During the height of breeding season, mosquitoes are easily one of the most irritating pests around. However, there are steps you can take to protect your yard and family from mosquitoes, and it’s not always necessary to resort to insecticides. Follow these tips and tricks to reduce the number of mosquitoes in your yard and get on your way to having a pest-free season.
- Remove Possible Breeding Sites
The number one trick to keeping mosquitoes out of your yard is to get rid of all potential breeding areas before breeding begins. Anything holding stagnant water is an opportunity for mosquitoes to lay eggs. It is important to not only thoroughly drain, but clean, all areas where water is collecting. If mosquito eggs have already been laid, they can cling onto surfaces even after they’ve been drained, so be sure to give everything a good scrub as well. Here is a checklist of areas to remove standing water:
Gutters - Remove leaves and other debris from gutters
Flowerpots - Pour out stagnant water from flowerpots and planters
Grill Cover - Make sure water isn’t gathering on top of the grill cover
Leaky Pipes - Repair any leaky pipes or faucets
Tires - Drill holes in the bottom of tire swings and wheel barrels to allow water to drain
Trash Cans - Ensure trash cans are tightly sealed and lids aren’t flipped upside down
Buckets - Remove water collecting in buckets and toys
Ponds - Keep swimming pools (including pool covers) and ponds adequately treated
Baby Pool - Don’t let water sit on baby pools for long periods of time
Birdbaths and Pet Bowls - Frequently change out the water in birdbaths and pet bowls
- Maintain Your Yard
During the day, adult mosquitoes rest on the under sides of vegetation. Trim trees, bushes, and shrubs to reduce hiding places for mosquitoes. Keeping grass at a short length can also aid in reducing mosquito resting areas.
- Avoid Peak Mosquito Hours
Because direct sunlight and dry heat can dehydrate mosquitoes, they are typically seen around dusk and dawn. Avoid untreated areas around nightfall and shady areas during the day to decrease your chances of being bitten. If you must be outside during peak mosquito hours, wear protective clothing that limits bare skin exposure. It is also helpful to wear lighter colors during the day and darker colors at night.
- Use Outdoor Fans
Since mosquitoes are relatively weak fliers, outdoor fans can help reduce mosquitoes. Fans also work to disperse carbon dioxide, body heat and body odor, which mosquitoes are attracted to. Mixing those attractants around in the air is likely to reduce the amount of mosquitoes and bites.
- Insect Repellent
Many people find success in using repellents, but always read the entire label before applying mosquito spray. Like anything you put on your skin, DEET can cause an allergic reaction in some people, but if it is applied as directed, most people will not have issues.
- Team Up with Your Neighbors
Regardless of how many preventative measures you take, if your neighbors don’t pitch in, they might not do any good. Sharing this list and implementing these tactics will help manage mosquito populations around your home.
- Call in the Experts - Treat Your Yard
To eliminate the existing population, use a targeted application to treat common mosquito resting areas. To reduce the ability for mosquitoes to reproduce in the yard, an insect growth regulator should be applied as well.