How You Can Take Control of Your Mosquito Problem
Home mosquito control may seem like an impossible dream. You against the entire (and constantly reproducing) mosquito population is an unfair fight to say the least. But there are things you can do to make a sizable dent in your own little corner of the world.
Remove Standing Water
There are two main things that mosquitoes need to survive: your blood and water. As much as it may look like those pesky critters are only out to suck your blood, you may be surprised to know they are just as interested in your water supply. Mosquitoes need water to breed and therefore any source of standing water around your property is going to potentially cause problems. The first step in controlling the mosquito population is to eliminate these sources of water.
Of course, you cannot possibly remove all the water from your property. Things like swimming pools, ponds, and bird baths are enjoyable constants in many backyards. In order to keep these sources safe, manage the cleanliness of the water. You can stock lily ponds with fish that eat mosquito larvae. If fish are not an option, you can add petroleum oils to the water to create a surface layer which will suffocate the mosquito eggs and prevent them from hatching. A clean and regularly chlorinated pool won't become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and this will control the population in your backyard. If you have bird baths, you should change their water on a weekly basis. You may even want to change the water even more frequently if you notice any increase in mosquito population around the area. If you have an outdoor water feature such as a fountain, change the water if the movement is disrupted for any period of time because the motion should prevent mosquito larvae from forming.
Also try to remember all the inconspicuous places where water may linger. Dispose of old tires and check those tire swings on the backyard tree. Tires are an ideal place for standing water to collect and perfect breeding grounds for thousands of mosquitoes. If the presence of tires is necessary due to auto repair, make sure to empty them out after any precipitation.
Children's toys can often collect water, so check them after rainfall and keep them turned over (flat side up) when not in use. Wading pools should never been left filled with water overnight. Empty them out and turn them over after each session of play. Covers can be used to keep debris out of smaller pools and to protect items such as grills, but remember to keep water from collecting on top or in folds. Mosquitoes don't require much water to lay their eggs and even a small puddle can be all they need to make a playground of their own.
Also beware of other places where water can make mosquito control difficult. Cover rain barrels and drill holes in the bottom of any recycling bins and garbage cans that you keep outside in the elements. Garbage cans should always have a securely fitting cover, as well. Pet dishes should be rinsed out every day and refilled with clean water. Repair leaky outdoor faucets, check that hose container, and make sure buckets, bottles, and even garbage can lids are picked up out of the rain. The regular maintenance of roof gutters will also lessen the likelihood of creating a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Landscaping can be a big factor in controlling the mosquito population, too. Eliminate impressions in the ground which turn into puddles regularly. Fill holes in the driveway which do the same. These easy fixes will eliminate the need for you to do so much sleuthing after each and every rainfall, and keep mosquito populations down.
Doing More to Control Mosquitoes
You can use many products to reduce mosquitoes on your property. Some of these products need to be bought especially to keep mosquitoes away, but others can be found within your own home.
Citronella oil is a product made out of several types of plants and is made into candles or burned directly. This is a very effective mosquito repellent when used in high concentrations. This natural source of relief from mosquito infestation can be used in conjunction with regular maintenance of your property. Use non-incandescent lights on the deck or patio (GE yellow "Bug Lights" are less of an attractor to mosquitoes, for example) and apply insect repellents when you are outside. An important note regarding repellents; always apply according to the label, particularly in determining if the product should be applied to your skin or only to your clothing.
Safety and reliability are always an issue when choosing to go further to control a mosquito population on your property. Bug zappers and ultrasonic devices are not shown to actually work on preventing mosquitoes from breeding or settling in to your home. As citronella demonstrates, working on a scientific level with the mosquitoes' natural behaviors will yield the best results.
Products such as Mosquito Traps from Mega-Catch work on controlling mosquito populations by drawing them away from humans and into the receptacle using an attractive scent and U.V. light to attract the bugs. This safe solution is ideal for active backyards and families with children who spend a great deal of time outside.
An Ultra Mosquito Trap from Mega-Catch
Keeping Mosquitoes Out of the House
The only thing worse then getting bitten whenever you step outside is getting bitten by mosquitoes when you're in the house. Preventing these blood-suckers from entering your home can be tricky during warm weather when windows and doors are open frequently. They're attracted to heat, water, and shade, just like when they're searching for a place to breed in your yard. Take the garbage out every day in warm weather and place a lid on the garbage cans in your house. Houseplants with standing water in the trays under their pots can also make a nice home for newborn mosquito families.
Keep an eye on door and window screens for holes and tears and loose edges - mosquitoes don't need much space to squeeze in. You can put size 16 mesh screening or hardware cloth over bathroom and other vents as an extra precaution. If you have an attic (even a crawl space) or basement, inspect any openings which might allow the pests inside. Much like you must resort to caulking before winter months to keep out cold air, you should make sure your home is sealed up properly before the warm weather arrives.
If all of this sounds like too much effort, there is no need to fear. There are just as many products available for indoor mosquito control as for outside mosquito control. Mega-Catch makes a smaller, yet equally safe Mosquito Trap for indoor usage. As with any product, the safest one for use around children and pets is your best investment.
Alpha Mosquito Trap
Vigilance Controls Mosquito Populations
Preparing for warm weather and mosquito season can make your outdoor time much more enjoyable overall. It can also spare you the annoyance of having these pests inside your home. By making your property inhospitable to mosquitoes and mosquito larvae, you will decrease the risk of bites and potential illnesses mosquitoes can spread. All in all, there's not a good reason not to prepare your home for better mosquito control!