If you’ve been hearing their noisy whine and feeling their nasty bite a lot more often when venturing into your yard, you may have a mosquito infestation. Considering more people have died worldwide from mosquito-borne illnesses than from murders, you definitely don’t want this nasty insect taking over your yard. Florida residents, in particular, have to worry about mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus, Dengue fever, and the Chikungunya virus. Here are five common reasons you have a mosquito infection. Being aware of these mosquito magnets will also teach you how to prevent mosquitoes from becoming a problem around your home.
It’s no accident why the dry southwestern part of the U.S. experiences the less mosquito activity while tropical states such as Florida have the most active mosquito populations. The best way to repel mosquitoes from the yard is to get rid of any standing water. Mosquitoes love any area of still water because it’s imperative to their survival. Even the smallest pool serves as a maternity ward and nursery for thousands of mosquitoes. After mating just once, the average female mosquito lays up to 300 eggs every third night and will lay three sets before they die. Because they lay the eggs on the water’s surface, they only need one inch of still water to accomplish this. This is why removing even the tiniest pools and puddles around your property can make a big difference.
Water can collect everywhere, from inside old tires to discarded pet food cans. Make sure you empty and get rid of anything unneeded that can serve as a vessel for rainwater in your yard. If you don’t want to part with a container, dump the water immediately following a rainfall to keep the vessel dry. If you use a rainwater harvester, including one that collects the run-off from your home, make sure all attached hoses are secure with no leaks or openings that mosquitoes can access. If you’re just collecting rainwater in a bin or bucket, only use one that has a seal tight lid. If you have a backyard pond in your yard, add a feature such as a fountain or waterfall that will keep the water in motion and not allow it to remain still. Introducing the right fish to your pond will also keep mosquitoes at bay. Goldfish, guppies, and killfish love to eat mosquito larvae. Koi fish, although a popular choice, are actually too big to consume mosquito eggs and larvae.
Where you place your pond in proximity to the sun makes a difference, too. A pond that receives sunlight exposure is warmer and therefore a less hospitable environment for mosquitoes. If you have a birdbath, dump the water and rinse it well every couple of days, and refill it with fresh water each time. The same goes for wading pools, watering cans, and anything else that you fill with water to use. Swimming pools are usually not an issue since they require chemicals to clean and maintain them. Make sure your pool cleaning company is using ones that eliminate the need to worry about mosquitoes.
Be sure to check your gutters for any water that may be collecting as they attract mosquitoes. Have your gutters cleaned regularly so they’re free of leaves and other debris that can prevent water from flowing freely off your home. Clogged gutters tend to attract other pests such as termites, ants, and spiders.
If you water your plants so much that water is pooling around them, particularly if they’re potted, this habit can also attract mosquitoes. Don’t overdo watering your flowers and gardens; water should be absorbed into the soil and not pooling on the surface. Some areas of your lawn and/or garden could also be attracting water in spots where the ground is not level. Fill in any depressions with clean soil to prevent them from collecting water.
Drippy Air Conditioners and Sprinkler/Irrigation Systems
Your window A/C unit and sprinkler/irrigation system could also be contributing to your mosquito problem if they’re leaking and creating pools of water. Clean your air conditioner’s filter and have it serviced if condensation is making stagnant pools of water. Your sprinkler, garden hoses, and irrigation systems should be in good condition and fitting securely to prevent any leaks that can lead to a puddle of water.
Overgrown Yard and Gardens
Mosquitoes tend to hide out in overgrown grass, trees, weeds, and other tall plants. Keeping your lawn cut regularly and your plants trimmed can definitely make your yard less attractive to the pests. We can help you maintain a beautiful lawn that will deter invaders.
Other Tips on How to Prevent Mosquitoes
- Add some natural mosquito repelling plants to your yard such as citronella grass, peppermint, lavender, marigolds, and lemon eucalyptus, just to name a few. The insects dislike the pleasant smells that most of these plants and herbs give off.
- Protect yourself and your children by applying mosquito repellent (preferably containing DEET) from head to toe, particularly if you’re going to be outside at nighttime when mosquitoes are most active.
- Invest in a bug zapper. While mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide emitted from our breath and not the UV light commonly used by zappers, newer models now release carbon dioxide to mimic a hot-blooded mammal. The substance attracts mosquitoes and other biting insects that are active at night where they are zapped by the unit’s electrical current.
- Use citronella oil as a natural mosquito repellent. A bonus is it smells nice, and it’s also found in candles and torch oil for evening outdoor activities in your yard.
- Don’t kill birds and bats. Our flying friends help control the mosquito population by relying on them as a food source.
How We Can Help
We’ve been showing Florida residents how to prevent mosquitoes and protect their homes against them for over 25 years. We use a customized, controlled misting system to eradicate mosquitoes that keeps them from returning for a very long time. If you’re concerned about mosquitoes, contact us for a free estimate. We’ll be happy to promptly inspect your property and suggest pest control solutions.