Spring is around the corner…and so are mosquitoes! Now is the perfect time to learn about how to reduce mosquito problems in your yard. These tips for eco-friendly mosquito control will help you understand mosquito behavior and biology, so you can be less likely to attract them to your property.
And of course, we are always ready and willing to help with this pursuit. Learn more about our eco-friendly, Mosquito Defense program in Alexandria, Arlington, Washington, DC and beyond.
Step 1: Remove all standing water to limit mosquito breeding
Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. It’s that simple. And it does not take much water at all for them to lay their eggs—even a bottle cap could suffice. Dumping out any water-filled containers is obvious, but consider taking these actions to mosquito-proof additional places where the nasty creatures will be quite comfortable carrying on their family line.
- Clean out your gutters. Blocked gutters can dam up water. This is particularly tricky because you won’t see it from the ground.
- Check your A/C condensate line, basement sump pump outflow, and gutter runoff. If they’re aboveground, they can create muddy holes with enough water for breeding. Bury the outlets deeper or create efficient gravel-covered drainage systems.
- Avoid using outdoor pet water bowls and birdbaths. If you do have them, clean them out daily and replace with fresh water. Circulating or fountain birdbaths will keep water from stagnating.
- Check for places where water might collect after a rain or sprinkler use, such as kids’ toys, leaf piles, tire swings, and low spots in the yard. Remove the water and correct the situation to avoid future water buildup.
- If you have a rain barrel, keep it covered.
- Avoid overwatering plants. Make sure your empty pots waiting for this season’s plants aren’t holding standing water.
- Keep your lawn mowed to minimize moisture in the grass.
- Clean up each day during outdoor projects to keep water from collecting in wheelbarrows, buckets, shovel blades, or even trowels.
Did you know? A female mosquito lays up to 300 eggs, which become larvae in 48 hours. Within two weeks, these are adult mosquitoes, ready to feed on humans.
Step 2: Spray your yard with effective and eco-friendly mosquito repellent
Besides removing breeding grounds, the mosquito breeding cycle can be interrupted by spraying a safe and effective repellent. You’ll certainly want something that works effectively to keep mosquitoes away. Just as important, you need something that is safe for your kids, your pets, your plants and essential pollinators like bees and butterflies.
Beginning 80 years ago, DDT was used to kill off mosquitoes. However, this insecticide proved to be not only toxic, but also ineffective, as mosquitoes developed resistance over time. It’s an ugly product that is now banned in the U.S. and many other countries.
Now, the most common spray that pest control companies in Virginia and Maryland use to combat mosquitoes are pyrethroids (synthetic pyrethrins). Unfortunately pyrethroids are just as effective in killing bees, butterflies, fireflies and dragonflies, as they are at killing mosquitoes. Pyrethroids are also toxic to some aquatic organisms, a concern when rain or storms cause pesticide residues to run off into ponds, streams, and rivers like the Potomac. To make matters worse, the more pyrethroids are used, the more mosquitoes can develop resistance to them, which means ever-stronger chemicals will be needed in the future.
Fortunately, there are simple, non-pyrethroid products that can be used to keep away mosquitoes. These products, usually consisting of garlic, cedar oil or lemongrass, will not cause any harm to plants in your yard and garden and will not harm pollinators. Kids can play in the yard 30 minutes after treatment.
Step 3: Educate your neighbors about ways to prevent mosquitoes
Mosquitoes don’t care about property lines. If your neighbor’s yard is a breeding ground for mosquitos with lots of moisture and standing water, it’s inevitable that eggs laid there will grow up to fly all around the neighborhood in search of a tasty human.
Depending on the species, mosquitoes can fly anywhere from 300 feet to 1-2 miles. Pass along these tips to any nearby neighbors to help them mosquito-proof their yard, for their sake and yours.
Step 4: Seek regular, eco-friendly mosquito control treatments from a reputable pest control company
If you desire professional help to control mosquito populations in your yard, look for a local company with knowledge of the specific mosquito species in your area. Choose a company whose treatment involves more than just spraying your yard, and definitely ask whether or not the company uses pyrethroids. Pyrethroids should always be avoided.
Our Mosquito Defense program includes the following:
- First, we will conduct a thorough inspection to identify mosquito breeding sites.
- We then set up traps for pregnant female mosquitos to limit reproduction.
- Every three weeks we will visit your property to spray a fine mist of our all-natural repellent, diluted with water.
- Technicians will also dump any standing water and treat stagnant water pools with eco-friendly mosquito dunks.
For information on help with eco-friendly mosquito control for your yard, contact Highland Eco Pest Control, a locally owned, family-run business. Let us worry about the mosquitoes, so you can enjoy your yard!