Tip Containers to Drain Water
Mosquitoes need a precious-little amount of water to breed, so reducing, if not eliminating, standing water is the first step in eradicating the mosquito threat. We create all sorts of areas for water to collect, which provides a breeding ground for mosquitoes. A 6-inch-diameter plant saucer with only 1/2-inch of water can be enough for mosquitoes to reproduce. All they need is eight to 10 days for eggs to turn into adult mosquitoes.Tipping any item that contains stagnant water, such as plant saucers, dog bowls, and bird baths, on a regular basis. Then, if needed, fill them with fresh water.
Toss Unnecessary Items
If your yard is full of items you don’t need that are holding water, get rid of them. Old tires, for example, are notorious for retaining water that allows mosquitoes to breed. Throw them out, or if you’re using one for a swing, drill a hole in the bottom so the water can leak out. Also, clean your gutters so the water can drain freely.Trees and plants near the house provide shade and housing for mosquitoes, while stagnant water and organic material, like leaves, give mosquitoes everything they need to breed and survive. The better manicured lawn, with brush trimmed back, eliminates the areas that can be used as habitats.
Turn Over Buckets and Pools
Kid’s toys, buckets, wading pools, and anything else that holds water but you don’t want to throw out should be flipped over when not in use so they don’t fill with water.For water that can’t be drained, such as what accumulates in fish ponds, ditches, or rain barrels, use “mosquito dunks” to kill mosquito larvae. Roughly the diameter of a quarter, a dunk is dropped into standing water and releases a toxin that kills only mosquito larvae—it won’t harm fish, birds, or other animals. Buy the dunks at home centers. They cost about $10 for a six-pack, which kill larvae for 30 days in 100 square feet of stagnant water.
Tie Your Tarps Tightly
If you’re using a tarp to cover a pile of firewood, a speedboat, your grill, or any other large items, make sure it’s pulled tight. Otherwise, rainwater pools in the folds and the low spots. If the tarp can’t be pulled tight, remove it so the water drains.
Treat the Yard
A 1-gallon jug of lawn insect repellant costs about $30 at home centers. Spray it on the grass, shrubs, and landscaped areas to create a barrier that insects won’t want to cross, or buy granules that can be applied to the lawn with a fertilizer spreader. The barrier, which is typically made with oils, repels insects without releasing fumes or chemicals and so won’t harm pets or kids in the yard. It’s effective for about two to three weeks.You can hire the pros to do this too. The average price to treat a 1/2-acre lawn for an entire summer for $400. It also handles one-time events, such as outdoor weddings.
These tips work great for eliminating mosquito problems, but they require planning ahead.