Mosquitoes can ruin any outdoor event, and as Texas warms up you need to know how to fight back. In this blog, you will learn different practices to implement around your home that will decrease the number of mosquitoes in your yard.
Mosquitoes are not only annoying, but they are dangerous! Here in Central Texas, we mainly encounter the Aedes mosquito. These irritating insects carry and spread several viruses including Zika, dengue, and chikungunya. Mosquitoes can also put your dog at risk for heartworms. Protecting your home from mosquitoes is very important for the health of your family, pets, and pollinators!
Because we care about our environment, we chose the In2Care® trap as our number one form of mosquito control. With the innovative use of auto-dissemination, the mosquito spreads the active ingredients to its breeding sites, effectively controlling itself.
These buckets will sit in hidden places around your lawn and lure mosquitoes in.
No harsh smells
Does not target pets, kids or beneficial insects such as bees or butterflies
Before discussing breeding sites, it’s helpful to understand the lifecycle of mosquitoes. There are four stages in the mosquito life cycle and the entire lifespan is completed in 8-10 days!
Stage 1: Mosquito eggs are laid in a wet environment, usually in stagnant water in clusters or individually. However, mosquito eggs can lay dormant in dry environments for months.
Stage 2: The mosquito eggs hatch into larvae which feed on organic matter in the water habitat.
Stage 3: Mosquito larvae transform into pupae and do not eat. They mainly sit on the water surface and rarely move.
Stage 4: The mosquito is an adult, lives on land, and has wings. Male mosquitoes only feed on liquid carbohydrates like plant nectar and juices. The female mosquitoes bite humans and collect blood to produce eggs, but occasionally will feed on liquid carbohydrates as well.
Since larvae feed on bacteria and other microorganisms in standing water, a critical step to mosquito control is eliminating all breeding sites. You can remove these spots in your yard by looking for any motionless bodies of water, disposing of the water, and making sure to eliminate the probability of these locations capturing more water. This may require removing obstacles from your yard or filling the area with sand or another barrier.
Some areas contain still bodies of water that are a necessity, such as pet water bowls. This is perfectly fine, just be sure to clean the bowl and change the water regularly! Here is a list of areas that make the best mosquito breeding sites:
Pet water bowls
Sometimes, you may be unable to drain an area or prevent the location from collecting more water. In these cases, use a larvicide for homeowners that is safe for non-target insects and mammals. Products will vary in effectiveness and duration, regardless, you will need to keep up with replacing the product throughout the warm season.
Adult mosquitoes are active during the evening, so during the inactive periods, they’re resting in various areas such as foliage and tall weeds. Here are a couple of popular areas and how to maintain them:
Look for and clear out any junk or unused items in your yard, these are perfect areas for mosquitoes to relax without getting squashed. Mosquitoes enjoy shaded areas as well!
Benefit both your yard and control mosquitoes by keeping your grass trimmed and your trees and shrubs pruned! Mosquitoes love tall grass and plants.
It’s important to be sure that mosquitoes don’t enter your home and wreak havoc! Check all your window and door screens for mosquito-sized entry points, making sure to properly repair any rips and holes. Decrease the amount of time outside doors are open, it only takes a few seconds for mosquitoes to make themselves at home.
Fight the Bite
Although mosquitoes can put a damper on outside fun, don’t let them be the reason you stay inside! Schedule outdoor activities during the day since mosquitoes are most active during the morning and evening. Wear loose protective clothing that covers exposed skin and reduces bites.
Don’t forget your furry friends! Remember to give your dog the right medication that will prevent heartworm.
A great natural mosquito repellent is lemongrass. You can grow lemongrass in various hang-out spots in your yard to keep mosquitoes away or use lemongrass oil as a powerful personal shield.