Spending time outdoors in your yard is meant to be enjoyable and relaxing. However, if your outdoor spaces are overrun with pesky mosquitoes, it can quickly become a nuisance to be outside. It may seem impossible to be rid of mosquitoes in Florida, but there are several steps you can take as a homeowner to help drastically reduce these flying pests. Keep reading to learn more.
What attracts mosquitoes to your lawn?
Mosquitoes love dark, humid places. They thrive in areas with plenty of shade and moisture because that’s where they breed.
Common mosquito habitats include:
- Tall grass
- Hollow trees
- Under leaves
- Anywhere with standing water
The Life Cycle of a Mosquito
Effective mosquito control interrupts the life cycle of these insects. Getting rid of adult mosquitoes is a good start, but preventing mosquitoes from breeding is the best way to ensure they don’t come back.
Each female can lay more than 700 eggs over the course of her lifespan (which is just a few months). They can mate with a male mosquito once and lay eggs up to five times from just one encounter. They don’t need a huge space to lay these eggs either – a mosquito can lay as many as 100 eggs in a space as small as a water bottle cap.
Mosquitoes have four stages of life: egg, larvae, pupae, and adult. The first three stages depend on water, which is why minimizing standing water around your home is so important. They need water to lay eggs in, and mosquito larvae and pupae live on the surface of the water.
When they mature, adult mosquitoes are able to leave the water. Male mosquitoes only live for about a week and mostly survive on plant nectar. Female mosquitoes need blood to support their eggs (they’re the ones biting you), and can live up to six months. When the weather starts to cool off, some adult females hibernate. This means mosquito eggs often survive colder climates.
Ways to Get Rid of Mosquitoes
Clear Standing Water
Dealing with standing water that just keeps coming back is the last thing you want to add to your list of chores. You might not even be aware of where or how water is collecting on your property. But don’t skip this step! Mosquitoes spend 75% of their life cycle in water, so an abundance of it is one of the main reasons mosquitoes keep breeding around your lawn. Below, we give you a rundown of where to check for standing water.
- Flower pots (consider moving inside)
- Birdbaths (change several times a week)
- Pet bowls (change daily)
- Grill covers
- Trash can lids
- Depressions in lawn
As long as you have places for mosquitoes to live comfortably, they won’t want to leave. Clearing debris is an important step and will ensure any subsequent chemical treatment you choose to use stays.
So what does clearing debris mean? Debris includes:
- Lawn furniture
- Fallen branches
- Compost piles
- Overgrown vegetation
- Tall grass
Tidying up your yard will have a huge impact on the efficacy of future treatment. If you choose to use a broad-spectrum insecticide, for example, there’s nothing stopping new adult mosquitoes from making your home theirs, again.
Add Mosquito-Repelling Plants
Beautify your lawn and keep mosquitoes away? Yes, please! There are many plants that have qualities that are natural repellents for mosquitoes. Some plants have overwhelming fragrances, and others contain chemicals that irritate the bugs.
Where should you plant mosquito-repelling plants?
The best places to put these plants are in “hot spots” — areas where mosquitoes are likely to hang out. Shady places like the front porch and back patio, or wet areas like around water features or in low points of the lawn are good areas to start.
- Bee balm
- American beautyberry
Many of these plants also help repel fleas and ticks, as well!
Apply an Insecticide
An insecticide is a substance applied to your yard that kills adult mosquitoes, eggs, and larvae. This is usually used as a last resort. Insecticides contain chemicals that can irritate the skin, hurt beneficial insects like bees and butterflies, and harm the environment. However, they are an effective way to control mosquitoes.
Most insecticides you’ll find use pyrethrins or the synthetic version, pyrethroids. They’ll need a few applications over the course of several weeks to eradicate the mosquito population. If you prefer to try this as a do-it-yourself step rather than hiring a professional, always follow the instructions for your preferred product.
Hire a Professional
Mosquitoes are not only annoying, but they carry serious health risks. They reproduce quickly, and in many types of environments. Brock Pest Control can control your mosquitoes to make sure your family stays healthy, and gets to enjoy the outdoors comfortably. We have a specialized mosquito program that dramatically reduces the presence of mosquitoes at your home. We treat the grounds, flower beds, gutters and standing water.
Make sure to get a head start with our extensive, year-round pest control services. As a locally owned and operated pest control company, we proudly serve Florida’s Gulf Coast and northern counties with offices in Panama City, Fort Walton and Panama City Beach.
Let us make your backyard enjoyable again with our mosquito pest control program!
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