Far too many people are convinced that slathering themselves in chemicals or investing in dubious bug-zapping devices are the only way to keep mosquitoes at bay. While these methods can help, the best way to keep mosquitoes from taking over your property is to attack their breeding grounds. In most cases, this means eliminating sources of standing water where mosquitoes lay their eggs. Follow these four simple tips to control your local mosquito population and reclaim your yard.
Clean Your Gutters
Clogged gutters are the most commonly overlooked source of mosquitoes. Left unattended, water can easily collect in gutters, providing plenty of space for mosquitoes to thrive and multiply. In addition to cleaning your gutters on a regular schedule, take the time to repair any sections that are rusted or damaged, as this not only allows water to collect for mosquitoes to breed, but can also result in damage to your foundation. Extend downspouts if you spot water pooling at the bottom, and consider burying them underground and extending them all the way to the street if you have serious drainage or pooling concerns.
Ensure Proper Drainage
Ensuring your property slopes away from your house can prevent pooling, which discourages mosquito breeding and can prevent property damage. Most codes require your property to slope downward away from the home by 6 inches within the first 10 feet of area around the foundation. If your yard slopes toward your home, or doesn't maintain adequate slope, contact a landscaping contractor for help. These professionals can add or remove dirt or add vegetated swales to get water moving away from your house and off of your property.
Mosquitoes can breed quite happily in a container as small as a bottle cap filled with water. To prevent mosquito population explosion, eliminate all containers on your property that could catch rainwater, including trash, tires, toys, buckets, tarps and trash cans. If you can't get rid of these items, take the time to go dump them out after a storm to keep water from collecting.
Treat Pools and Ponds
Some features on your property, like a swimming pool, pond or bird bath, are designed to collect water. Unfortunately, these objects can still serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. If the object is small, like a bird bath or wading pool, empty the water once a week to keep mosquitoes at bay. Monitor your pool's chlorination level, which will control bugs, and use pumps or aeration devices to keep water moving in ponds or water features, which discourages mosquito breeding.
Of course, controlling water to minimize mosquito breeding can only go so far; if you still find yourself plagued by mosquitoes after eliminating standing water on your property, consult a local pest control contractor, like Bug Busters Inc, to explore other options for mosquito control.