Mosquito Control Guide
Mosquitos are an annoyance for many homeowners. While there are numerous mosquito elimination products on the market, it's crucial to take a layered approach to prevent and eliminate mosquitoes in your yard. This involves using some or (better yet) all of the preventative steps we've compiled here to eliminate mosquitos in your property.
With all of that said, while there are some things you can do to prevent mosquitoes from taking over your yard over time, sometimes you just need to get rid of them quickly! So, we’ve created a practical guide on mosquito control, including how to get rid of mosquitoes once they’ve arrived, and how to develop a sustainable pest control program to disrupt their breeding cycles and control mosquitos in the longterm!
Mosquitoes reproduce quickly, making it hard to get rid of them. Adult female mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water or moist soil that is protected from direct sunlight. The mosquito eggs can hatch within 2 days and the mosquito larvae begin to feed on small organisms in the water until they become airborne. Adult mosquitoes live for about two weeks and can reproduce during that time. During this time, mosquitoes bite humans and animals to obtain blood meals, which are needed for egg production.
Female mosquitoes also prefer areas with standing water or high humidity because these provide ideal conditions for egg-laying and survival of their young. Female mosquitoes mate only once in their lifetime and can lay up to 400 eggs at a time. After hatching, the larvae go through several stages before becoming adults ready for flight. During this process, mosquitoes go through a metamorphosis of changing from an aquatic larva into a flying adult mosquito.
Once transformed, adult female mosquitoes will fly around looking for food (blood meal from that pesky mosquito bite!) so that she can produce more eggs before ultimately dying a week later. Because of its short lifecycle and ability to reproduce so quickly, getting rid of mosquitoes can be difficult if preventive measures aren’t taken first. This includes regularly checking your property for any standing water where mosquitoes may be breeding as well as using insect repellents when outdoors to deter them from biting you or your family members. Mosquitoes are most active during the summer months when temperatures are warm and humidity is high. Adult mosquitoes prefer to lay eggs in areas with standing water or high humidity because these provide ideal conditions for egg-laying and survival of their young. Mosquitoes are especially active at dawn and dusk when they are looking for food sources to feed on. Additionally, mosquitoes tend to be more active in shaded areas where there is more protection from direct sunlight, making them more difficult to spot and avoid.
9 steps to getting rid of mosquitoes.
Follow these and you’ll stop mosquitoes in their tracks!
(1): Remove any standing water around your property.
These areas attract mosquitoes and should be cleaned up, removed if possible, and should be key areas for treatment. The first step to getting rid of mosquitoes is to not attract mosquitoes in the first place! Taking proper care of your property and yard is extremely important to make sure mosquitoes don’t become a problem. Take some time to survey your outdoor areas and look for any prime mosquito spots. These will generally include areas with standing water, like rain barrels, murky ponds, bird baths, pet bowls, or clogged gutters. And, when possible, make sure your yard has proper drainage. Mosquitoes find all of these moist areas to be ideal for laying eggs, so finding and eliminating them will make a huge dent in the overall mosquito population. Once you’ve found these moisture-filled places, begin the process of cleaning them up or eliminating them altogether. This can drastically reduce the amount of mosquitoes hanging around your yard. Additionally, once all high-risk areas have been identified and addressed, you should use products that treat those areas to keep them mosquito free. Taking all these steps will give you some level of relief but you'll need to go further if you want to get rid of them once and for all.
(2) Citronella Candles
You can find citronella candles easily, and they have been trusted for centuries to keep insects, particularly mosquitoes, at bay in your yard. They are commonly effective in repelling mosquitoes. Another excellent option is to utilize essential oils and incense that possess mosquito-repelling properties. Lavender, lemongrass, and cedarwood are particularly useful in this regard (here’s our favorite). Opting for these natural alternatives is not only safer for you but also environmentally friendly. Instead of relying on conventional repellents, consider exploring these options during the summer season.
(3) Use a Fan
Harness the power of a fan when you're outdoors to ward off mosquitoes. Fans are excellent natural mosquito repellents because the gentle breeze they generate helps to deter mosquitoes. Some fans even offer the additional benefit of cool misting, making them perfect for scorching hot days. Keep the fan in motion to create a wind tunnel that sweeps mosquitoes away from you. As you enjoy outdoor activities this summer, don't forget to bring a fan with you. Not only does it provide an effective defense against mosquito bites, allergies, and illnesses, but it also brings a refreshing coolness on particularly hot days. Here's a fascinating fact: mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide. They rely on this gas to locate their prey, as it is emitted in large quantities by warm-blooded animals during respiration. Moreover, carbon dioxide triggers the release of compounds that further entice mosquitoes and guide them towards their hosts. Embrace the pleasant weather and ensure your trusty fan is always by your side!
(4): Safeguard your Indoor Space
Make sure to protect your home and screened in porches by installing and maintaining mosquito netting or screens on any doors or windows that lack them. Safeguarding your living space should be a paramount concern, as indoor mosquitoes can be a major nuisance. Insects, particularly mosquitoes, have a knack for infiltrating our homes and creating health risks for our families. By taking the essential and relatively affordable step of installing mosquito netting or screens on doors and windows that lack them, you can effectively keep bothersome bugs at bay. This not only shields you from bites and discomfort but also provides valuable protection against the sun's rays and serves as a barrier against dust particles and other irritants that could impact the well-being of your household members. With numerous advantages to consider, investing in netted screens for all exposed openings is undoubtedly a wise choice.
(5): Apply Repellent
Before venturing outdoors to enjoy the warm weather and fresh air, it's crucial to protect yourself from the hazards that come with it, such as mosquitoes and the diseases they can transmit. Take the necessary precautions by applying mosquito repellent to your skin prior to going outside, and remember to reapply as needed while you're out there. While it may seem like a minor inconvenience, think of it as a gentle reminder to make the most of your precious outdoor time while staying safe. Our favorite DEET-free repellent with Lemon Eucalyptus is a great option to consider.
