Don’t let mosquitoes swarm your property this year. In this article, learn effective ways of eliminating or controlling the population of these annoying, bloodsucking insects.
Mosquitoes can be a nuisance, especially in the summer. They can ruin a perfect barbeque day outdoors with friends and family. Their bites are itchy, and if you’re unlucky, you may catch an illness after getting bitten by a virus-carrying mosquito. Luckily, you can prevent those little buggers from wreaking havoc on your property and life with a few simple steps.
Understand the Mosquito Breeding Cycle
The most effective way to ensure mosquitoes won’t become a problem on your property is by preventing them from breeding. But how do you do that? First you need to understand the mosquito breeding cycle.
Mosquitoes reproduce sexually. In many species, mosquitoes are ready to mate a few days after becoming adults. On the other hand, females are generally ready to mate almost right after leaving their pupal casing. An adult female mosquito can lay 50-100 eggs at a time. The eggs hatch into larvae (wrigglers), turn into pupae, and become adults in as short a time as seven to ten days.
Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. Just a few ounces of water is enough for them to lay their eggs successfully. That’s why many mosquito infestations can be traced back to containers filled with water—for example, pots and cans, clogged rain gutters, and tire swings. Removing these breeding grounds is one of the best mosquito control methods.
However, the water temperature must be right for mosquitoes to survive. It should be at least 10 degrees Celsius, which falls around April and May in the Greater Toronto Area. As such, mosquitos will be active in summer, pestering families having a good time in their backyard.
Control Adult Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes at the larval stage are pretty harmless, but it’s different when they reach adulthood. Female mosquitoes drink blood for sustenance. Aside from that, there’s a chance they may carry disease-causing bacteria and viruses.
Controlling adult mosquitoes is more challenging than dealing with eggs and larvae, mainly because they are tiny and can fly. In this case, calling experts in mosquito control near you is the best option. But remember that mosquito control companies don’t offer the same services. Some use chemical fogging and other outdated techniques to address insect infestation issues. Others, like LawnMart, implement a more comprehensive adn eco-friendly mosquito control strategy.
A holistic approach to adult mosquito control involves treating trees, grass, and other foliage on the property with insect control products. Attacking the problem at the source is also necessary to prevent a mosquito problem from recurring long after the treatment. This means applying products that can kill mosquito larvae in standing water.
Mosquito-Proof Your Backyard
Your backyard isn’t the only place where mosquitoes can breed. They may also lay eggs in distant breeding areas, like trash dumps and construction sites. So, if you live near such areas, you may still have to deal with mosquitoes even after eliminating their breeding sites on your property. Mosquitoes can travel up to three miles from their breeding grounds.
Still, you need not worry; there are a few ways of preventing mosquitoes from infiltrating your property.
- Screen up: Install screens on windows and doors to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home. It’s also helpful to install screens in places with stagnant water you cannot drain, like rainwater tanks. The screen will prevent mosquitoes from reaching the water and breeding.
- Cover up: Mosquitoes are so tiny they can enter your home from the gaps in doors, walls, and windows. Make sure to cover these up. If there’s a sick person or baby in the house, consider completely covering their bed with netting.
- Maintain drainage: Clogged and crowded gutters and downspouts trap water. With all the leaves and sticks in the mix, the pool of standing water becomes the perfect home for young mosquitoes. So make sure to keep your drainage systems clean before the mosquito season.
- Install a French drain: A French drain effectively averts stagnant water issues by diverting excess water away from your property.
- Fill low-lying areas, such as foot slopes and ditches: Dips, ditches, and depressions in landscaping tend to remain boggy after rainfall. Mosquitoes use those low-lying areas as their breeding grounds. To prevent this, fill those areas with dirt or gravel so mosquitoes can’t lay eggs in them.
- Introduce natural predators: Mosquitoes are food for many animals, including bats, birds, fish, lizards, spiders, and frogs. So consider inviting these natural mosquito predators to set up camp in your backyard.
Bonus tip: Keep your lawn trimmed and manicured. Mosquitoes like to rest in tall grass because it gives them great cover from the heat of the sun and protection from wind. An overgrown lawn can become a perfect place for mosquitoes to hang out and breed.
Grow Mosquito-Repellent Plants
Mosquitoes aren’t fond of some aromatic herbs and plants, so consider growing some in your garden. Three of the best mosquito-repellent plants are citronella, marigolds, and calendula. Herbs like mint, rosemary, and lemongrass can also help keep insects from your backyard.
The aforementioned plants aren’t only great for keeping those little buggers away from your garden. They also look pretty and have a host of other uses. For example, marigold petals lend a dash of color to your landscape and a mild flavor to food.
Install Yellow Bulbs Outdoors
Do you have an outdoor porch? Consider installing yellow light bulbs instead of white. While it doesn’t kill mosquitoes, yellow light can prevent flying insects, including mosquitoes, from hanging around because it’s less stimulating for them. So you don’t have to worry about mosquitoes and other irritating pests flying around the light on your porch.
You can find these yellow bug lights in most hardware and home improvement stores. They come in a variety of wattages and sizes. And while they are generally used outdoors, you can use them basically anywhere.
Use Natural Insect Repellents
It’s impossible and unhealthy to eliminate all flying mosquitoes from the environment. But this also means you will still encounter a mosquito or two even after all your mosquito control efforts. In this case, you can use insect repellents to protect yourself and your loved ones from mosquito bites.
Chemical insecticides are easily accessible and work wonders, but they can put your health at risk. If you’re looking for a safer mosquito control method, consider switching to insecticides made of natural ingredients. Natural insecticides can be just as effective but do not pose the same health risks as chemical products. They are also cheaper and ideal for households with pets or kids.
You can make natural repellents from everyday household items, such as neem oil and citronella. You’ll find various online resources that can teach you how to make and apply natural mosquito deterrents.
Keep Mosquitoes at Bay With a LawnMart Professional’s Help
Mosquitoes are essential in the ecosystem, but they don’t belong in your backyard. LawnMart mosquito control professionals are ready to help you keep your property mosquito-free throughout the year.
LawnMart’s comprehensive mosquito control strategy involves treating all trees, shrubs, and grass on your property with botanical insect control and applying natural bacteria on mosquito breeding grounds. The team performs the process six times each season. If bugs unfortunately return before the next scheduled visit, you can take advantage of two free service calls.
Contact us to learn more about how to get rid of mosquitoes on your property.