Almost everyone has lived through this situation. After several days of rain, the sun finally fights its way through the clouds and creates a lovely, warm day. With weather this nice, you can’t help but go outside. The day feels just about perfect, but soon your arm starts to itch. Then it’s your leg. Before long, your entire body feels like one giant mosquito bite. You rush inside in search of some relief from the swarm that ruined an otherwise wonderful day, and it’s at that point you realize that you need mosquito control.
Nobody enjoys the nuisance of mosquito bites, and with over 60 different species in Louisiana alone, there are plenty of opportunities to be bitten. Besides being uncomfortable and itchy, mosquito bites can transfer nasty diseases like West Nile or Zika virus. While you could just hide under a mosquito net for the rest of your life, there are many other pest control options that can help limit the number the mosquitoes in and around your home.
1. Eliminate Standing Water
Even small collections of standing water on your property can provide a suitable environment for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. Standing water can accumulate in unexpected places. Poor drainage can result in puddles of water in your lawn. Unattended gutters, drain pipes and rain barrels can be problematic. Even something as simple as a watering can left outside can become a mosquito breeding ground. A simple solution for mosquito control is to eliminate these standing bodies of water through proper cleaning and maintenance.
2. Keep Your Grass Trimmed
Mosquitoes enjoy thick vegetation and long, uncut grass. When grass is long, it takes more time for the dew to evaporate, which can attract more mosquitoes. A key to pest control is making sure you don’t fall behind on your landscaping duties. You may need to cut your lawn more than once a week, especially during the summer when grass can grow especially fast. While it may be tempting to cut your lawn extremely short, this could kill the grass by shocking it. While you are outside mowing, you can limit your exposure to mosquitoes by wearing light, long-sleeve clothing and working on a windy day.
3. Install Fountains in Ponds and Birdbaths
Besides being an attractive addition to your property, fountains keep water moving and disrupt the mosquito breeding process. This is especially important if you have a small pond on your property, as mosquitoes may otherwise lay their eggs there. If you don’t want to install a fountain, installing a water agitator can still help with mosquito control. Fountains can also be an attractive and effective solution if you have a bird bath on your property and you don’t have time to consistently change the water.
4. Be Mindful of Your Pet’s Water Dish
People love their pets, and nobody is asking you to deprive them of water. However, one thing you can do to help with mosquito control is to change your pet’s water dish frequently. This is especially important if you use a large water bowl. Instead of just topping off your pet’s water dish, empty the bowl down a drain and then refill it. This ensures that any mosquito eggs that were laid in the water are destroyed. Keeping an eye on the water dish is particularly important if your pet spends a lot of time outside.
5. Have Someone Watch Your House
No, you shouldn’t hire someone to run around your property all day long trying to kill mosquitoes. As amusing as that may be, pest control doesn’t have to be that intensive. If you plan on being gone for a few days, having someone maintain your landscaping and being alert to problems of standing water can go a long way. Without someone watching your property, you might come back to a mosquito country club.
6. Keep Things Breezy
Rather than have someone wave a giant tropical leaf at you, an easier option is to run a few electric fans to help with mosquito control. These tiny bugs are susceptible to wind and air changes, so running an overhead ceiling fan or a portable fan can keep the pests off you. Larger fans can even be used outside if nature isn’t generating enough natural air movement.
7. Patch Mesh Screens or Keep Windows Closed
On nice days, it’s great to have the windows open. However, if there are holes in your windows or door screens, that’s an open invitation for mosquitoes to come inside. Replacing broken screens or just keeping your windows closed can cut down on the number of mosquitoes inviting themselves into your home for lunch.
8. Grow Mosquito-Repelling Plants
Another way to tackle mosquito control is to work on your green thumb. In addition to looking and smelling nice, some plants can repel mosquitoes. If you were already planning on adding some greenery to your property, the following plants may help keep mosquitoes away:
· Citronella grass
· Scented geraniums
9. Create a Dry-Ice Trap
Mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide that people and animals exhale in the process of respiration. While you could simply hold your breath, this is not an effective long-term strategy. Instead, set a container of dry ice away from your house. Once you’ve attracted enough of the bugs with your trap, seal the lid.
10. Hire a Professional
If you seem to be fighting a losing battle with mosquito control, it might just be time to hire a professional. A pest control professional can assess your individual property and help remove an infestation before things really get out of hand. Knowing when you need some outside help can save you time and frustration.
Besides just being an uncomfortable pest, mosquitoes can be a health hazard. Rather than ignoring mosquito control, take charge of your home and get rid of these bugs. Pest control doesn’t have to be difficult, and understanding how to decrease the number of mosquitoes in and around your home can improve the quality of your life and make going outside an enjoyable experience again.
I really enjoy researching and writing about pests. The more we know about bugs, the easier it becomes to control them.