Best Mosquito Prevention Practices

mosquito up close

In spring and summer, we talk a lot about mosquitoes. This is because mosquitoes carry serious diseases such as West Nile virus, malaria, dengue fever, Zika virus, yellow fever, and several forms of encephalitis. Mosquitoes are also linked to canine heartworm and other diseases that affect our pets and our livestock. In recent articles, we discussed how effective mosquito control really is, and went into some detail on the reasons we treat the perimeter of a home for ticks and mosquitoes. Now, let's expound on these and get into what are considered to be the best mosquito prevention practices by industry experts.

Breeding Sites

The first step in preventing mosquito bites is to reduce mosquitoes. Entomologists who study the habits and habitats of insects help guide pest management professionals in the best way to reduce breeding sites through natural means first. Here are some examples:

  • Remove objects from the yard that collect rainwater. It only takes a half a cup of still water for mosquitoes to reproduce.

  • Adjust objects that collect rainwater. If you have a tarp covering something in your yard, make sure one side is elevated so rainwater runs off and soaks into the ground. Mosquitoes can breed in a layer of water that is only an inch deep. If you have a pool your toddlers use, turn it over when they're not using it.

  • Alter objects in your yard. If you have a tire swing, drill a hole in the bottom to allow the rainwater to drain out. If a container exists in your yard and you can alter it to prevent the collection of rainwater, do so.

  • Leaves can present several problems. When they get into gutters they can create clogs that will provide a breeding site. When they collect on the ground, especially in fall, they can create a vernal pool that mosquitoes will lay eggs in. It is always a good idea to pick leaves up.

  • Leaky spigots, hoses, and plumbing will create pools of still water near your home and, more importantly, in the shaded areas around your perimeter.  

When breeding sites cannot be removed or adjusted by natural means, it may be necessary for a pest management professional to apply a larvicide. This is a control agent that prevents mosquito larvae from developing. These larvicides may be growth regulators, some form of biological control, topical agents, or ingested agents. The larvicide used will depend on the circumstance and the ideals of the pest control company. At Thomas Pest Services, we use green solutions first.

Deterrents

Another natural way to reduce mosquitoes in your yard is to apply measures that deter mosquitoes. These take into consideration what mosquitoes are drawn to. Here are a few of the most important deterrents.

  • We all know that mosquitoes are drawn to blood--specifically, female mosquitoes. But, what you may not know is that both male and female mosquitoes need sugars more than they need blood. Two sources of sugar they're likely to find in your yard are nectar and honeydew. If you have a lot of plants in your yard, you're going to lure more mosquitoes in.

  • If you have a bug zapper, you may want to consider putting it in storage. Experts have found that bug zappers are not effective at killing female mosquitoes, yet they will lure male and female mosquitoes into a yard.

  • Moisture is a strong attractant for mosquitoes. If you have flowers, vegetables, berry bushes, or some other type of plant that needs water, that moisture from routine watering is going to draw mosquitoes onto your property. If you plant some vegetation that repels mosquitoes, such as citronella grass, catnip, lavender, marigolds, etc., alongside your other plants, you can make moistened areas less inviting to mosquitoes.

Mist

When the sun rises high in the sky, mosquitoes hide in shaded areas. This is the perfect opportunity to have an impact on mosquito populations. Professionals understand this. That is why mosquito reduction services target all of the shaded locations around the perimeter of a home. During mosquito season, it is important to have a pest management professional apply this treatment in order to achieve the lowest population of mosquitoes in your yard.

When these best practices are followed, mosquito populations can be significantly reduced. And, when you have fewer mosquitoes in your yard, you're going to have fewer mosquito bites.

For more information about mosquito control, or to establish service for a home or business in Albany NY and the surrounding area, give us a call today.

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