Mosquitoes are attracted to standing water, which they lay eggs in. The more standing water they can access, the faster mosquitoes multiply and spread out. And you know what they say: mo’ squitos, mo’ problems. To keep mosquitoes away, control excess moisture around your yard as much as possible.
Sound too good--or at least too easy--to be true? You’re not wrong. The truth is, it’s difficult to control moisture enough to keep mosquitoes away because they require so little. The thinnest film of water is enough for mosquitoes to lay eggs in. That’s why we’re not stopping at moisture control. Here are Plunkett’s best tips for keeping mosquitoes away, from eliminating breeding environments to wiping out hiding places and beyond:
Your home’s outdoor drainage system is supposed to catch and direct water away from your home. If you ever discover moisture pooling up or collecting near you, then it isn’t doing its job. You’ll have to find out why.
Check on your gutters, downspouts, storm drains, and sump pump to make sure they’re all working. Look for any sunken or wet spots in your lawn and try to figure out what’s creating the moisture. Make sure your lawn is graded so water slides away from it rather than building up around it. Basically, do whatever you can to make sure water doesn’t build up around your home.
Both inside and outside, plumbing leaks are surprisingly common. They also waste a surprising amount of water. According to the EPA, the average household wastes 10,000 gallons of water every year. Just because you aren’t using that water doesn’t mean nothing is, however.
Start by checking your outdoor plumbing fixtures for leaks. Look around your water main, hoses, and spouts. If you see even a little dripping, then you have a plumbing leak you’ll have to address. Remember: mosquitoes don’t need very much water at all. Check your indoor plumbing for leaks, too. Fixing leaks won’t just help you prevent mosquitoes; it’ll save you money, too!
Garbage rots, breaks down, or even ferments. Bottles and cans contain the last remnants of beverages. Nasty residue builds up in the bottoms of your cans and dumpsters over time. All kinds of pests love dumpster diving for food and water. They’ll exploit your dumpsters for as long as you let them.
Clean out your cans and dumpsters regularly. Store all garbage in sealed, airtight containers. Rinse out any food and beverage containers before you throw them out. Make sure you empty out your dumpster at least once a week. Controlling your garbage diligently isn’t just a great way to control mosquitoes. It’ll help keep all kinds of other pests away, too.
Mosquitoes mate and lay their eggs in standing water, specifically. Standing water is any water that doesn’t have a current flowing through it--like swamps, puddles… or some water features. If you have still, standing water around your home, mosquitoes will flock to it and start reproducing… fast.
Mosquitoes will use any standing water you provide, including bird baths. If you have water features on your property, find a way to make sure its waters keep moving. You should also look for and fix any sites where puddles naturally accumulate, such as low places or potholes. Keep your water moving, and you’ll keep mosquitoes away.
Along with water, mosquitoes gravitate toward shady, overgrown environments where they can hide and wait for prey. Believe it or not, mosquitoes can overheat just as easily as anything else. They grow faster in hot temperatures, but once they’ve hatched they need shade to stay active. If they can find that shade around you, they will.
Mow your lawn frequently, especially during the late spring and early summer. Trim your bushes and ornamental plants regularly, too, and space them out if you can. The more open and bright your lawn, the less accessible it will be to mosquitoes--and other pests, too!
Just like mosquitoes are attracted to stagnant water, stagnant air tends to draw them in, too. Still air is easier to move through, warmer, thicker, and often more humid. Part of why mosquitoes like shade and shelter so much is that it blocks moving air currents.
First, install and maintain screens on all your windows. Whenever it’s nice (and cool) enough out, open your windows to let a cross-breeze blow through your home. All of that moving air will make your home far less enticing to mosquitoes. You should use fans frequently too, even if your AC is on. Outside, try to block natural breezes as little as possible.
Mosquitoes often feel like some kind of a summer tax. We get all the good stuff--the sun, the beautiful weather--because we have to deal with the not good stuff. But no matter how unavoidable mosquitoes are this summer, they shouldn’t be unavoidable in your home. If you can implement these tips, they won’t be.
Have mo’ squito problems than you can deal with? Contact Plunkett’s today! Our mosquito control experts can make sure it’s no problem at all. Have a great (and bite-free) summer!