Whether you’re worried about serious mosquito-borne diseases like the Zika virus or you just want to avoid those itchy, swollen bumps left behind by a bite, controlling mosquitoes around your home is mostly a matter of controlling water. Standing water is essential at every stage of the mosquito’s life cycle, so removing that source can be devastating to those mosquitoes buzzing around your yard.
Water You Gonna Do?
If you’re ready to get serious about eliminating mosquito habitats around your home, observe these best practices:
- Walk your property and look carefully for anything that will collect rainwater – buckets, old tires, empty flower pots, etc. When you find one of these sources, consider discarding it or moving it to a covered area. If you leave it where it is, be sure to remember its location.
- Dump out those containers after every rainfall. If the item isn't something you can easily turn over, carry a squeegee to push the water out.
- Take note of any low-lying areas of your property that are prone to even minor flooding. If these areas collect standing water and in turn become breeding grounds for mosquitoes, it may be worthwhile to have the areas regraded to avoid the problem.
- Check and clean your gutters and downspouts regularly. Because they’re out of sight, gutter clogs can provide some of the most troublesome sources of mosquitoes.
- Avoid leaving pet water dishes outside on a routine basis. If you do keep an outdoor pet bowl, dump out and replace the water throughout the day. Don’t leave water in the dish overnight.
- Be careful with your recycling stash, especially if it contains lots of aluminum cans. Even if they’re holding only a small amount of water, piles of cans constitute attractive breeding spots for mosquitoes and other unwanted bugs.
- If you have recycling bins or other similar containers that you store outside, make sure they have drainage holes. If they don’t, use an electric drill to make some. This is a good idea even if you usually keep these bins in a covered area.
- Maintain all pools and hot tubs with proper chlorine solutions and cleaning intervals. Due to its size, a neglected swimming pool can be one of the worst sources of mosquitoes.
- Dispose of leaves, grass clippings and other dead foliage from your lawn. If these are left to biodegrade in piles, the moisture trapped within could provide just enough water for mosquitoes to lay their eggs.
- Be on the lookout for tarps and other watertight coverings that can collect pooled water, such as hot tub and pool covers. Sometimes it’s easiest just to stow these items away, but if that’s not possible, be sure to dump or squeegee away the water after every rainfall.
- If you have small children, don’t forget to dump out any kiddie pools, water tables or other water toys after you’re done using them.
- Consider replacing stagnant water vessels like birdbaths with fountains that continuously recirculate the water. Mosquitoes can’t breed in circulating water, so this option allows you to still provide a clean water source for neighborhood birds.
In the course of drying out your property to avoid mosquito swarms, you might discover mysterious puddling. This could be a sign of a leak in your plumbing system, and you should have that inspected as soon as possible. Give your local Benjamin Franklin a call! We can help you trace the source and fix the leak.