Take an integrated approach to controlling mosquitoes on your property when you clean up your landscape and encourage natural predators to aid in the fight. Besides causing bothersome bites, mosquitoes can transmit diseases like West Nile virus and Zika. And, if you’re looking for solutions that don’t involve spraying, consider attracting dragonflies and other skeeter-eating critters to your property.
In order to reduce the mosquito population, you must take measures at every stage of the life cycle. There are four stages in a mosquito’s life: egg, larva, pupa and adult. When you disrupt the life cycle, you can reduce the mosquito population in your area.
Mosquitoes breed in summer and lay their eggs in water. And they don’t need a lake or pool – mosquitoes can breed in as little as a bottle cap of water.
For this reason, the top mosquito-control advice is: Kill mosquitoes before they are old enough to bite by eliminating sources of standing water. Fill in depressions in the ground that fill when it rains and drain slowly. Gardeners and DIY-ers frequently have buckets and containers around the garden. Cover or empty them, and fill watering cans only when you need them.
More Tips to Eliminate Mosquito Breeding Areas
- If you have a rain barrel or water feature, be sure to toss in a mosquito dunk once a month. It’s a natural mosquito larvicide that’s harmless to birds, fish, wildlife and pets. Break the dunks into smaller chunks and use them in small water features like bird baths.
- If you have a swimming pool, properly maintain it to prevent mosquitoes and report unmaintained pools to your municipality.
- Keep grass trimmed and eliminate weeds and debris around your property. Beds of English ivy provide dense vegetation for mosquitoes to breed in (snakes like English ivy, too).
There are natural products that will help in your fight against mosquitoes. Dr. T’s Mosquito Repellent is formulated from lemon grass, mint and garlic oil. The granules can be applied around your home, lawn, patio or pool and is biodegradable. Apply every two to three weeks for maximum efficiency.
Another tactic of mosquito control is encouraging natural predators like dragonflies, birds and frogs. Dragonflies dine on mosquitoes at two stages: as nymphs, they eat mosquito larvae, and when mature, they eat adult mosquitoes. Dragonflies like small ponds with vegetation and flat rocks for a landing pad.
Purple martins dine on insects including mosquitoes, although martins feed during the day, while mosquitoes are nocturnal. Still, martins are wonderful birds to attract to your yard with nesting boxes or a homegrown gourd turned into a birdhouse.
Enhance your mosquito control efforts with plants known to repel mosquitos.