Spring is a favorite season for many people, as it allows them to shed their sweaters, get out of the house and — depending on where they live — get some relief from freezing temperatures and heavy snowfalls. However, spring comes with its own downsides. In particular, this warmer season can bring heavy rains and warmer temperatures: two factors that can contribute to an influx of mosquitoes.
So, what can you do to head off these annoying insect vampires at the pass? While you may not be able to rid your yard of mosquitoes on your own, there are several prevention methods you can use to help make your personal green spaces less attractive to them. Read on so you can be more prepared for mosquito season this year.
Understand Mosquito Winter Habits
Different species of mosquitoes can overwinter in various ways. Females can store fat during the winter, and some species of mosquito have eggs that can survive the winter. Most male mosquitoes don’t make it through the winter, however. When you know that these insects will be ready to spring into action as the temperatures warm up, it’s easier to understand the importance of preparing for mosquito season.
Why Do Mosquitoes Feed on Your Blood?
When is Mosquito Season?
There’s no equinox or calendar date that marks the beginning of mosquito season. Instead, these pests begin to stir when the temperatures start to hit about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. And the hotter and more humid, the better, which is why southern states — Florida in particular — are known for having mosquitoes throughout most of the year.
How to Prepare for Mosquito Season
1. Get Rid of Standing Water
As the rain falls — or snow melts — make sure you’re not allowing standing water to build up in overturned trashcan lids, old tires, plastic sheeting, kiddie pools, birdbaths and so forth. These serve as ideal mosquito breeding grounds. In addition, you’ll want to fix any leaking spigots that might be leading to puddles around the perimeter of your home. Any water that stands for more than a week can become a mosquito breeding site.
2. Keep Gutters and Drains Clear
Mosquitoes don’t need a deep pool of stagnant water to breed. In fact, they can lay eggs in as little as a bottle cap full of water. Many gutters become cluttered with pine straw and fallen leaves over the winter. Add that to melted snow and ice or built up rain water, and you have the perfect recipe for a mosquito breeding ground. Clear out your gutters so that any liquid can flow freely, and you can reduce the places in which mosquitoes can lay their eggs.
3. Maintain a Well-Kept Yard
Toss out any old tires or other debris that could collect water. You should also consider filling in or leveling off any dips in your yard that are prone to becoming puddles in rainy weather. When you’re trying to figure out how to keep mosquitoes away, you’ll want to keep a close eye on any water features, too. Consider installing bubblers that churn the water in ponds so that it’s not stagnant. You can also introduce fish or minnows that feed on mosquito larvae as a natural means of prevention.
4. Enlist the Help of a Professional
Prevention can help nip a mosquito infestation in the bud, which is always a wise move. However, mosquitoes are prolific breeders, which means there’s a good chance you may need to look for control methods at some point. It’s best to call on a trained professional — like a trained Terminix® technician — who can evaluate your mosquito problem and present a solution tailored to your needs.