Are you a homeowner looking for information about the most effective types of mosquito control? If so, you’ve come to the right place to learn about the life cycle and behavior of mosquitoes, and to find helpful advice about the best and most effective types of home mosquito control to use around your yard. Read on to learn more about mosquito control methods you can use to protect your family.
There’s nothing like spending a relaxing evening in the backyard, enjoying time with your family in the cool weather and pretty surroundings you’ve worked hard to create. But way too often, the fun of a backyard barbecue or other gathering ends up being ruined by mosquitoes, who have a nasty habit of driving you indoors around dusk. And while many cities have mosquito control and prevention plans, as a homeowner you can do your part by using mosquito control on your property.
Now, effective mosquito control relies on having an understanding of the mosquito’s life cycle and behaviors, and using the right type of mosquito control for all stages and behaviors of a mosquito. So let’s take a look at these two things, and various home mosquito control methods that address them.
Mosquito Life Cycles
Mosquitoes require water to breed, and lay their eggs in any type of standing or slow moving water, including ponds, birdbaths, pet’s water dishes, plugged gutters, moist soil – basically, any place on your property where there is standing water. Once an egg is laid, it develops into larvae, and continues living in the water for a few days. From there it becomes an adult mosquito, and begins breeding itself. Most species of mosquitoes here in the US have an average lifespan of two weeks, and a female mosquito can lay as many as 1,000 eggs in her lifespan.
Because of how quickly mosquitoes can produce, and where they lay their eggs, you’ll want to take these mosquito control steps to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds in your yard or property:
- Keep your yard and property free of anything that can hold water. This includes (but isn’t limited to) old cans, tires, etc. For things that you can’t get rid of, such as recycle bins, drill holes in the bottom so that they can’t collect water.
- Eliminate all natural slow moving or standing water on your property. For areas of water that are too large to deal with yourself, contact your local Public Health officials for mosquito control assistance.
- If you have ornamental ponds, make sure they are aerated, in order to keep the water moving and discourage mosquitoes from laying eggs. You can also stock them with minnows that feed on mosquitoes. If you don’t want to stock your ponds, again make sure they are aerated, and use mosquito control products that control larvae in ponds.
- Keep swimming pools chlorinated and cleaned. Do this even if you aren’t using your pool, or consider draining it to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs in it.
- For anything that must hold water, including children’s wading pools, plants and birdbaths, drain and change the water every two days.
Adult mosquitoes are most active in the early morning and late evening, around dawn and dusk. During the day they rest in weeds and other short plants and vegetation. For adult mosquito control, do these things:
- Mow your lawn regularly, and eliminate any tall standing weeds. If you can’t eliminate weeds, keep them as short as possible, especially around your home’s foundation.
- Use home mosquito control insecticides on shrubs and low tree limbs. Pyrethrin is a highly effective, plant based mosquito control insecticide that is combined with synergistic ingredients to enhance its effectiveness. Permethrin is a synthetic mosquito control insecticide that is also highly effective. Other EPA approved mosquito control insecticides can also be used, and sprayed on building foundations, shrubs and even grass. Just be sure to check the label for safety and effectiveness.
- Replace your outdoor lights with mosquito control yellow bug lights. They won’t repel mosquitoes, but they won’t attract them either.
While the ideal mosquito control is keeping them from breeding and making themselves at home on your property, you can’t completely eliminate mosquitoes. Which means that in addition to your mosquito control plan, you also have to take steps to protect yourself and your family from mosquitoes. To do this, use these mosquito control ideas:
- When you are outdoors, use a DEET based mosquito control repellent. For children, it’s generally recommended that you use a mosquito control repellent that has either a low concentration of DEET, or a DEET alternative.
- During dusk and dawn, wear long sleeves and long pants, to prevent mosquito bites.
- Use mosquito control products such as citronella candles and mosquito traps. Citronella candles keep mosquitoes at bay in windless conditions, while mosquito traps attract mosquitoes, and then suck them in where they die.
- Make sure the screens on your home are in good repair, and don’t have any holes. They should be tight in their frames, and made of 16-18 mesh.
- Treat sun shades, screens and other cloth like materials with mosquito control insecticides, which last through several rainstorms and only need re-applied every few weeks.
- Check out the CDC (Center for Disease Control) website for information about current, recommended mosquito control methods.
By using the mosquito control methods we’ve talked about here, you’ll find yourself and your family able to enjoy the outdoors a lot more often, without having to worry about the annoyance – and possibility of disease – that mosquitoes bring with them.