September 28, 2018
The climate and temperatures in the greater Houston area allow mosquitoes to keep biting almost all year long. If you live here, you know that mosquitoes can actually be slightly more active in fall than they are in summer. Understanding why can help you avoid mosquito bites. Let's take a look.
The behavior pattern of mosquitoes is quite predictable. So predictable, in fact, professional pest control technicians use their behavior to eliminate them. When a mosquito comes into your yard, you can expect it to hide in your foliage, within tree canopies, and in other shaded locations during the day. This is because mosquitoes require a lot of moisture to survive, and the hot sun dries them out. For this reason, mosquito treatments applied to bushes, shrubs, ornamental vegetations, tree canopies, and other hiding places can have a big impact on mosquito populations.
In summer, mosquitoes are most active in the mornings and the evenings when the sun is low in the sky. During the day, they hide. But in fall, they don't have to hide as much. That means they can spend more time looking for a blood meal.
How does this information help you prevent bites? Now that you know mosquitoes hide in your yard and need high humidity you can apply that knowledge to help reduce mosquitoes in your yard. Try these ideas:
- The more hiding places you have in your yard, the more mosquitoes you'll have visiting you. If you don't have routine mosquito treatments, your next best bet is to reduce vegetation around your home, especially flowers. There is only one thing mosquitoes need more than blood, sugar, and they get that sugar from the nectar of flowers.
- When mosquitoes hide in your landscaping, and they will, you can make it less enjoyable. There are plants you can add to your landscaping that mosquitoes don't like. While this won't prevent mosquitoes from hiding in your yard, it can reduce their numbers. Some mosquito-repelling plants are citronella, lavender, scented geraniums, marigolds, and rosemary.
- Damp ground leads to higher humidity. Check exterior spigots, hoses, and gutter systems to make sure you don't have conditions present, which are making your foundation perimeter wet. If you have areas around your home with excessive shade, trim some tree branches to allow the sun to get into these locations to dry things out.
- Leaf litter can give mosquitoes a place to hide and create an opportunity for pools of water to collect. It only takes a half inch of standing water for mosquitoes to breed. It is important to keep those leaves raked up.
- Inspect your yard for any containers that hold rainwater. Put items in storage whenever possible. If an object holds water but doesn't need to, consider poking a hole in it to let the rainwater drain out onto the ground after it rains. If you have objects in your yard, which hold water, such as a kiddie pool, consider turning the pool over when it isn't being used by the kids. If you have a birdbath, replace the water weekly to prevent mosquitoes from developing. It can take as little as eight days for a mosquito to grow from egg to adult. Interrupting this process can reduce mosquitoes in your yard.
Mosquitoes are a year-round problem that no one in the Houston area can afford to shrug off. The dangers of mosquito infestations in East Texas are quite substantial. Mosquitoes are linked to the spread of West Nile, chikungunya, dengue, yellow fever, several forms of encephalitis, and in recent years, the Zika virus.
If you have not yet invested in mosquito control for your backyard, mosquito bites are inevitable. But there are a few ways you can protect yourself:
- Wear mosquito repellent on your skin or on your clothing.
- Wear long sleeves and pants.
- Wear bright colors to make it more difficult for mosquitoes to lock onto you.
- If you'll be lounging in one place, consider using fans to keep yourself cool and keep mosquitoes from landing on your skin.
- Be aware that bug zappers are great at luring mosquitoes onto your property but only good at killing male mosquitoes. Those are the ones that don't bite.
For mosquito service you can trust, request a free inspection and ask us about our Signature Plus service that comes with monthly mosquito treatments from April through October. At Modern Pest Control, we have a strong track record of taking care of pest problems. Let our team of professionals help you protect your health and property from dangerous pests such as mosquitoes.