5 Home Projects to Combat Mosquitoes

how to kill Mosquitoes
Image courtesy of Alvesgaspar CC by 3.0 SA

Mosquitoes are a nuisance for a number of different reasons. While many people focus more on the annoyance of being covered in itchy bites. Mosquitoes actually carry a number of serious illnesses that can affect both your family and your pets. There are steps that you can take to protect your family around your yard. Here are five home projects that can help you tackle mosquitoes.

Clear Out Yard Debris

The first thing you can do is clear out any yard debris. This includes old leaf litter, trash and even old tires that may be on your property. Anything that can collect water or prevents the lawn from drying out completely can make your yard more hospitable for mosquitoes. You should make keeping your yard neat and trim a priority since it can help with mosquito control.

Check Drains Around Your Yard

Another important step is to address the drains that are around your yard. Look at the drains that are coming off your gutters along the roof to be sure that they are draining properly. You should also check the gutters along your roof to make sure that they are not clogged and draining properly. You may have drain pipes around your yard that may be an issue. Check to make sure that there are no areas where water may be collecting without realizing it.

Check Your Screens

Every spring, you should check your window screens to see if they need to be replaced. If there are holes in them or if they are bent from removing them, you will need to replace them. The screens allow you to open your windows to take advantage of cool breezes while keeping the bugs out. You should check the screens to your patio doors and in your screen doors. If you do not have screen doors currently installed, you may want to consider installing them.

Remove Old Bird Baths

Bird baths are another issue that may be causing mosquitoes to be an issue around your property. Bird baths naturally collect water and it is still. If you want to continue to have bird baths on your property, there are a few things you can do to prevent mosquitoes. The first is to add a water feature that will keep the water moving inside of the fountain. The second is to empty the bird baths each week and scrub them out to get rid of the mosquitoes. The third option is to apply larvicide to the bird baths. This option will not harm the birds or other insects.

Check Potted Plants

You should check your potted plants both inside and outside of your home to be sure that they are draining properly. This will prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs in your plants and creating problems. If you regularly have cut flowers in your home, be sure to empty the water in the vases each week and to clean the vases.

Fighting Mosquitoes in Northern Virginia

Mosquitoes are a continuous problem throughout the country. Each year mosquitoes spread many different diseases like West Nile fever, the Zika virus and malaria. Mosquitoes have been the known start and spread epidemics of serious diseases. In Virginia mosquito season officially starts May 1st, but the mosquitoes will not wait for that date. There are steps that you can take to protect you and your family from mosquitoes.

Wear Insect Repellent

One of the best defenses against mosquito bites is insect repellent. Insect repellent that contains DEET as an active ingredient is the best option. Another option is to find an insect repellent with the active ingredient picaridin. These options will help stop mosquitoes from biting you and protect you from the complications can come with mosquito-borne illness. If you are pregnant, you may be concerned about using repellents, but they are safe for you to use and better than the complications that can arise if you do contract something like the Zika virus.

Avoid Being Outside During Peak Mosquito Activity

Mosquitoes are the most active at dawn and at dusk. Many people enjoy spending time outside during this time since it is cooler than the middle of the day. If you are spending time outside when mosquitoes are more active, it is important to wear bug spray and take other steps to protect yourself like wearing lighter colors and possibly installing a fan in the area that you will be.

Address Standing Water

According to Fairfax County, the Asian Tiger mosquito is responsible to spreading both the West Nile virus and the Zika virus. This mosquito likes to breed in containers instead of water that has dirt in it. The best protection against this mosquito is to make sure you are not giving it a place to breed on your property.

  • Check to make sure that you do not have containers or gardening tools that may collect water.
  • You should empty your bird baths each week to stop mosquitoes from breeding.
  • Fix the drainage in your yard so that it dries out completely.
  • It is also important to make sure that you empty and scrub out your vases inside your home.

Use Plants to Repel Mosquitoes

Certain plants are natural mosquito repellents. If you plant them around the areas where you spend most of your time, you may be able to reduce the number of mosquito bites that you have. Planting them around the perimeter of your garden or your patio is a good option. You can also have them in containers around your deck. Some good options include geraniums, lavender, marigolds and citronella. These options are both pretty and effective.

Consider a Mosquito Control Treatment

Another option is to consider treating your yard for mosquitoes. A professional technician can apply a mosquito barrier spray around your yard that will eliminate adult mosquitoes and stop new ones from entering your yard. If you do this you can send your children out to play in the summer without worrying about applying bug spray.