Mosquitoes are often thought of as a “summer pest,” but the truth is that mosquito problems begin long before summer arrives. While some eggs hatch a few days after a female mosquito lays them, others remain dormant all through winter and start hatching when the weather warms up in spring.
The two keys to avoiding a mosquito infestation on your property are:
- Making your property a less enticing place for mosquitoes to inhabit
- Eliminating places on your property where mosquitoes would typically lay eggs
Below, we’ll explain the steps you can take to make your home less attractive to potential mosquito invaders.
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HOW TO AVOID A MOSQUITO INFESTATION ON YOUR PROPERTY
1. Eliminate standing water in your yard.
Some mosquitoes lay their eggs directly on top of standing water, while others will lay eggs in moist environments right next to water. In any case, drainage issues in your grass and landscaping lead to boggy, swampy conditions that egg-laying mosquitoes love.
2. Clean your gutters.
When your gutters are clean, water drains easily to the downspouts. However, with leaves, twigs, and other debris blocking the way, water can collect in pools and create an ideal mosquito egg-laying spot.
3. Cut your grass short, and trim back your landscaping.
Mosquitoes are typically most active during dawn and dusk—but where do they spend the rest of their time? Believe it or not, mosquitoes prefer to rest in the shade. Because they’re so small, tall grass and overgrown bushes and shrubs provide just the right amount of cover they need.
4. Avoid growing plants that attract mosquitoes.
Did you know that mosquitoes feed on the nectar and honeydew of plants? While it’s true that female mosquitoes partake in blood meals, they do this to gain the necessary protein to create their eggs. The rest of the time, they rely on the sugar they get from plant nectar and honeydew, just like the males.
Like other animals, mosquitoes have plants that they like and dislike. Mosquitoes are drawn to most types of flowers because most flower plants contain nectar. They’re also drawn to vegetation that grows in damp or watery conditions, such as water lilies and water lettuce.
5. Grow plants that deter mosquitoes.
Fortunately, there are plenty of plants you can include in your garden if you’re hoping to keep mosquitoes away. Some naturally mosquito-repellent plants include marigolds, scented geraniums, rosemary, lavender, peppermint, catnip, and bee balm. You can plant these amongst your flowers that might otherwise attract mosquitoes and in strategic areas, like near windows and doorways and on decks and patios.
6. Use outdoor fans when you’re spending time outside.
Mosquitoes in search of a blood meal are attracted by carbon dioxide. Essentially, every time you breathe out near a mosquito, you’re telling it, “Look, I’m here! Dinner’s served!”
However, you can disperse the carbon dioxide you exhale with outdoor pedestal or porch fans. The breeze also makes it more difficult for mosquitoes to land on you. In Consumer Reports tests, their oscillating pedestal fan reduced mosquito landings by 45 to 65 percent for people sitting nearby and proved far more effective than a geraniol diffuser or citronella candles.
7. Wear mosquito repellent.
No one wants to be covered up from head to toe during the summer, so mosquito repellent is the next best option to keep these pests at bay. There are a wide variety of repellents on the market, but some have proven less effective than others. Solutions containing deet, picaridin, or lemon eucalyptus oil came out on top as the most effective active ingredients in Consumer Reports tests.
8. Repair or replace your window and door screens.
Mosquitoes often try to find a way indoors, so do a thorough perimeter check to make sure that there are no rips or gaps in any of your window and door screens. If you don’t have any screens on your windows, consider installing them so that you have a way of letting fresh air into your home without allowing pests inside as well.