There are plenty of benefits to warm weather, but mosquitoes surely aren’t one of them. When it gets hot and humid, mosquitoes come out in full force, and all the bug spray and citronella candles in the world won’t ward off all of them. One of the most effective ways to combat mosquitoes is to beat them at the source by eliminating the places where they breed.
Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. It doesn’t take long for them to hatch, and they don’t need much water either: as little as a capful of still water can harbor mosquito larvae. To significantly reduce mosquito populations on your property – you’ll never get them all, but it helps – take a tour of the premises and eliminate all the still, stagnant water you can find. A few common problem areas include:
- Bird baths
- Empty flower pots
- Old tires (and tire swings)
- Tarps that cover lawn mowers and other items
- Clogged gutters
- Trash cans
- Low ground where water accumulates after a rain
- Plastic bags
- Small garden ponds
- Rainwater barrels
- Abandoned swimming pools and unused children’s’ pools
Overturn wheelbarrows and children’s pools when not in use so they don’t gather water, and check your gutters to make sure water flows through without pooling. You can drill holes in the bottom of a tire swing so water doesn’t collect, and install a pump in your bird bath to keep the water moving. For garden ponds, install an aerator and introduce a few small fish that eat larvae. Goldfish, koi and the aptly-named mosquitofish are all good choices.