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Hello, summer! And hello, mosquitoes!
As if on cue, when the sun starts shining, the mosquitoes come out to hunt. And unfortunately, humans are their prey.
Mosquitoes are more than annoying pests. They are the biggest killers on the planet. Every year, there are one million mosquito-related deaths. Mosquito deaths are due to the insects transmitting diseases to humans, like malaria.
A mosquito-free home is a safe home. Getting rid of mosquitoes is easier than you think. Let’s explore a few ways you can decrease the number of pesky insects in your backyard.
Understanding the Mosquito Lifecycle
Mosquitoes are born as eggs. A female mosquito can lay 100 to 5,000 eggs throughout her lifetime. The eggs may sit for five years before they hatch.
A young mosquito larva lives in shallow water. They feed on bacteria and fungi. After five days, the larva develops into a pupa. The pupa becomes a full-grown adult within two to three days.
Adult mosquitos are the ones we most commonly see. They feed on animal and human blood, which causes pesky mosquito bites on our bodies. Females are especially blood-thirsty as they require plenty of blood to lay their eggs.
Getting Rid of Mosquitoes
When the weather gets warm, there’s nothing like enjoying your beautiful backyard. The only thing that turns a sunny day into a dark nightmare is a swarm of mosquitoes. That’s why we’ve outlined a few ways you can keep the mosquitoes away from your property.
1. Eliminate Stagnant Water Around Your Home
Mosquitoes are drawn to still water. It’s where females lay their eggs, and young mosquitoes develop into adults. If you remove standing water around your yard, you can decrease the number of mosquitoes around your property.
Take a walk around your yard and find standing water. Even if it’s shallow, mosquitoes will take advantage of the water pools. Look for stagnant water in:
- Tin cans and buckets
- Discarded Tires
- Clogged gutters
- Saucers beneath plants
- Pet bowls
- Depression spots in your yard
Drain whatever stagnant water you can find. Fill holes to prevent water pools from forming. If you have a pool, keep it chlorinated to prevent mosquitos from forming a home in it.
2. Install Screens
There’s nothing like opening the house on a beautiful summer day. But make sure when you open your windows and doors, you’re not letting unwelcome visitors inside.
Installing window and door screens prevents all types of insects, including pesky mosquitoes, from entering your home. But don’t stop at your windows and doors. Make sure open vents and chimneys are blocked to stop the pests from flying inside.
If your home is already screened up, conduct a thorough screen check before you open everything. Check your screens for tiny holes and damages. The smallest opening can be big enough for a hungry mosquito to squeeze through.
3. Repel With Smells
While there are plenty of smells that draw mosquitoes in, there are natural smells the insects can’t stand. Add mosquito-repelling plants to your backyard to keep the pests away.
Basil plants provide a delicious spice, and their smell keeps mosquitoes away. Basil also kills mosquito larvae, so it’s a good idea to grow basil near standing water. As a bonus, basil also repels flies.
Catnip plants contain nepetalactone, which naturally repels mosquitos.
Catnip needs a lot of sunshine to flourish, and it attracts cats (hence the name). Therefore, grow these plants in cat-friendly areas. Catnip plants also repel termites and cockroaches.
Other plants to grow around your home to get rid of mosquitoes include:
- Lemon balm
Don’t forget about the smelliest herb of them all. Growing garlic around your home keeps the mosquitos (and vampires!) away. The crop alone repels mosquitos, but you can also create a homemade mosquito repellent by rubbing garlic juice onto your skin.
4. Add BTI to Open Water
Bacillus Thuringiensis Israelensis (BTI) is a mosquito treatment designed to prevent the insects from laying eggs in open water. It contains small bacterial larvicides that either float on the surface of open water. They naturally repel mosquitos and kill mosquito larvae.
Homeowners can sprinkle BTI in bodies of water that cannot be drained, like a pond or septic tank. BTI is safe for people and animals.
5. Trim Your Yard
After feasting on your blood, mosquitoes find shelter in dark, damp, and covered areas. To prevent mosquitoes around your yard, keep your lawn in tip-top condition. Mow your lawn and trim your shrubbery regularly.
Don’t forget to get rid of unused mulch, leaves, brush, and decaying logs. These dark and damp places can become breeding groups for mosquitoes if there is no standing water around.
6. Consult With a Professional
Getting rid of mosquitoes around your home is difficult. When these pesky insects are hungry, it can be a challenge to keep them away.
Don’t forget there are mosquito control professionals, such as Mosquito Authority, who can help you create a mosquito-free home. Experts can provide you with professional lawn treatments and ongoing services to prevent mosquitoes from ruining your backyard.
Treating Mosquito Bites
If you already have a few mosquito bites, don’t panic. While you cannot make the bites disappear, there are ways to decrease the itching.
First things first, try not to scratch your bites. Scratching irritates your skin and can cause an infection. If you’re too aggressive, your mosquito bite can scar your skin.
If you’ve been bitten all over your body, soak in a warm bath. Rub antibacterial soap along your skin to stop the itchiness. You can add baking soda to your bathwater to decrease inflammation and itching.
Apply an ice pack to large mosquito bites. Cold temperatures constrict your blood vessels, which leads to less itching.
If you’re really struggling with mosquito bites, take an antihistamine. Medicine, like Benadryl, diffuses swelling and itching.
Spruce up Your Home
Getting rid of mosquitoes requires a little extra work on your part. But a mosquito-free backyard is worth it. Don’t forget to consult with professionals to help you eliminate the pesky insects once and for all.
Looking for more tips and tricks to spruce up your home? Explore our blog to learn more.