Living in Southwest Florida is a glorious thing, when you have mosquitos around your home under control! There are over 80 different specieis of mosquitoes on the state of Florida and many of them reside here with us in Collier County. Of those we co-exist with here, some are dangerous to humans because they may carry diseases.
Since we live in a subtropical climate, our mosquito season is basically year round. With the exception of a small window of time when we might have to turn on our heat in the mornings, SWFL is prime breeding ground for mosquitos. On top of that, because of our warm temperatures, the mosquito life cycle is sped up, leaving the number od days between larvae to adult mosquito at 5-7. Keeping mosquitos at bay is probably near the top of the to-do lists for many SWFL residents most of the time.
Ways to ensure a mosquito free back yard
Eliminate standing water from yard
Any standing water sources in your yard provide an optimal breeding location. Getting rid of standing water helps stop the mosquito population problem before it starts, or at least before it gets bad. Mosquitos look for standing water to breed so eliminating standing water will eliminate the mosquito larvae. Standing water can be found in a variety of places that you might not normally think of.
- Tire swing
- Old tires
- Flower pots
- Kids outdoor toys
- Pet water bowl
- Kiddie pools
- Clogged rain gutters
- Hot tub
- Watering cans
- Water gardens
- Bird baths
- Water features
- Fish ponds
- Trays underneath potted plants
- Natural water source
Try doing a walk-thru of your outdoor areas and make a point to inspect all the spaces you don’t normally give much attention. You’ll probably be surprised where you have standing water that could be eliminated.
Insecticides kill mosquitoes and prevent them from returning. However, not all insecticides are created equal and some come with some unfavorable side effects. Insecticides such as DEET are the most common and effective temporary solutions to eliminate mosquitoes from your house. Newer products like
Permethrin and Picaridin are less harmful replacements for DEET. Whatever you decide to use, make sure you do your research. There are safe methods for mosquito control that will not cause health problems. Be sure to do your due diligence for effectiveness and safety concerns.
Also known as bug spray, insect repellent can be all-natural or made with insecticides like DEET. Again, there are safety concerns when using insecticides, especially on your skin. Make sure to do your research and consider a repellent that uses natural ingredients.
Natural mosquito deterrents
There are a lot of natural mosquito deterrents you can use to reduce the number of mosquitos you’re dealing with. You may not end up with a mosquito-free yard, but these are still effective methods.
- Citronella Grass (Lemon Grass)
- Citronella / Scented Geranium
- Bee Balm
- Floss Flower (Ageratum)
- Lemon balm
- Herb gardens in general
Wood to repel mosquitos
- Cedar mulch
- Juniper firewood
- Eucalyptus firewood
Other natural mosquito-control methods
- Citronella candles
- Essential oils sprayed on the skin
- Ceiling fans and oscillating fans on your porch
- Long sleeves and long pants
- Burn coffee grounds like you would burn incense
Traps can be a handy way to handle pesky mosquitoes. Some use bug zappers, but there is limited evidence that mosquitoes are attracted to them. A mosquito trap works by mimicking the visual and smell stimuli that attract mosquitoes to humans. In other words, it’s a mosquito magnet. Traps can be an effective way to deal with a mosquito problem during the summer months.
Maintain your yard
This is an important step in managing the amount of mosquitoes that take up residence in your outdoor areas. Having long grass is an easy way to end up with bug bites. Mosquitoes like to rest and settle in areas that are cool, damp, and dark like tall grass.
Keep your yard free of debris
Keeping your property free of debris is important because femail mosquitoes prefer to lay their eggs in dark, damp places. Anything from toys in the yard to fallen branches and piles of leaves can be welcoming breeding sites. Consider also cutting back dense vegetation as far away from your house and yard as possible.
Attract natural predators
While it may not be appealing to everyone, hanging a bat house on a tree in your yard is a great way to keep your mosquito population down. Other predators like swallows and dragonflies are also good for backyard mosquito control. You’ll have to decide if bats in your backyard are more appealing than itchy mosquito bites and the possibility of disease transmission from certain species of mosquitoes. You could opt for bird feeders instead, but that could drastically increase the bird traffic you have in your outdoor areas. Any natural predator will be a good addition to help reduce mosquito activity around your home.
Go with a professional systems
Mosquitos should be taken seriously because they can carry serious diseases. The BuzzOff mosquito misting system is the overall best option as far as precautionary measures go if you want to ensure the mosquito population doesn’t thrive in your outdoor spaces. Instead of trying to fight them off constantly, you can have a system that provides a reliable way to control mosquito populations in your yard. A plus that accompanies the mosquito misting system is that it tends to deter other insects as well. No matter what time of year it is, you can heave your mosquito issues under control!