Many people love to spend summer evenings in their yards with their families, sipping a cup of hot tea and talking with each other. This picture-perfect fantasy is often spoiled by tens of mosquitoes who come out of their hiding places to attack these unsuspecting victims and feed on their blood.
Despite their small size, mosquitoes are quite dangerous. They are the carriers of life-threatening diseases like malaria and dengue. Therefore, a mosquito infestation should never be taken lightly. Also, their bites can cause itchiness and small bumps in your body.
You might know that mosquitoes need standing water to lay their eggs in, but you’d be surprised to know that a female mosquito can lay eggs in as little as one tablespoon of water. If you even leave a cap of the soda bottle in your yard and it gets filled with rainwater, mosquitoes can make a home in it. This goes to show that even a small quantity of water can be a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.
It is, in fact, essential to do something about mosquito infestation. But before we tell you how you can tackle these pesky insects, we must identify the places that can be a good hiding place for mosquitoes.
- Hiding Places of Mosquitoes in Your Yard
- How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes Outdoors
- Best Natural Mosquito Repellant for Yards
- Dangers of Mosquito Bites
- In Conclusion
Hiding Places of Mosquitoes in Your Yard
1. Tire Swing
An old tire hanging from a tree provides children with a great form of entertainment. The main drawback of a tire is that it stores water, and this provides a safe haven for mosquitoes to breed. To prevent water from storing in the tire, you’ll need to drill a small hole in the bottom to let the water run out.
2. Kids’ Pools
Large swimming pools are not an ideal breeding place for mosquitoes as they have a proper filtration system. The water is also routinely cleaned with chlorine so there are minimal chances of mosquitoes finding a breeding place in swimming pools. However, wading pools or kid’s pools, are completely different. Water is often left there, and it remains untreated for a long time. This results in mosquitoes finding a home in the stagnant water. To prevent these annoying insects from breeding, regularly clean these wading pools with a hose.
3. Plant Saucer
Any saucer or plate that you keep under your plant pots catches the water that drains when you water your plants. This water can provide a perfect space for mosquitoes to lay their eggs in. To avoid this, be careful when watering your potted plants. Keep the plate in a slanting position so that the water cannot be stored.
4. Water Gardens
It is soothing to hear the sound of water flowing down the pebbled stones in a backyard water garden. However, this still water can easily become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Use mosquito dunks to kill mosquitoes that are living in the water. You can use a dunk even if you have fish in the water garden. A dunk kills mosquitoes and larvae, but it is harmless for fish or pets or even birds.
5. Old Buckets
An old bucket that you rarely use may be lying in some corner of your yard. Carefully search for such things left outside as they can store water easily and become a good breeding spot for mosquitoes.
6. Pets’ Drinking Bowls
When your pets are out in the yard, you often leave a bowl of water for them so they remain hydrated. You might forget to clean out the water once they’re in. Mosquitoes spot this water and convert it into their breeding spot. Be careful of draining the bowl once your pets are inside. Not changing the water for long is not safe for your pets either. So it is better to change it daily and don’t keep it outside for long.
7. Kids’ Toys
Your children love to play with sandbox toys or toy trucks. When your children are playing outside, there is a strong chance that they will leave the toys outside. The plastic layer of a toy airplane or the bed of a dump truck can easily hold water. This little amount of water is enough for mosquitoes to multiply at a fast pace and invade your home.
How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes Outdoors
Now that you know your yard can easily become a breeding ground for mosquitoes, you should take steps to stop mosquito infestation. While DDT spray and other insecticides are good options to get rid of these insects that ruin your celebrations and leave rashes on your skin, you can also reduce the mosquito population naturally. Below are the six natural ways for mosquito control.
1. Remove Vegetation
During the day, adult mosquitoes prefer hiding in dense vegetation and waiting for nighttime to attack victims. While maintaining a yard is difficult, you have to follow a few easy steps to reduce excessive vegetation. Thin out dense bushes and trees so that adult mosquitoes lose their hiding spots.
2. Reduce Standing Water
As discussed above, mosquitoes can breed in a small quantity of water. These blood-sucking creatures only require five days for breeding. Clean every area or patch where the water is standing. Thoroughly clean drainage pipes, flower pots, gutter, and bird bath.
3. Plant Mosquito Repellent Plants
Instead of drowning your yard in insecticides, sow plants that can naturally repel mosquitoes. Basil, lavender, catnip, and citronella grass give off a scent which these annoying creatures find offensive. Other plants including lemon-scented eucalyptus, lemon thyme, and marigolds also have similar properties and naturally repel insects. These plants are easy to maintain and act as the best natural mosquito repellent for the yard.
