Spring is here and the weather is about to warm up. We’ll spend a lot more time outside which means dealing with mosquitoes. Everyone knows mosquito bites are no fun, so let’s go over some of the ways we can avoid becoming a blood meal for mosquitoes.
Only female mosquitoes bite. They take their meal in order to be able to make eggs and hatch out larvae. These eggs are laid in standing water. You’ve certainly seen the larvae in a bucket or pot left out in summer; little black wiggling creatures that move if you tap the sides. These will quickly grow into adult mosquitoes that can carry the Zika Virus and the West Nile Virus. To control the mosquito population it is important to disrupt the mosquito life cycle. The first and easiest thing to do to reduce the mosquito population is to make sure you have no standing water on your property. Dump out any standing water you can find; even the smallest puddle can become a mosquito breeding ground.
Unfortunately, there are some places where you just have to have standing water, such as birdbaths and ponds. For these situations adding a “mosquito beater” or “mosquito dunks” (commonly found in hardware stores like Brinkmann’s Hardware) to the water will keep the eggs from hatching. These are great because they will not harm fish, amphibians, or other aquatic animals. These should be added every two weeks for long-term pest control. For adult mosquitoes, you’ll need to use either a repellent or a trap to eliminate mosquitoes. Both Off! and Cutter make spray repellents that you can use to treat your yard. These also kill mosquitoes on contact.
The next step up from a spray would be a bug zapper such as the Stinger, or a Co2 lure trap like a Dynarap. Several different models allow various acreage coverage, these lure insects like mosquitoes in with a UV light that releases carbon dioxide. The insects are trapped in a removable screened compartment where they die of dehydration.
All of these items are available at your local Brinkmann’s Hardware and can help you get a handle on the mosquito population outside of your home, making your summer much more enjoyable.