Everything You Need To Know About Mosquito Prevention
While mosquitoes are definitely summer pests, preventing mosquitoes is a year-round effort in our Texas service area. And with so many mosquito-borne illnesses to worry about, it is important that we all stay vigilant to reduce mosquito bites. Today we're going to focus on how to reduce mosquitoes in the backyard, beginning with a quick guide to how seasons affect mosquitoes.
As the temperatures warm up, mosquitoes begin to hatch. But, when it comes to mosquito control, the temperature isn't the main concern in spring; it is all the moisture we get. Mosquitoes are moisture pests. That means we have to mitigate the moisture if we're going to keep mosquitoes at bay.
The ideal temperature for mosquitoes is above 80 degrees Fahrenheit. For this reason, summer is the time of year when mosquitoes grow their populations the fastest. But mosquitoes don't actually like the sun that gives them their heat. As moisture pests, mosquitoes must hide during the sunny days. When they do, your goal should be to make your property less inviting.
When temperatures drop, mosquitoes look for locations to lay their eggs for the winter. One place they love to do this is in vernal pools created on top of leaf litter. While spring cleanup is important, fall cleanup is even more important when it comes to reducing mosquitoes.
Mosquito activity is low during the winter months. In this season, the focus should be on preparing for spring, when mosquitoes become active again. One of the best ways to do this is to remove containers in the yard and make it impossible for rainwater to collect.
Taking what we know about the seasons, let's apply this to mosquito reduction.
Reduce moisture. Fix leaking spigots, hoses, and plumbing. Insect your gutters and make sure there are no clogs. Insect downspouts and make sure rainwater is being channeled away from your foundation wall. Trim trees and bushes to allow sunlight into shaded areas. Loosen compacted ground to allow the rainwater to sink in.
Make hiding places less inviting. When mosquitoes look for a place to hide from the midday sun, they're likely to hang out in the vegetation on your property. If you have ongoing mosquito control service, these hiding places will become a death trap for those mosquitoes. If you have not invested in mosquito control yet, you may have a small impact on mosquito populations by planting vegetation that repels mosquitoes such as catnip, rosemary, citronella grass, lavender, scented geraniums, etc.
Leaf clean up. Make sure leaves are raked and bagged to prevent vernal pools from forming in your yard.
Reduce breeding sites. Mosquitoes only need a half a cup of water in order to breed. They can also lay their eggs in an inch of rainwater that has collected on a tarp. If you're able to remove items from your yard that collect water, that is the best way to go. If you have items that can't be removed, try making them resistant to collection. Poke a hole in the bottom of tire swings to let the water run out. Put a slanted tarp over objects that allow water to pool on the top. Flip kiddie pools over when your kids aren't using them. Have a professional apply larvicides to still water sources.
Mosquito Bite Prevention
Once you've reduced mosquitoes in your yard, the next step is personal protection. Here are some tips that should help:
Mosquito repellent is the number-one way to ward off mosquito bites.
If you don't want to spray chemicals on your skin, you may consider using a natural option. Try a repellent with oil of lemon eucalyptus.
If you'll be sitting or laying in one location, fans are a great way to keep mosquitoes off.
Wear bright colors to make it harder for mosquitoes to lock onto you.
Wear a long-sleeved shirt and pants to reduce exposed skin.
Drinking alcohol can increase your attractiveness to mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes don't just leave irritating, itchy welts; they are vectors for viruses and diseases. Protect yourself.
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