Mosquito repellent should be a staple during most of the Spring through Fall, particularly in the summer months when mosquitoes are most active. To make it even more convenient, keep a spray bottle of your preferred insect repellent near the door, allowing you to grab it on your way to the yard. Better yet, always carry a mini spray bottle in your bag or purse, ensuring you're prepared wherever you go. By consistently applying mosquito repellent before heading outdoors, you not only safeguard yourself but also protect those around you from potential insect bites and the associated illnesses they can carry.
Mosquitoes are capable of spreading various diseases, including West Nile virus, malaria, dengue fever, Zika virus, heartworm disease in animals, and other mosquito-borne illnesses that can affect people of all ages. By eliminating mosquitoes, you contribute to effective disease control. Remember, it's important for individuals of all age groups to apply mosquito repellent each time they go outside to ensure protection against these harmful diseases.
(6): Wear Protective Clothing
When venturing into areas where mosquitoes are present, it is recommended to wear long sleeves and pants. By covering as much skin as possible, you significantly reduce the risk of mosquito bites and the potential for unpleasant illnesses. Additionally, this precautionary measure will enhance your overall outdoor experience by minimizing the annoyance of these persistent insects. So, before embarking on adventures in mosquito-prone locations, ensure that you dress appropriately by opting for long sleeves and pants.
(7): Use Mosquito Traps
Consider adding bug zappers, also known as "mosquito traps," to your outdoor space. Bug zappers offer an excellent defense against mosquitoes and other flying insects. These devices effectively reduce the insect population and protect both you and your outdoor area. Strategically placing bug zappers around the perimeter of your property creates an invisible barrier that deters pesky bugs. The ultraviolet light emitted by the zappers attracts insects, drawing them in and electrocuting them. This approach significantly diminishes the mosquito population in your vicinity.
When using a bug zapper outdoors, ensure it is positioned at least five feet above the ground, away from standing water sources, and far from areas where you plan to spend time. Avoid placing it in close proximity to windows or doors to prevent an accumulation of dead insects near these entry points. Opt for a model with a removable catch-tray for effortless cleaning and disposal of the deceased bugs. For broader coverage with fewer units, consider placing multiple bug zappers around your property. Additionally, ensure there is adequate airflow around the device to enhance its attractiveness and capture efficiency. Regularly check the batteries and replace them as needed to maintain optimal performance.
By incorporating bug zappers into your outdoor space, you can enjoy a "perimeter protection" that effectively wards off mosquitoes and other bothersome flying insects. This additional effort will provide you with peace of mind while indulging in outdoor activities throughout the entire summer season.
(8): Use Insect Control Applications
Use a high-quality (preferably organic) insect control application The best way to keep mosquitoes out of your yard is to use a high-quality, preferably organic, insect control product (here is our favorite). This products is designed to eliminate and prevent mosquitoes from invading your outdoor space by using a combination of plant-based natural oils that are proven to be effective at both killing and repelling the insects. The application is easy to use – simply hook it up to a hose and spray it around the perimeter of your property – and it’s safe for people, pets, and plants. Additionally, because this product uses only natural ingredients, it’s less likely to harm beneficial insects or the environment. Ultimately, using a good quality insect control product like Yard Patrol in combination with other preventative measures will help keep unwanted pests away from your outdoor living area all summer long! With proper application and maintenance, you can enjoy your backyard without worrying about pesky mosquitoes buzzing around.
(9): Use Mosquito Deterring Plants
Enhance your property's natural defenses against mosquitoes by considering the planting of natural deterrents! It's fascinating to discover that certain plants can effectively act as natural mosquito repellents. These plants not only serve as practical solutions but also make beautiful additions to gardens, tree lines, and landscaping features, making them suitable for most properties. To naturally repel mosquitoes, consider planting the following:
Catnip: This member of the mint family can be planted around your property to naturally keep mosquitoes away. Studies have shown that catnip oil repels mosquitoes up to ten times more effectively than DEET, a commonly used chemical in insect repellents. Catnip also possesses antifungal, antiviral, and antiseptic properties.
Citronella: An aromatic herb that produces citronellal, a potent compound found in many commercial mosquito repellents. Growing citronella at home allows you to create natural sprays, candles, and herbal infusions for topical applications. Planting it around your home acts as a natural deterrent for mosquitoes and other pests.
Basil: With its strong aroma and highly aromatic oils, basil repels many insects, including mosquitoes. Planting basil near entry points such as windows and doors helps reduce the number of bugs entering your property.
Lavender: Known for its fragrant oils, lavender has proven mosquito-repellent properties. By growing lavender near potential mosquito breeding grounds, such as standing water sources or nearby gardens, you can prevent female mosquitoes from laying their eggs in those areas.
Garlic: Garlic contains allicin, an active compound with powerful antimicrobial properties that repel various types of insects, including mosquitoes. Planting garlic bulbs around your property creates an effective natural barrier against pests without relying on harsh chemicals or pollutants.
Marigolds: These vibrant flowers contain pyrethrum, a compound derived from chrysanthemums known for its insecticidal properties, particularly against mosquitoes and other flying insects. When planted in open areas where these pests tend to congregate, marigolds provide an effective barrier while adding beauty to your surroundings.
Whether you're focused on disease control or simply want to enjoy mosquito-free summer nights, the topic of eliminating mosquitoes is on everyone's mind when the weather warms up. By following these simple tips and precautions, you can savor the outdoors without worry during mosquito season. Don't let bugs ruin your summer—be prepared and take proactive measures!