Is there anything better than being outside on a warm summer evening? The warm weather and longer days make it the perfect time of year for a backyard barbecue or just some simple time hanging out at twilight and watching the fireflies. The only drawback? Summer evenings are also prime mosquito time. At best, mosquitos are an annoyance and leave itchy bites. At worst, they’re a public health hazard, spreading diseases like the West Nile Virus and malaria. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to keep these nasty pests from interfering with your fun.
First, you should have some understanding about mosquitos and their life cycle. There are four growth stages in the life of a mosquito: egg, larva, pupa, and imago. Do you know where the first three occur? Water. Standing water, rich with algae, bacteria and other little organisms, makes a hospitable environment for the female mosquitos to lay their eggs, confident that the offspring will have plenty of nourishment as they grow into blood-sucking adults.
- The first step to ridding your yard of mosquitos is to get rid of all standing water. You probably already knew this, and you may have taken steps to empty every container you can imagine, from kiddie pools to watering cans, but have you considered your gutters? Your gutters are a great place for mosquitos to hide, so it’s smart to clean them out thoroughly and keep them clean, using gutter guards or GutterStuff® to prevent them from getting clogged again.
- Don’t forget the drain tubes! Those handy tubes with the accordion pleats are a great way to carry water from your gutters away from your house. What you may not have realized, though, is that often, standing water gets trapped in all those corrugated folds. What can you do to prevent this? Use GutterStuff® - Drain Tube, installing it just by inserting it into the end of your drain tube or drain extender. Because it’s made from the same high-quality polyether outdoor foam as GutterStuff® and is infused with a UV and germicide protectant, it prevents bacteria growth in your downspout while it’s keeping out pests and allowing rainwater to pass right through.
- Stock your garden with mosquito-repellant plants. Marigolds, lavender, rosemary, basil, and citronella grass are all great examples of attractive, good-smelling plants that help keep these pests at bay.
- Bring on the bats! Did you know that bats can eat thousands of mosquitos? If you want to invite bats onto your property, build a bat house, and they will come. Of course, if you don’t think your neighbors will enjoy bats, this may not be an option.
- Mind your water features. If you have a pond, pool, or other water feature that you can’t bear to lose, keep mosquito colonies from forming by treating the water.
- Call your bug guy. Yard services and pest control companies offer very effective mosquito control, and some of it is actually more environmentally friendly than you’d think. Give your local pest control business a call, and find out what they have to offer.
- Strategize to repel. Even if you think you’ve made your yard a mosquito-free zone, it doesn’t hurt to invest in some repellent. From citronella candles and ultrasonic devices to sprays, lotions, and bracelets, just about everyone has a mosquito repelling technique they find fairly effective.
Ultimately, prevention is the best cure when it comes to mosquitos. Of all the tactics on our list, the most effective method of keeping your yard free from mosquitos is removing water and preventing it from pooling again. That’s why it’s smart to invest in GutterStuff® for your gutters and drainpipes. If you have questions and want to learn more, contact us through our website or call 866-766-3442.