Mosquitoes have a way of ruining your backyard. Who can read a good book or have a nice meal while swatting away biting, disease-bearing pests every few seconds? This year, take back your yard and get proactive about mosquito control. The best methods are eco-friendly and low- to no-cost.
1. Eliminate Standing Water
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in still, stagnant water. Draining or regularly cleaning as many sources of still water around your home as possible is the best thing you can do to drive populations down. Scrub at the former water line of anything you drain to knock off eggs that could be hanging around.
Just a few examples include:
– Kiddie pools
– Old pots and planters
– Neglected birdbaths
– Clogged gutters and ditches
– Hollow tree stumps
– Garbage cans
– Plastic toys
2. Clean Your Tarps
Tarps over things like firewood, grills and pools are favorite mosquito breeding spots. A mosquito can lay 200 eggs in less than a tablespoon of water. Imagine how many eggs can be laid in the puddles that form on tarps. Tie tarps tightly with minimal creasing. Wash them or change them out often.
3. Fix Swampy Soil
Swampy yards have two causes, overwatering and poor soil drainage. Fix your watering schedule to make sure you aren’t adding to the problem. Then, aerate your soil and work in amendments like compost to encourage good drainage.
4. Address Pools, Ponds and Fountains
All pools and water features need good movement in the water at all times to deter mosquitoes. Even above-ground pools need filters that get regular maintenance. Ponds, fountains and water gardens should be cleaned regularly. Mosquitofish, a fish that feasts on mosquito larvae, can be introduced to ponds for added control.
5. Keep Things Trim
Adult mosquitoes like cool, damp places to hide when they’re not hunting for a meal. Cut back on their hidey-holes by keeping your grass mowed and your landscaping well-groomed. Eliminate piles of yard debris or similar spots of damp, shady material that could look inviting to a mosquito on a hot day.
Proactive control will take a hard swing at mosquito populations around your home, but you can always expect a few unwelcome guests. Remember to cover up and use effective repellents to keep the stragglers away.