How To Get Rid Of Mosquitoes In The Backyard
Your backyard is undoubtedly so much more than a fenced-in area behind your house. For you, it might serve as an extension of your living space, complete with cozy, plush lounge seating. Or perhaps you host dinner parties and BBQs with friends and family or enjoy frequent picnics. But when uninvited guests, like mosquitoes, show up, it can take a big bite out of your fun.
Get rid of clutter, standing water, and tall grass in your backyard. Maintain your gardens and lawn, and consider applying mosquito repellants. Citronella candles help keep the bugs at bay, as well as various mosquito traps and zappers. Plant mosquito deterrents, attract natural predators, and use yellow LED lighting. For major infestations, call a professional extermination service.
Don’t let mosquitoes squash your summertime plans. Instead, bug-proof your yard and show those suckers who’s the boss.
Why Are The Mosquitoes So Bad In My Backyard?
Over 3,500 types of mosquitoes annoy humans all around the world, with the numbers reaching into the trillions. The pests bite, suck blood, and leave us with itchy, swollen skin. As if those things weren’t bad enough, mosquitoes can also spread diseases, including malaria, zika, and the west nile virus.
If you’re battling a mosquito problem in your backyard, you’re not alone. Several reasons could be to blame for the unwanted conquest. Environmental conditions, standing water, and tall grass all create ideal breeding conditions for these insects.
When you’re enjoying a backyard BBQ with friends, it also creates a veritable buffet for mosquitoes. These persistent bugs can sense perspiration, body heat, and other factors as they seek out a good host. Mosquitoes also gravitate toward the carbon dioxide humans release, making them an appealing target.
To make matters worse, only a few mosquitoes can quickly turn into an infestation unless you put proper precautions in place. The mosquito’s life cycle takes a couple of weeks on average. Furthermore, one mosquito typically lays 100 eggs in one cycle. Do the math, and it’s easy to see why these bugs are bad news.
To eliminate mosquitoes from your backyard, it’s vital to conquer them at every life cycle stage. Therefore, use a variety of methods to increase your odds of eliminating mosquitoes from your plans.
The 10 Most Effective Ways To Get Rid Of Mosquitoes In The Backyard
Don’t put up with bothersome bugs in your backyard. Try these tips for ridding your yard of mosquitoes, so you can get back to your backyard fun.
1. Remove Standing Water
Mosquitoes love standing water because this is where the females lay their eggs. Clean out gutters so leaves and debris doesn’t block water flow. Avoid leaving things like buckets of water and similar items filled with water around your yard.
If you have a pool, a pool cover is a wise investment. Refresh water in birdbaths. Don’t leave kiddie pools full. Also, check your potted plants to make sure they drain appropriately.
2. Mosquito-Proof Pools And Ponds
Besides pools, you also might have ponds or similar water features that you can’t empty regularly. Keep your pool covered overnight and during the off-season. Do the same if you have a hot tub.
For ponds, look into a larvicide you can add to the water to keep mosquitoes from laying eggs. It’s also important to run the filter regularly and allow water to circulate.
3. Use Citronella Candles
To help keep mosquitoes away from you and your guests, light citronella candles and place them around your yard. Citronella tiki torches make a fantastic feature for your next backyard luau.
4. Apply Mosquito Repellant To Your Yard
Before mosquito season begins, apply a chemical repellant to your yard according to the manufacturer’s directions. These products typically keep your yard mosquito-free for approximately 8 weeks, but it can vary based on the product.
5. Set Mosquito Traps
Look online or at your local home improvement or garden store for mosquito traps or bug zappers. Traps mimic various scents and visual stimuli that draw mosquitoes to humans.
Some traps feature sticky surfaces that catch the mosquitoes, others use an electric grid that shocks the insects when they fly into it. There are also bug vacuums that suck up mosquitoes.
Depending on the species of mosquitoes in your area, you might need to try out a few different traps to find the one that works best for you. Not all traps are effective for all kinds of mosquitoes.
Another option is a thermacell device, which features a scent-free, no-mess repellent in a small container. These devices provide up to 15 feet of protection, making them ideal for backyard gatherings.
6. Maintain Your Lawn And Gardens
When you’re getting rid of all the standing water, make sure to maintain your overall yard, too. Keep gardens and grass trimmed and neat, so mosquitoes won’t have tall, dark places to hide. Trim shrubs and trees, pick up clutter, and mow the grass regularly.
7. Use Plants And Materials Mosquitoes Don’t Like
Keeping mosquitoes at bay tends to be an ongoing effort, so creating an environment inhospitable for them is a plus. Plant natural deterrents in your garden to add beauty to your backyard and battle the bugs.
A few plants and flowers that mosquitoes don’t like are basil, geranium, garlic, lavender, lemon balm, citronella, and catnip. They also don’t care for lemongrass, peppermint, rosemary, marigolds, or sage.
Plant a variety of these to increase your chances of finding the ones that make your mosquitoes flee. You can also use cedar mulch in your gardens as cedar oil is also a popular mosquito repellant.
8. Welcome Animals That Eat Mosquitoes
In addition to using plants as a natural mosquito repellant, try to attract a few natural predators, too. Make your yard especially attractive to various birds that eat mosquitoes. Set up birdhouses and bird feeders. Bats are another option if you’re keen to erect a few bat houses.
Add Koi fish, goldfish, or turtle species that enjoy mosquitoes on the menu to your backyard pond. (Of course, don’t attract birds and bats or buy fish, etc., if you’d prefer not to have these animals in your space).
9. Hang Yellow LED Lights In Your Backyard
You might have already noticed that many people put yellow lights in their porch lights and outdoor flood lights to ward off bugs. During seasons when mosquitoes are prevalent, switching regular bulbs out for yellow LEDs is a good choice.
Mosquitoes aren’t as attracted to the warm glow of the yellow light. According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, LEDs with a warmer color temperature have the lowest insect capture rate, even over so-called special bug lights.
10. Use Professional Mosquito Control Services
If you’re dealing with a few mosquitoes, employing the above methods might be enough to handle your situation. (Especially if you start treating before you have a problem — or any bugs. Prevention is the best medicine, after all.)
However, for full-blown infestations, it’s probably best to call in the big guns. In other words, seek the help of professional pest control companies. Some big-name options are Terminix and Orkin, but you may have local companies that also come highly recommended.
Do your research and get a few quotes to decide which one is the right fit for your situation. These professionals know bugs inside and out and will know how to treat your specific problem.
How Do I Keep Mosquitoes From Biting?
You put all the precautions in place to bug-proof your backyard, but what about when you go out and about in mosquito country? How do you keep them from making you their lunch?
Bug sprays like Off! and similar products work well. If you don’t want to use chemicals and iffy bug sprays on your skin, try natural ways to keep mosquitoes from biting. Some of these natural repellants include lavender oil, peppermint oil, cedar wood oil, and lemongrass oil.
Erase Mosquitoes From Your Backyard
If you live in an area with mosquitoes, you’ll likely always have to deal with them in some way. The key is to get ahead of the bugs with the proper prevention methods mentioned above. Maintaining your yard, avoiding standing water, and applying various repellants go a long way to keeping your yard mosquito-free.
Natural predators and plants are also great ways to help keep the mosquito population under control. It’s also worth remembering that mosquitoes can be better or worse from year to year, depending on weather and other conditions. Therefore, using a mix of methods is your best plan of attack against these pesky insects.
Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent's former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.
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