Landscape and home maintenance prevents mosquitoes.
Are you the Do It Yourself, kind of person? Here are some DIY recommendations that can reduce mosquito populations.
- Mow or trim tall grasses.
- Maintain your property so that there are no standing water sources such as a neglected or out of order swimming pool, hot tub, spa, pond or fountain. Empty rain barrels, cans, buckets, jars, flower pots, old tires, toys or anything else that can hold water. Stagnant water provides the perfect breeding grounds. Well maintained water features with good water circulation discourages mosquito breeding. Moving water will effectively drown mosquito larva.
- Reduce watering in landscaped areas. Avoid creating puddles and overly damp grassy areas. Mosquitoes will breed in less than ¼ inch of water.
- Cut back dense foliage to open areas to the sun. This takes away resting areas, encourages moisture evaporation and improves plant health.
- Add bacillus thuringiensis (BT) to the water in a pond, fountain or birdbath to kill larvae and aid in mosquito control. BT is a harmless natural substance that is safe for pets, fish, birds and wild life but is deadly to all kinds of larvae.
- Stock mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis) in bird baths, fountains, ornamental ponds, water gardens, unused pools, spas etc., and animal water troughs. The young fish will eat mosquito larvae as fast as they can hatch out of their eggs. Most county vector control programs provide these fish free of charge.
- Spray the entire yard including shrubbery monthly or more often with a mixture of natural pyrethrins, BT and neem oil for mosquito control.
- Install or repair screens, don’t leave unscreened windows or doors standing open.
- Move outdoor lights away from doorways. Lights attract insects. Place yellow light bulbs in patio lamps for use during evenings and at night during summertime. Orange-yellow lights do not attract mosquitoes and other flying insects as readily as white bulbs.
- Burn citronella candles or torches on or around the patio or other outdoor areas where activities are being performed. The more the better. Mosquitoes travel upwind at 1 1/2 to 3 mph. Place citronella in their flight path. Citronella does not kill mosquitoes but repels them when they come in contact with the smoke or vapors. It also masks human odors and the CO2 that we breathe, hiding us from the mosquitoes. Citronella candles and torches become less effective in breezy or windy conditions that dilute the smoke/vapors and blow them away from their intended areas.
According to a study published in the National Institute of Health library, the citronella candles, when used in sufficient numbers, effectively reduced mosquito landings by 42 percent.
what's a mosquito look like ?
Strategically place citronella candles and torches in mosquito’s flight path
What works best to control mosquitoes? Maintaining your property during mosquito season helps substantially. Since mosquitoes grow and multiply in standing water, make sure there are no nearby puddles or bird water feeders to attract them. Bright-colored clothing attracts bugs, so wear neutral, light-colored clothing to avoid advertising your blood. The best insect repellents are lotions or sprays containing DEET. They're not recommended for use on infants and toddlers. For use on children consult your physician. The EPA states that DEET is safe for adults when used as directed.