Top Tips for Backyard Mosquito Control
Prevent Mosquitoes and Stay Healthy during Spring & Summer
Itching to add some water features to your backyard landscaping this summer? Ponds and bird baths can inject some pizzazz into your surroundings, but they can also attract mosquitoes if you don’t take the right steps to keep them from calling your yard home and causing some potentially serious health problems.
More than just a nuisance
Most of the time, mosquitoes are not much more than the cause of itchy welts and minor discomfort, but they can also cause serious illness.
- Prevalent throughout the United States, they can cause several types of disease, including West Nile Virus, perhaps the most common mosquito-borne illness in the U.S.
- Typically surfacing in late summer and early fall, West Nile is caused by mosquitoes feeding on infected birds, and then passing the virus with their bites.
- Traveling through the bloodstream to the brain, the virus interferes with the central nervous system and causes swelling of the brain tissue.
For most people, the illness is mild and causes:
In more severe cases however, it can cause:
Trusty Mosquito Control Tips
Mosquitoes are small, but persistent. Luckily, a combination of maintenance and protection can keep them under control.
- Spraying pest control materials is common, but not the most effective means of controlling a mosquito outbreak.
- It is far more effective to prevent them from breeding in the first place. Mosquitoes lay hundreds of eggs at a time and gestation only takes about seven days.
- Eliminate standing water. Water is a mosquito breeding ground, and certain species like the Asian tiger mosquito breed in very small amounts of it.
- Do not allow water to accumulate and sit in flower pots or pet dishes for more than two days at a time.
- Clean out your bird baths at least once a week. In NY, some homeowners are being issued summonses for leaving standing water in their yards!
- Introduce mosquito-eating fish to your decorative pond or pool.
- Drain or fill tree holes or stumps with mortar: This will keep water from collecting.
- Eliminate harborage: Cut down weeds that run adjacent to your home’s foundation and mow your lawn often.
- Regularly drain and clean (or remove) things that hold water: pet dishes, wading pools, vases, or anything that may collect water, such as old barrels.
- Clean your gutters! This is an essential and often overlooked source when it comes to keeping mosquitoes as far away from your house as possible – mosquitoes breed in standing water.
Personal Mosquito Control Outdoors
If you’re heading outside, here are some tips to beat the bite!
- Incorporate a large fan into your front or backyard when spending time outside. Ceiling-mounted fans help keep mosquitoes away from the inside of your gazebo or outdoor porch. Mosquitoes are weak fliers and this will keep them from ruining your outdoor fun.
- Try to wear light or loose fitting clothing. Mosquitoes see dark colors more easily than light.
- Properly use insect repellents. The Centers for Disease Prevention & Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics provide recommendations for the safe and effective use of repellents.
If your problems with mosquitoes persist, incorporate Western’s Integrated Mosquito Reduction and Control plan into your routine.
Learn more about Western’s comprehensive Home Pest Control Plans.
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