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How to Un-invite Mosquitoes To Your Yard

written by
George Balis

To make time outside more enjoyable, there are some steps you can take to reduce pesky mosquitoes.

Think like a mosquito to prevent their breeding.

The biggest draw for the mosquitoes is standing water. So look around your yard.  Ensure standing water is eliminated or well managed. Bird baths, ponds, small pools, and even puddles, all look like resorts to mosquitoes.

It only takes seven to ten days for mosquitoes to breed and they can do so in as little as one forth inch of standing water. So avoid creating those potential habitats by turning watering cans, empty flower pots and trays, wheel barrows, buckets, etc. upside down when not in use.

Have a rain barrel?  Make sure it’s covered. Empty or exchange water weekly in bird baths and kiddie pools.  And if you’re going to be gone for an extended period, empty them completely.

Landscape ponds have different mosquito control solutions.  They can be treated with floating dunks that contain Bti, a bacteria that controls mosquito larvae without being harmful to fish or wildlife. Fountains also work because mosquitoes won’t lay eggs in moving water.

If you get standing water in your yard or garden, either from heavy rains or irrigation, take steps to drain the area or adjust irrigation respectively.

An easy step to remember:  Take a weekly walk around your yard.  A walk around the yard once a week looking for all of these potential mosquito invitations should do the trick.

Is there a best time to be outside to avoid mosquitoes?

As much as we try, we aren’t going to get rid of these pests completely. So we can be smart about when we’re outside. Most mosquito species prefer to be active in dawn/early morning hours and again at dusk into evening. There are ‘container breeding’ species (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus) that have daytime activity. Taking the steps above while minding when you go outside will help you enjoy your yard more.

Are there plants that can fend off mosquitoes?

Yes.  You can incorporate plants into your garden that repel mosquitoes. Herbs such as basil, rosemary, lemongrass, garlic, lemon thyme and mint are natural mosquito repellents, as well as many other types of plants. You can easily use them throughout the yard and garden as functional edible accents and aesthetic interest!  Many of these repellent plants grow well in pots too, perfect for your deck, patio, balcony or porch.

Should I consider using a service to control mosquitoes?

There can be times of the year when populations are so great in your area that you can’t do enough to keep them out of your back yard haven.  Many commercial services can provide you with reliable relief for 5-7 days.  Consider using such a service when you have an outdoor event or gathering when you don’t want to mosquitoes as guests.