Summer months usually mean barbecues, pool parties, and unfortunately mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are pesky creatures that can be a downer on any party and can even transmit potentially dangerous diseases, like Zika. Sometimes mosquitoes are unavoidable, but many times, you are letting your backyard be a mosquito’s favorite breeding ground. There are a few simple steps that could help keep mosquitoes out of your yard.
Eliminating Unnecessary Water
All mosquitoes lay their eggs in water and they don’t need a lot to do so. Reducing the amount of standing water you have in your yard will go a long way in keeping mosquitoes out. Water may fill up in toys or empty flower pots in your yard over time, after it rains, go around your yard to dump out anything that may hold water. Mosquito larvae take about 48 hours to hatch, so for water that you must keep around, like pet bowls or bird baths, dump out the water and replace it daily. For things like wading pools, change the water weekly and flip them over when not in use, so they do not fill with rain water.
For larger pools and fountains that you don’t want to drain and fill as often, treat with chemicals. Make sure pools are properly chlorinated and that the filters stay clear. Run the water in your fountains because mosquitoes like calm water to lay their eggs in. For water that can’t be treated with harsh chemicals, like fish ponds, treat them with natural larvicide. Larvicide kills mosquito larvae, but doesn’t harm birds or fish, so it is safe to use around other animals.
Clean Your Yard
Many times we have things in our yards that we don’t know can even hold water. If you don’t need an object in your yard, then toss it. Old tires have bad habits of holding water, if you use one for a swing, drill a hole in it to keep water from collecting in the bottom. In the winter, your gutters and downspouts can become clogged with leaves and other debris. Make sure to clear them out, so they can begin to drain properly and prevent pooling. Keeping your lawn tended to, like mowing the grass and pulling weeds, will also eliminate habitats where mosquitoes like to rest in.
Mosquitoes like to come out in the evening, right when parties start. Though, you may not have a huge problem with them, it still isn’t fun having them around. There are many repellents sold on the market today. The ones with DEET are the best at keeping mosquitoes off of you. Make sure to read the label on how to properly apply the repellant, especially on children. If you want to stay away from chemicals, there are natural repellents, like citronella and lemon eucalyptus oil that are known to work well. Many times you can find candles or torches that release those scents and oils, so you don’t actually have to spray them on yourself. Fans are also good at keeping mosquitoes away because they have a hard time landing on you. If the mosquitoes continue to get you, then long sleeves and pants may be your best option to avoid getting bit.
Treat Your Yard
If mosquitoes are taking over your yard and you can’t seem to get rid of them, then treatment may be your next best option. There are multiple ways to treat mosquitoes including an all-natural alternative. Treatment may be a good option for parties or events, so you are mosquito free for that day, but it won’t last forever. Depending on the treatment, the spray could last for a few days to a few weeks. Many sprays are non-harmful to animals and children, but will kill other helpful insects, like honey bees and ladybugs. Be mindful to not over spray and deter all the beneficial insects from coming to your yard. The best way to control spraying is bringing in a professional and letting them oversee the amount that is sprayed.
Mosquitoes are a hassle to deal with, but using these steps should help lower the amount of mosquitoes lingering around your yard. Even though mosquitoes are mainly active in the warmer months, continue these habits throughout the entire year to try and avoid being overwhelmed all at once. Keeping these things in mind will help make your summer nights a breeze.