When your pool party turns into an all-you-can-eat buffet for mosquitoes, it can feel like you’ve been engulfed by an indestructible horde of the pesky insects. The truth is that mosquitoes are fragile and need very specific conditions to breed. Here is everything you need to know about what a mosquito looks for in a home–and how to make your yard into an undesirable neighborhood.
For a mosquito, curb appeal begins with water. Specifically, dirty water that’s been sitting for a while. Why is water so important? Mosquito larvae filter nutrients from stagnant water, which means the old planter at the corner of the garage is prime real estate. The tire swing can turn into a luxury condo complex just four days after a good rainstorm. And, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), even an upturned bottle-cap can become a studio apartment for the house-hunting mosquito on a budget. When it comes to attracting pests, you don’t want your home to be the nicest place on the block.
One way to protect your family is to follow these tips from the Texas Department of State Health Services.
First, make sure that you don’t have any debris, toys or other objects collecting water. Check flowerbeds and other landscaping features for things that might have been dropped by children or pets. Don’t over-water the lawn. Look for low spots in the yard or in mulch beds that might allow water to collect.
Pools and water features need special attention. Because mosquito larvae feed on debris, they don’t thrive in clean water. Keep the hot tub or swimming pool clean, and change the water in wading pools and bird baths every few days. Ornamental ponds can be stocked with fish for a natural form of pest control.
Pets and livestock need to have plenty of water available. Change the water in standing containers every day. Doing so will help keep your animals and your family safe from mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile virus.
Keep up with home repair tasks. Tarps are a great place for water to collect, as are the areas beneath leaky faucets. Don’t let grass and weeds choke ditches and stop water from draining properly.
Keeping mosquitoes away is an ongoing task. Consider contacting us at ABC Home & Commercial Services in Dallas for full-service pest control to ensure that your yard is a bad neighborhood for mosquitoes. Trained specialists can spot problems you might have missed and help eliminate pest habitat. Your yard should be a paradise for you–not for mosquitoes.