Mosquitoes are often a nuisance during warmer months. They multiply quickly and can become a problem if you do not take steps to control their population. But as with most pests, control starts with prevention.
Not only are mosquitoes a nuisance, but their bites can also be itchy and irritating. What's more, these pests can also carry pathogens that may cause diseases, making them a serious health threat in certain parts of the world.
Here’s how to prevent mosquitoes in eight simple steps.
Remove sources of standing water.
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in and around standing water. Eliminating sources of stagnant water around your property is one of the most effective measures of helping to prevent mosquitoes in your yard. Turn over buckets, old tires, trash can lids and tarps that may allow water to accumulate. Doing so will eliminate the habitat that certain types of mosquitoes need to thrive.
Clean out the gutters.
In addition to getting rid of ground sources for standing water, it is also important to maintain your gutter system. Leaves and other debris can build up in your gutter and down spouts leading to water retention in the entire system. Mosquitoes can lay their eggs in as little as one inch of stagnant water, so that clogged gutter is a dirty, wet welcome mat for them.
Change out water sources weekly.
If you have sources of standing water outside, such as pet bowls, bird baths, rain barrels and plant containers, be sure to change the water at least once a week. By doing so, you’ll interrupt the mosquito breeding process and help prevent any eggs laid in the water from reaching adulthood.
Drain water and fill up low areas.
Make sure you are draining any areas where water can temporarily accumulate after rainfall or excessive watering. If there are areas prone to water accumulation, consider filling them in with dirt to level out the surface and prevent the problem altogether.
Maintain pools and water features.
Mosquitoes can use any source of standing water to lay their eggs, including unmaintained swimming pools. If you have a pool, be sure that you are keeping up with the water treatment schedule and that all filters are working properly and water is circulating correctly. Likewise, you should empty any kiddie pools when not in use.
Water features, such as ponds, can also be problem areas for mosquitoes. Trim any weeds that may spring up around the edges, and consider adding a fountain to keep the water moving. You may also add minnows, which feed on mosquito larvae and can help control their population.
Replace outdoor lighting.
Mosquitoes, like many insects, are attracted to light. Special bulbs called “bug lights” emit a different type of light than typical light bulbs. The wavelength emitted is not as attractive to insects. Replacing outdoor lighting with the yellow “bug lights” should mean your space attracts fewer mosquitoes.
When you are outdoors, there are a few additional steps you can take to help prevent bothersome mosquito bites. First, avoid being outside during dawn and dusk, when many species of mosquitoes are most active. Second, wear long pants and sleeves if possible to limit exposed skin. Finally, apply a mosquito repellent that’s recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Call the professionals.
Often times, effectively controlling mosquitoes around your home means seeking the help of professionals. Mosquitoes produce rapidly, and their populations can be difficult to control. Trained mosquito control professionals know where mosquitoes hide and the best control methods to use. Learn more about the Terminix mosquito service.