Having a home or cottage in Muskoka, one of the most picturesque and beautiful areas in Canada comes with some minor challenges. They can become the target and attraction of the biggest mozzies and tiniest black flies! So get ready to protect yourselves from these beasts!
Trees, shrubs, and tall grasses are the most common places for mosquitoes to linger before flying over to their target; plus, it gives them something other than your skin to nibble on for a quick snack. So, keeping the grass mowed and vegetation trimmed will help reduce mosquito populations around the cottage, as you'll be giving them less foliage to hide in.
You can also prevent puddles in the lawn by filling in low levels with extra soil and seed or having the lawn aerated. Aeration will relieve soil compaction, which will help stop puddles from forming after a heavy bout of rain, giving mosquitoes one less place to breed.
Just like us, mosquitoes love the look of a nice body of water on a summers day. As you'll recall, mosquitoes breed in standing water; so if your cottage has lots of standing water around, you're going to have lots of mosquitoes, too. This includes pet bowls, fountains, rain barrels - literally anything that can hold more than an inch of water at a time. That's all it takes for a female mosquito to lay a bunch of eggs and create hundreds more mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes tend not to travel far from water, so regularly drain any types of water-filled containers to help prevent mosquito populations from getting out of control.
Make sure that your property is spick and span before you head in for dinner and the indoors after a long day on the lake (you'll thank us for it later). Go for a walk around the cottage and get rid of anything that doesn't need to be there; kid’s toys, flower pots, tarps, helmets... whatever could give mosquitoes a place to congregate and plot out their next attack.
Items like tires are notorious for breeding thousands of mosquitoes since they not only carry standing water but also provide some insulation for larvae. These things should all be removed from your property and stored in a place where mosquitoes can't get to them.
Beat them at their own game. Here's an interesting fact - mosquitoes are pretty weak at flying compared to other bugs such as black flies (just as annoying, we know).
So, setting up an electric fan where you and your peeps are sitting is an easy way to reduce the amount of mosquito bites to your bare skin, as it'll hinder their ability to reach you with the breeze knocking them around. On a sultry day, the cool breeze will be a godsend, that's for sure and the menace will be kept at bay!