4. Attract Mosquito Eating Animals
Build habitats for bats, birds, or other mosquito eaters. While they cannot drastically reduce the mosquito population, and work best when they are combined with other preventive measures, they can play an important role in keeping the insects away from your yard.
5. Stock Ponds or Marshes
Ponds and marshes basically have still water and since you may take weeks to clean them out, this water can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. You can easily tackle this problem.
- Stock the pond with the mosquito fish called gambusia.
- Frogs are sneaky predators. Make sure that your yard is frog-friendly.
- Reduce overhanding or floating plants and shallow portions of water across your yard. These are the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.
6. Careful What You Wear
Dark colored clothing attracts mosquitoes. This is mainly because when you are wearing dark clothes, they absorb light which keeps your body warm. Since heat attracts mosquitoes, they are more likely to attack people who are wearing dark colored dresses.
7. Mosquito Repellent Candles
Citronella candles can provide you short-term relief as they have the ability to repel mosquitoes. However, this method will not work during windy days.
Best Natural Mosquito Repellant for Yards
There are many reasons why mosquitoes are attracted to certain people. Factors like humidity, light, a combination of scent, and heat play a big role in making you prone to mosquito bites. On the surface, mosquito bites look harmful. They are tiny red bumps which don’t even irritate you.
But mosquitoes carry diseases and having them in your house means that you are at risk of contracting a dangerous disease. Different mosquitoes get attracted to different things. While disease-carrying mosquitoes mainly prefer sweat and bacteria, other mosquitoes are lured by carbon dioxide or certain hand odors.
You can easily control the mosquito population, regardless of their species, without a DEET-based repellent. Since these repellents can cause environmental and health problems, it is best to go for organic alternatives.
How to Make Natural Mosquito Repellent
Besides adopting any of the above-mentioned tips to reduce the mosquito population or repel them, you can also make mosquito repellent at your own home. The process is easy and requires easily available ingredients. Follow the steps below to learn to prepare DIY mosquito repellent.
You would need the following supplies
- One spray bottle that can hold 36 ounces (or two bottles that can hold 24 ounces each)
- Large bowl
You will need the following ingredients to prepare the repellent. These items are available at every general store at affordable prices. So you don’t have to break an arm or a leg to launch an anti-mosquito campaign in your house.
- 3 stale beers (12 oz)
- A bottle of mint-flavored mouthwash (16 oz) : Make sure to buy mint-flavored mainly because mosquitoes find the scent of mint offensive.
- 3 cups Epsom salt: You can have lavender- or eucalyptus-scented Epsom salt as these two are natural mosquito repellents.
Preparing the solution is a no-brainer. Follow the following steps carefully to prepare the repellent.
- Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix it with a spoon until the salt is completely dissolved.
- Use the funnel to pour the mixture into spray bottles.
- The mixture is ready.
Spray the mixture around your yard. You can use the spray everywhere you go. Also, none of the ingredients are harmful to plants. In fact, experts believe that the Epsom salt makes the grass even greener. However, it’s best not to spray the mixture directly on flowering plants. This is because any direct treatment can be harsh for the flowers.
People often ask if the solution is harmful to the bees. While the bees can get drunk because of the excessive consumption of alcohol, the solution is not harmful to them. This is because it contains mouthwash and the bees don’t like it so they will keep away from the areas that have been sprayed. The Epsom salt, too, is safe for the bees and doesn’t cause any harm.
This solution keeps insects away for two and a half months. That’s the entire summer. So you can have some relief in summer without breaking your back in hiring professionals to get your yard chemically treated.
Dangers of Mosquito Bites
The reason why mosquitoes are dangerous is that they carry harmful diseases. Some of the life-threatening diseases that mosquito causes are as follows:
Around 3.2 billion people across the world are at the risk of contracting Malaria, according to a WHO report. The difficult thing about Malaria is that symptoms can appear in a matter of hours or days, making it impossible for you to get yourself tested. They say prevention is better than cure. It is better to treat yourself with mosquito repellents to keep your house and yourself safe from mosquito bites.
A deadly virus that has taken the entire world in the grip of fear is active since 2007. Some cases of Zika virus were also reported in California as well. Common symptoms of this disease include muscle and joint pain, skin rash, mild fever, and headache. The virus can even result in death. The virus can also be transmitted to the fetus in cases where pregnant women are bitten. This results in irreversible birth defects. At present, there is no treatment for the virus.
Many people are allergic to mosquito bites. These people may develop severe reaction if they are bitten by a mosquito. It is always better o apply mosquito repellent on your skin and wear full-sleeved clothes to prevent mosquito bites.
If you have a mosquito infestation in your yard, you can follow the guide and use natural mosquito repellents to reduce the mosquito repellent.