How can I control mosquitoes in my North Florida yard?
Mosquitoes are an unfortunate fact of life in Florida. Nothing is worse than being in a backyard full of mosquitoes, especially since mosquitoes aren’t just annoyingly painful, they also carry many life-threatening diseases. To prevent your yard from being overrun with mosquitoes, try these five tips.
1. Remove Standing Water
Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. The eggs hatch into larvae about three days later, and about 12 days after that, adults emerge and fly away. Considering that each female can lay up to 400 eggs and the life cycle is complete in about two weeks, you can see why mosquito populations can increase so quickly. Reducing the amount of standing water around your home will minimize breeding sites and reduce the number of mosquitoes. Some places to look include children's toys in the yard, clogged rain gutters, tree holes, old tires, discarded cans, and the saucers of your outdoor flower pots.
After eliminating the yard's water collectors, ensure your lawn has functional Gainesville drainage. Eliminate wet spots in your yard that are prone to flooding or where stagnant water collects. You can eliminate these areas through the use of gravel, stone pavers, or more advanced landscape solutions like adjusting the pitch of your yard or installing a French drain.
2. Keep the grass cut and plant growth under control
Like how mosquitoes need water to breed, they like to live in an overrun yard. Tallgrass, plants, and shrubs are where mosquitoes go to rest, relax and play. Getting rid of standing water will prevent them from breeding, but if you have a standing mosquito problem, maintaining your landscape will help eliminate the existing population.
3. Use Scents to Repel Mosquitoes
Lavender, citrus, basil, lemongrass, peppermint, and geraniums are fragrant plants that some people swear by as deterring mosquitoes from hanging around. However, you should be aware that the science on this is not settled. While some gardeners swear by them, these plants have not been found in a lab to provide a repellent effect. Still, thanks to the pleasant smell they make for humans, they're not a bad thing to have in your Gainesville landscape design anyway.
4. Attract natural predators
Predators can’t completely eradicate your issue if you’re overrun with mosquitoes, but if you’re just getting a few unwanted critters here and there, attracting them is worth a shot.
Many birds are natural mosquito predators, including purple martins, waterfowl, swallows, and migratory songbirds. Setting up bird feeders is a solid step in attracting these birds. Installing a bat house can also help. Bats eat up mosquitoes, but you may not want to attract bats near your home.
If you have a pond, you can benefit from predators like goldfish, koi, and red-eared slider turtles.
Mosquitoes also fall prey to other insects—some you’d be happy to see in your garden and others, not so much. Spiders eat mosquitoes when they fly into their webs and dragonflies gobble mosquitoes right up.
5. Start a Professional Mosquito Control Program
While you may find some measure of success with DIY methods, if you’re dealing with tons of mosquitoes, you need to call in a professional pest control company. Professional pest control companies have the expertise to kill mosquitoes at all stages of the life cycle and are more knowledgeable about safety practices when applying chemicals.
A Mosquito pesticide treatment offered by a company like Gainesville's Mosquito Joe can help to greatly reduce the mosquitoes living directly around your house. Because of their high humidity requirement, mosquitoes like damp and shady areas to shelter in. Regularly treating these areas with an appropriately labeled pesticide can kill mosquitoes and make it impossible for them to breed.
A pesticide with a long-lasting residual effect that will continue to kill mosquitoes for weeks even after the chemical has dried. Multiple applications will probably be required throughout the summer season.
Areas that don't get a lot of sun should be treated regularly. These are the areas where mosquitoes like to rest during the day when it’s hottest, so treating them with a pesticide will greatly reduce the number of bugs in your yard.
With the right actions in your lawn, you can have fewer bug bites and more peace of mind. Call us today at (352) 378-5296 if we can help you with your drainage, pest control, gutters, or landscaping in any way!