Not only are mosquitoes pesky with their buzzing about and nasty, itching bites, but they are also carriers of a number of diseases, including:
- Zika virus
- Dengue fever
- West Nile virus
- Yellow fever
- Jamestown Canyon virus
While this isn’t an exhaustive list, it gives you a good idea of just how important mosquito control can be not only to your enjoyment of your outdoor space but also to your — and your family’s — overall health.
There are over 200 types of mosquitoes living in the United States and at least twelve are responsible for the spread of serious diseases. Those that don’t make you sick are still a nuisance, especially after heavy rains or catastrophic events, such as floods and hurricanes. Either way, you’ll want to take precautions to control these pests in and around your home.
Finding the Right Mosquito Control for Your Environment
Mosquitoes can become a nuisance both indoors and outside your home. Mosquitoes use standing or stagnant water to breed, so they are often attracted to damp soil, flowerpots (even in your home), birdbaths, water features, and gutters that are improperly drained. Any source of water can be a source of mosquitoes!
Controlling Mosquitoes Outside
There are many mosquito repellents for yards, from the humble oscillating fan to bug zappers and chemical sprays. Here, we’ll address some of the most common:
1. Low Budget Options
One safe non-chemical way to repel mosquitoes is the outdoor fan. Installing an oscillating fan on your porch or outdoor living area keeps mosquitoes at bay since they are weak fliers and can’t move against the fan’s breeze. You can also use mosquito netting around outdoor areas to create a mosquito-free zone.
Next, clean up areas where there is standing water, such as dog bowls, birdbaths, old tires, and yard junk. Then, clean your gutters to remove any areas of debris that cause water to pool. Finally, mow your lawn. Long grass is a perfect habitat for mosquitoes.
2. The Next Step Up
Still have a problem? Consider mosquito “dunks” in areas of standing water like pools or birdbaths. These are tablets made of bacillus thuringiensis — bacteria that keeps mosquito larva from breeding.
3. Consider Natural Mosquito Repellents
Before you consider chemical treatment, try one of these natural choices:
- Put mosquito repellent plants such as lavender, marigolds, citronella grass, catnip, rosemary, basil, mint, scented geraniums, bee balm, sage, or onions in areas where mosquitoes lurk.
- Light a candle, but don’t pay extra for citronella candles. Research shows they don’t work any better than any other smoke-producing candle.
- Consider essential oil mosquito repellents. The oils from lavender, basil, peppermint, eucalyptus, and others can work on your skin as a kind of natural bug spray to repel mosquitoes.
4. A Word About Bug Zappers
Many people opt for chemical-free bug zappers to control their mosquito population, but you may just be throwing your money away on these, and hurting beneficial insect populations to boot. Bug zappers kill insects that are attracted to light, and mosquitoes aren’t in that category. But they do lure in and kill moths, beetles, and wasps that help control other insects. One study showed that out of 13,789 bugs killed in a zapper, only 31 were biting mosquitoes.
5. Get Professional Help
If you’re still being plagued by mosquitoes after trying all the above, it may be time to reach out for professional help to eradicate these pests. Most commercial mosquito control companies will either spray your yard regularly or set up misting stations that can help not just repel but kill these pests.
Controlling Mosquitoes Inside
If you need a mosquito killer for your home, consider creating a DIY indoor mosquito trap by mixing sugar and yeast in a two-liter bottle. The sugar/yeast mixture produces the carbon dioxide that mosquitoes love and lures them to their death. If you just need an indoor mosquito repellent, you can use some of the outdoor repellents such as essential oils or bring in some potted mosquito-repelling plants. These can serve a dual purpose by brightening your indoor environment with greenery and keeping pesky mosquitoes at bay.
Of course, if you have a severe outdoor mosquito problem, it will be nearly impossible to control them inside until you manage your outside environment. Every time you open a door or window, you grant access to any number of these flying pests. Again, this may be time to consider enlisting the help of a professional mosquito control company. Professional companies will use EPA-registered insecticides that are safe and effective. They provide targeted treatment that kills the mosquitoes where they live — in cool, dark, and damp areas.
Taking the Bite Out of Mosquito Control
Mosquitoes can be a real pain, putting a damper on your enjoyment of your outdoor — and sometimes even indoor — living spaces. Not to mention, they are carriers and spreaders of germs and disease. If you’ve tried everything to eradicate these pests in your yard and home and are still suffering from an infestation, it might be time to call in some expert help.
At Townsend Arborcare, our team of landscape experts understand not only the mosquito lifecycle, but the areas in which they like to live and breed. Our deep knowledge of plants and outdoor environments makes us uniquely qualified to target the source of your mosquito problem and eradicate it.
Have a mosquito-free yard and home this year. Contact a Townsend Arborcare consultant today to opt for safe, professional mosquito control.
In Indiana call 317-420-8548
In Ohio call 440-578-7249
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