One of the best ways to reduce mosquito populations around your home is eliminating standing water as that is the breeding ground for new generations. After an egg is laid in water, it takes anywhere from 4 to 14 days to go through four life stages before becoming an adult. The male will feed on the nectar of flowers, but the female immediately searches for a host from which to extract a blood meal. She can lay as many as 300 eggs at one time. Protecting yourself from mosquitoes starts with the elimination of breeding sites.
Here are a few suggestions of places to look for standing water:
- Regularly empty bird baths, fountains, plant pot dishes, pet water dishes, buckets, toys or any other location where water may accumulate.
- Check gutters a day or so after it rains. Many gutters have low spots where water may collect, which is a prime location for mosquito breeding. Mosquito “dunks”, floating discs that contain mosquito control material, can be placed into the gutter if water collects there on a regular basis.
- Empty water out of tire swings by drilling a hole at the bottom to serve as a drainage port.
- Keep swimming pools and ornamental ponds clean and properly filtered. Empty kiddie pools regularly.
- Check for cuts or holes in window and door screens and repair as necessary. Don’t leave an outside door open as mosquitoes or other insect pests can enter your home.
- Wheelbarrows and garden carts can easily collect water. Make sure these are left inside a shed or garage or prop upright to allow water to drain out.
- Mow your lawn on a regular basis. Mosquitoes will seek out cool places during the day. Overly long grass makes a great hiding place.
Check out these infographics about the life cycle of a mosquito, helpful mosquito facts, and ways to prevent them.
Controlling mosquitoes requires more than just a well-timed treatment program. Searching for and reducing sources of standing water will help to reduce mosquito populations around your outdoor environment.
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Protecting Yourself From Mosquito Bites