If you’re familiar with SWFL, you know that mosquitoes are a very common pest and you’re likely on a mission to get rid of mosquitos in your yard. The warm, humid climate and abundant sources of standing water provide ideal conditions for mosquitoes to breed and thrive. Getting rid of mosquitoes in your yard takes a multi-step approach to make your outdoor spaces less attractive to these frustrating bugs.
These biting insects aren’t just annoying, they can be hazardous to our health. Mosquito-borne diseases, such as West Nile virus, Eastern equine encephalitis, and Zika virus, can be a concern for those living in this area. It is important to take precautions to reduce exposure to mosquitoes, such as using insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, and avoiding outdoor activities during peak mosquito times.
How to Spot Mosquitoes
Mosquitos are small and sometimes hard to spot. They are dark, flying insects that have a body shape similar to a fly, but more slender. You may notice their small, black, and white striped legs, and small, transparent wings with white dots or lines on them. You’re more likely to be able to see mosquitoes that are resting on walls, ceilings, and other surfaces. If they are flying, you may be able to hear their high-pitched buzzing. It’s common to see mosquitoes congregating around lights at night and small, red bumps on the skin may also indicate a mosquito bite, even if you never see them.
Why are mosquitoes attracted to my yard?
Mosquitoes are attracted to your outdoor spaces for a variety of reasons. Some of these include standing water, yard debris, and other organic materials that can provide places for mosquitoes to lay eggs. These are called harborage areas and at BuzzOFF of SWFL that’s one thing we target when eradicating mosquitoes from your property. Mosquito larvae have to be taken care of in order to put a stop to the growth of the population of adult mosquitoes.
Additionally, mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide, heat, and other chemical compounds that humans naturally produce, which can draw them to yards. That’s one reason why you seem to be attacked by mosquitoes as soon as you walk out the door sometimes.
Certain types of vegetation can also attract mosquitoes, since they provide a source of food and shelter. Bamboo, taro, papyrus, water lilies, water hyacinths and water lettuce plants are all attractive to mosquitoes, but any thick vegetation in your outdoor areas is a prime location for mosquito infestations.
How long do mosquitos live?
Male mosquitoes only live for about a week and they are mostly only interested in plant nectar for sustenance. Female mosquitoes need blood meals to support their eggs, which means they are the pesky bugs biting you. Some species of female mosquitoes can live up to six months. When the weather starts to cool off, some adult females hibernate and often mosquito eggs can survive winter.
Female mosquitoes lay eggs in batches of about 100 at a time every three days on average, depending on the species and environmental conditions. That means for every female mosquito that dies there are thousands waiting to grow into adult mosquitoes. The life cycle of mosquitoes goes from eggs to larva, to pupa, to adult mosquito. The whole transition takes 8 to 10 days. Good mosquito control will interrupt this cycle and prevent the mosquito eggs or larvae from further development.
Ways to get rid of mosquitoes in your yard
Eliminate standing water to get rid of mosquitos in your yard.
Mosquitoes lay eggs in standing water, so it’s important to remove any containers, buckets, or other objects that could hold water. Mosquitoes can lay their eggs in as little as one-quarter inch of water, so even the smallest sources can create a mosquito problem. There are some places that might be holding water and attracting mosquitos that you wouldn’t think of right away.
Old tires or tire swings are prime areas for holding water. Even more troublesome are areas that hold water on purpose such as a kiddie pool or fish pond. Bird baths are also an issue, along with rain barrels and unmaintained swimming pools. Anywhere water can become stagnant creates a problem when you’re trying to eliminate the mosquito population in your yard.
When dealing with items that you don’t want to get rid of, such as plants or children’s toys, just make it a point to go out after a heavy rain and clean any standing water from any area you can find holding water. It’s especially important to rid your outdoor areas of stagnant water, since mosquitoes like it even more than fresh water and it’s an ideal breeding ground.
Here in SWFL, many of us have sprinkler systems in our yards which can often be the cause of standing water. A faulty system or sprinkler head that is leaking even slightly can cause small to large amounts of standing water that attract mosquitoes.
Clean up debris to get rid of mosquitos in your yard.
Keeping your yard and outdoor spaces neat and tidy can go a long way as far as natural methods to get rid of mosquitoes. Just like standing water, excessive debris in your yard is very attractive to mosquitoes. Even though they may not hold water, debris like leaves, piles of sticks, fallen tree limbs, and excess brush create a shady and moist environment that mosquitoes thoroughly enjoy. To reduce mosquito activity around your home, clean up all debris.
