Nothing takes the fun out of an evening barbecue outdoors like a bunch of bloodthirsty mosquitoes. In addition to inflicting a painful bite, mosquitoes can transmit diseases. You can keep your local mosquito population under control by limiting their habitat on your property, and avoid their annoying bites by using the right barriers and repellents.
Mosquitoes require water to breed. Adult mosquitoes lay eggs in stagnant or slow moving water, or on moist soil or leaf litter in areas likely to collect water. By eliminating these water sources, you can keep new generations of mosquitoes from taking up residence in your yard.
1. Keep gutters clean and unclogged. Be sure your downspouts drain properly, without leaving puddles in the drainage area. You may need to reroute your downspouts or add extensions to carry water away.
2. Keep swimming pools cleaned and chlorinated, even when not in use. Homeowners who go on vacation without chlorinating their pools may return to a veritable mosquito hatchery.
3. Walk your property after a rain, and look for areas in the landscape that are not draining well. If you find puddles that remain for four or more days, regrade the area.
4. Ornamental ponds should be aerated to keep water moving and discourage mosquitoes from laying eggs. Alternately, stock the pond with mosquito-eating fish.
5. Dump anything that holds water twice per week if it has rained. Birdbaths, non-chlorinated wading pools, footbaths, garbage can lids, and pottery will all attract breeding mosquitoes. Remember to empty the saucers under your flower pots, and don't leave water in pet bowls for more than two days. Keep your property clean of items that can hold water, including discarded aluminum cans and tires.