Nothing spoils an outdoor gathering as quickly as swarms of attacking mosquitoes. Not only are mosquitoes annoying, they carry diseases that affect both humans and animals. Luckily, there are ways to control mosquitoes both inside and outside your home using common sense and an integrated pest management (IPM) program that minimizes harmful environmental effects.
Here’s the Buzz on Outdoor Mosquito Control
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water, and the larva and developing insects need water to mature. Adult mosquitoes live in moist, cool places, such as under leaves, in drains and on plants. The best way to reduce mosquito populations is by removing sources of standing water. Outdoors, this includes removing pots and containers; filling in puddles; covering drains; keeping ponds, birdbaths and swimming pools clean; and keeping rain gutters free of debris. Even pool covers or tarps protecting outdoor furniture are attractive mosquito breeding grounds.
Some experts recommend using an integrated mosquito management program that removes breeding grounds, strengthens the ecosystem, uses biological agents, and treats areas with traditional chemicals only when needed. ABC Home & Commercial Services can devise a program suitable for your property.
An IPM program monitors levels of mosquito activity and determines what controls are effective to reduce or eliminate them. Use biological controls when possible, such as encouraging other insects that feed on mosquitoes or using plant-based repellents. Pesticides are used as part of an IPM program when necessary and may include fogging, misting or full-coverage sprays. Biological agents include Mosquito Dunks for areas of standing water that cannot be drained.
Some homeowners have had success with growing plants that repel mosquitoes. Mother Earth News reports that five plants—catnip, lime basil, rose-scented monarda, sacred basil and thyme—produce oils shown to be effective repellents. Crushed leaves release oils that can be rubbed onto clothing or skin, and broken stems and leaves can be strewn on patios and decks.
Avoid going outside at times that mosquitoes swarm and feed. If you must go out at that time, wear long-sleeved clothing and long pants, and apply mosquito repellant to skin and clothing.
West Nile Virus in the Dallas Area
West Nile virus has been reported in animals and birds throughout Texas, including the Dallas area. West Nile virus is spread by the Southern House Mosquito, which transmits the disease from birds to humans. To keep mosquitoes out of your house, use screens on doors and windows.
ABC Home & Commercial Services offers IPM mosquito control programs that address the unique ecosystem of your Dallas-area home. We also feature a party-pack treatment that uses traditional products to rid your backyard area of mosquitoes for up to three days. Give us a call today to discuss effective treatments for your yard.