in Mosquito Nets/Curtains

On top of sealing entrance points, you can also install mosquito nets or curtains in your apartment. This will allow you to open your windows and sit on your balcony without having to be bothered by mosquitoes. Additionally, many nets and curtains are easy to install and can be removed if you decide to relocate.

For example, the Magnetic Screen Door costs only $30 and can be installed in about five minutes. Mosquito curtains are ready to hang and come in a variety of colors and designs so you can match them to the décor of your home.

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3. Build or Purchase a Mosquito Trap or Misting System

You could purchase a mosquito-repellent lantern for around $25. A Thermacell mosquito-repellent patio lantern, for example, provides 12 hours of protection, repels insects within a 225-square-foot area and is small enough to fit perfectly on a balcony.

If you’re crafty, you can also build your own mosquito trap by filling a 2-liter plastic bottle with water, yeast and brown sugar.

Misting systems are another popular defense against mosquitoes. These systems usually work via spray nozzles that release a pesticide on a pre-set schedule. The nozzles are connected to tubing that runs into a supply of insecticide. The nozzles can be mounted to parts of your home, such as a balcony railing. However, before installing a misting system, review the regulations regarding pesticides in your state.

4. Remove Standing Water

One of the easiest precautions to take when it comes to mosquito-proofing your apartment is to remove any standing water that’s outside. Female mosquitoes prefer to lay eggs in and around standing water.

The CDC recommends you empty, clean and turn over outdoor items like vases, buckets, flowerpot saucers, trash cans and pet water bowls weekly.

5. Plant a Garden

Planting a garden at your apartment is possible simply by using pots as opposed to actually planting them in the soil. Not only do plants make your balcony more beautiful, they can add privacy and even repel mosquitoes.

Plants like citronella, lemon balm, catnip, basil, marigold and lavender are effective at repelling mosquitoes.

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6. Light a Candle or Lamp

If you don’t have the space to plant a garden on your balcony, you can purchase candles or lamps that will also do the trick. The most common option is citronella candles or lamps. However, if you’re allergic to citronella, there are alternatives that contain natural ingredients like soy.

Even though candles are effective, they do not cover a large area — usually around a 4-foot radius.

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7. Use Spray Repellents

If you want to enjoy your balcony but don’t have access to the above-mentioned methods, you could always rely on mosquito repellent sprays. Consumer Reports has found Sawyer Fisherman’s Formula Picaridin, Repel Lemon Eucalyptus, Repel Scented Family, Natrapel 8 Hour and Off! Deepwoods VIII to be the most effective.

How have you been able to protect your apartment from mosquitoes? Comment below to let us know what works best for you!


Sources: Image 1, 2, 3, 4
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