Rain gutters and downspouts are also often overlooked as a source of attraction for mosquitoes. If your gutters are even slightly clogged, they will hold excess moisture to attract mosquitos. The same goes for clogged drain holes or ditches on your property. Creating a better drainage system or just maintaining the existing system you have is important.
Old remaining tree stumps are also a less frequently thought-of harborage area for mosquitoes since they may be solid on the outside but decaying on the inside, retaining moisture and creating shade that attracts mosquitoes.
Do regular lawn care to get rid of mosquitos in your yard.
Keeping your lawn, vegetation, and landscaping maintained is key to discouraging mosquitoes from hanging around. Keep your grass cut short, your vegetation trimmed, and weed your flower beds regularly.
Dethatch to get rid of mosquitos in your yard.
Dead and decaying stems, roots, and other debris build up in the grass, on the top layer of soil in your yard. This debris can create a thick mat that prevents water and nutrients from reaching the roots of your grass and decreases drainage or water absorption into the soil. Thatching helps to improve the overall health of your lawn and can help to reduce weeds, but it’s also an effective step for decreasing mosquito harborage areas. Detaching your yard is basically a process of raking your yard that involves removing overgrown grass and weeds from below the grass. This process can help keep a yard looking neat, as well as reduce the number of weeds and pests that can invade the area. A bonus is that it can also help improve the overall health of the lawn.
Plant mosquito-repelling plants to get rid of mosquitos in your yard.
Mosquito-repelling plants are plants that contain natural oils and compounds that can act as a natural repellent to mosquitoes. Common plants used for mosquito repellent purposes include citronella, lavender, marigolds, catnip, and eucalyptus. The oils in these plants are released into the air, creating an environment that is unattractive to mosquitoes. Additionally, some species of these plants have also been found to contain compounds that can directly repel mosquitoes.
Make sure you plant your mosquito-repelling plants in effective places, also known as “hot spots” for mosquito activity. Shady areas around your home, decks, porches, and other outdoor spaces as well as around any water sources like your pool or a fish pond are great locations for these types of plants to be effective at repelling mosquitoes. Basically, these plants should be anywhere you might be hanging out. Think of them the same as you do your citronella candles. You wouldn’t light one and place it on the other side of the yard, it should be near you to be effective. For more information about mosquito repelling plants, read our blog post, Best Plants for Pest Control.
Install a bat house to get rid of mosquitos in your yard.
Encouraging mosquito natural predators to visit your yard is a great way to put a dent in the local mosquito population. Bats eat mosquitoes, so if you install bat houses in your yard you can help control the insect population. Lizards are also helpful because they enjoy eating these pesky insects too. Lizards like to hide in places where they can stay safe from their predators, so rocks and thick bushes attract them well.
Use insect repellent to get rid of mosquitos in your yard.
A natural insect repellent, like citronella candles, can help keep mosquitoes away. Burning citronella candles or incense can be effective for your immediate vicinity. You can also place garlic cloves or bowls of water with a few drops of lavender oil or make a spray from a few drops of eucalyptus oil and water and spritz it around your outdoor space.
Use mosquito pesticide products to get rid of mosquitos in your yard.
Products like mosquito spray and mosquito bits may be effective mosquito control for short periods of time. Frequent treatment is required with store-bought products and should definitely be combined with all the preventative measures we’ve talked about here.
Hire a professional to get rid of mosquitos in your yard.
Mosquitoes may be small, but they are resilient and determined to get what they need. When it comes to the health of you and your family, as well as the ability to enjoy your outdoor spaces in this beautiful place we live, the best option for mosquito control is professional mosquito treatment. Professional mosquito control from BuzzOFF of SWFL comes in several different forms. We have options to fit the needs and circumstances of any of our potential customers.
Whether you want regular barrier treatments, which include mosquito fogging and larvicide treatments, or a more long-term solution like our mosquito misting system which is installed and does all the work on its own, we completely customize your pest control according to your specific needs. We serve Collier, Charlotte, Lee, and Sarasota counties and also offer one-time services such as special event mosquito treatments.
Contact BuzzOFF of SWFL for your free estimate and customized pest control plan. We are your reliable local professional pest control company!