Whether firing up the grill, digging into the garden or going on long walks, there’s nothing better than warm weather. Unfortunately, this time of year also bring something less desirable to your yard—mosquitoes. These pests leave itchy bites, but they are more than just a nuisance. They can transmit infectious diseases such as malaria, West Nile virus, dengue fever, yellow fever, Zika virus and Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE). Here’s our roundup of top DIY pest control tips for preventing mosquitoes in your yard to protect your family this year.
- Remove Standing Water. A single female mosquito can lay up to 3,000 eggs in her lifetime and is able to breed in as little as a thimble-full of water. This means that any stagnant water, whether it’s a dog bowl, bird bath or toys that may inadvertently collect rainwater, could bring a hefty mosquito population to your backyard. It can take as few as eight days for a mosquito egg to become an adult, so be sure to identify and regularly drain these sources of standing water to minimize mosquito breeding grounds.
- Maintain Your Landscaping. Overgrown landscaping provides harborage and can trap moisture—both of which attract mosquitoes to your property. Therefore, it’s important to mow your lawn frequently, maintain shrubbery and cut down weeds adjacent to your home’s foundation.
- Take Care of Gutters. When fallen leaves and branches clog gutters, water cannot drain properly. This will create additional pools of water for mosquitoes to breed in that are dangerously close to home. Make sure you’re keeping gutters and other drainage systems clear to help prevent mosquito populations from booming right outside your door.
- Provide Airflow. Mosquitoes are not strong flyers, so incorporating airflow into your yard can help keep them from pestering you. Place fans in your yard when spending time outdoors or consider installing ceiling fans on patios to help prevent mosquitoes from getting close to you and your guests.
- Protect Yourself. The above DIY tips can help control these pests in your yard, but there are still precautions you should take to help prevent a rogue mosquito from biting you or your family. Mosquitoes can see darker colors more easily, so wear loose, light-colored clothing when outdoors. You should also refrain from wearing perfume or body spray that can attract these pests, and always wear EPA-registered insect repellent with Picaridin or DEET.
Mosquitoes are a buzzkill. Their irritating bites and ability to spread disease make them an unwanted backyard guest. Because mosquitoes can live up to eight weeks, it’s crucial that you take steps to reduce breeding zones and avoid attractants. With these tips in mind, you can help your family have a safe and bite-free yard.