There are many bugs that homeowners never want to see in their yards. Mosquitoes are at the top of the list. Not only are they a buzzing, biting nuisance, mosquitoes can also transmit serious diseases like West Nile and Zika.
Keeping mosquitoes out of your yard is all about prevention. Homeowners can outsmart these pesky insects by getting rid of their natural habitats, or adding plants that naturally repel the blood-sucking bugs. Taking steps to make your yard less appealing now will reduce the risk of a mosquito infestation during the spring and summer.
Remove All Standing Water
If you only do one thing to prevent mosquitoes it should eliminating all standing water. Mosquitoes are expert reproducers. After filling up with blood, female mosquitoes can lay up to 300 eggs at a time in as little as an inch of standing water. Those eggs will hatch in about 10 days, adding to the mosquito problem.
Be on the lookout for:
- Leaking hoses or faucets
- Leaking sprinkler heads
- Buckets that collect water
- Low points in the yard where water can collect
- Moist areas around the foundation of the home
- Bird baths and feeders
- Flowerpots and dishes
- Rain barrels
- Old tires
- Pool covers
- Clogged gutters
- Clogged drains
- Your pet’s water bowl
Fixing the issues that create standing water will help control mosquito reproduction and make the problem much more manageable.
Maintain Fountains and Water Features
In an effort to alleviate issues with standing water, you’ll have to keep all fountains and water features well maintained. As long as water is flowing mosquitoes won’t have a spot to lay their eggs. If the pond doesn’t have a fountain for water flow, bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti) pellets or powder can be added to kill mosquito larvae.
Another maintenance consideration is whether to add fish to a pond. Adding mosquitofish is a natural way to control mosquitoes and their eggs. However, you’ll want to be careful when adding plants. Vegetation within ponds and water features provides coverage for mosquito eggs and larvae.
Place Mosquito Traps Around the Yard
Technical gurus have come up with a number of mosquito traps that promise to lure mosquitoes in and zap them to death. Of course, some traps are a waste of money while others are actually worth a try.
The Mosquito Magnet is one of the most popular traps. It uses an attractant spray that simulates a person or animal breathing. Mosquitoes have receptors that detect carbon dioxide in exhaled air. CO2 is what attracts the mosquitoes that are looking for a meal. Once they’re close the trap sucks the mosquitoes in where they eventually die of dehydration.
Traps should be placed in two general areas: where the mosquitoes congregate and where people congregate. Picking the right location can influence the results. You may also need to maintain the trap for it to stay effective. For example, the Mosquito Magnet uses propane, which will need to be refilled.
Regular Pest Control Treatments
Insecticides are useful in killing adult mosquitoes before they can lay eggs in your yard. One of the most commonly used mosquito pesticides is permethrin. To effectively control the mosquito population regular treatments will be needed. Adult mosquitoes can fly up to three miles, which means your yard could be fine one day and infested the next.
Final Takeaway: Homeowners have to use various preventative strategies to target eggs, larvae and adult mosquitoes. Eliminate standing water, keep your yard well maintained, use mosquito traps and schedule regular pest control treatments to prevent mosquitoes from overrunning your property.