Mosquitoes aren’t just the source of an irritating itch — they can also carry diseases such as the West Nile virus. Eradicating mosquitoes on your property is an important health exercise, as well as a way to make time spent outdoors more enjoyable. Read on for tips about getting rid of these pests.
Prevention is the first line of defense
The first step in mosquito eradication is to cut their numbers through preventative steps.
- Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, as this is where mosquitoes breed. Pour out water gathered in planters, downspout trays, wading pools, birdbaths and outdoor furniture. Keep gutters clear of leaves and debris that prevent good drainage. Get rid of anything in your yard that is collecting water and that you don’t need.
- Ask your neighbors to join you by practicing mosquito prevention on their property as well.
- If your city or county maintains nearby streams or ponds, ask for their help in mosquito control.
- Replacing outdoor lights around your home with yellow-tinted bulbs will attract fewer bugs of all types, including mosquitoes.
It is also important to keep the little pests out of your house. Keep doors and windows that don’t have screens closed. Open exterior doors just long enough to enter or exit. Repair damaged screens and weather stripping.
Repelling and eliminating mosquitoes
Your next line of defense against mosquitoes is repellents for both your body and your property. Look for products containing DEET, IR3535 or picaridin, all deemed safe by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Natural treatments containing lemongrass oil, mint and garlic oil may also help. Burning citronella candles outdoors will fill the air with a vapor that includes repellents.
Mosquitoes often lurk in the lawn and arise at dusk to go forth and feed. Manufacturers such as Ortho offer lawn treatment granules you can sprinkle in the grass to drive pests away.
Call in the cavalry
For bad infestations, call a certified pest control company. Get recommendations from friends and online to pick a pro.