How to Stop Mosquitoes
March is the month that Mosquito Joe of NW Houston suggests that those customers, who opted to pause service in the cooler months, start back with service. Depending on the winter we may already be seeing mosquitoes – wet and milder winters set us up for a serious mosquito population in the spring. The temperatures will now begin to rapidly climb, and it won’t be long until mosquitoes are a huge issue.
So how do you stop mosquitoes from taking over this year? Obviously calling us is your solution, but even then, we always ask our customers to work with us to prevent their yards from being a sanctuary for mosquitoes.
Here are some tried, routed in science, methods to employ this month to help stop mosquitoes in your yard:
- Spring-clean your yard: The leaves have stopped falling and the weather is warming, so it’s time for a landscape cleanup. Rake up and remove all the remaining fallen leaves and pine needles from this winter. Pick up broken limbs and twigs from the ground. The less ground cover you have the drier your soil, and that means mosquitoes have less places to lay their eggs.
- Clean your gutters and not just a grab overhead of debris either. All that silt and compost-like material that is breaking down in the gutters play a big role as well. So, once you have the leaves and twigs, etc., cleaned out, take your hose, and flush the gutters clean. Make sure the water flows out of the gutter and that the gutter has not sagged and is holding water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in that decomposing matter and it’s one of the places that is hardest for us to reach when we treat.
- Tarps, pots and containers must be removed from your yard. Did you know that it only takes 1 teaspoon of water to breed 300 mosquitoes every few days? Sometimes it’s hard to even recognize an issue when you see it every day. Your best rule of thumb is to remove all those items and get them inside – after you drain them all so you don’t bring the mosquitoes with you! We’ve found mosquitoes breeding in the bottom of watering cans inside a shed that had a tiny opening in its door.
- Septic systems: these are one of the worst offenders for our customers. Water you don’t see you just don’t consider, and there is a lot down there. Over time septic tank lids can crack and come loose. Sometimes your septic company may visit and forget to seal down the openings after their checks. So, check out your lids – an easy check is to open one. If mosquitoes come flying out, you know they are getting in – it doesn’t take much of an opening to get inside.
- Yard grading, French drains, and more: When it comes to mosquitoes your source, and thus number one priority, is water. Once you’ve dealt with all the areas in your yard that catch water you need to turn your attention to any areas that hold water after rain or weather. French drains are tricky as they always hold water under the ground that we don’t see, and so don’t consider them. Making sure that those drains are clear of debris and free flowing will help immensely. The same is true for your gutter downspouts – they can fill up with debris over time and hold vast amounts of water in them. Make sure when you flush your gutters that the downspouts are free flowing. Finally, check out your yard drainage. With all the construction in our area, things change frequently. If you can, lay down some dirt over areas that act like containers after rain, and try and encourage the movement of water away from your yard.
- Remove mosquito traps and bug lights: these do nothing more than encourage mosquitoes to come to visit your yard and once there, you are a much tastier meal than the traps. If you want to use a mosquito trap place it at the edge of your property. And bug zappers just don’t do anything except kill insects you should want around.
- Call Mosquito Joe: When we treat a yard we tip and toss, provide advice to our customers, check your septic, treat your gutters where we can reach, and treat any standing water and places that may be dry but will hold water later. We treat flowering plants with garlic, to push mosquitoes to other areas without impacting the pollinators, all the green leaves on both sides, and all fence lines to kill any mosquitoes that land to feed. We work to prevent larvae from hatching into adult mosquitoes as well as killing the adult mosquitoes in your yard. The aim is to break the lifecycle in your garden and reduce your population by over 95%. If anyone tells you they can get rid of every single one, well they are not being honest. Mosquitoes have been around since before the dinosaurs for good reason.
Finally, as silly as it sounds when you are walking around your yard try and think like a mosquito. Imagine that the smallest amount of water is your life source, and you must find it to lay eggs. The simple curve on a dry leaf makes a happy spot, as does a birdbath and a pot, or a discarded beer can full of rainwater. There are so many places’ mosquitoes will use. The tidier you can keep your yard the better off you will be. And if you don’t want to think like a mosquito, give us a call. It’s pretty much what we do – 281-815-0228.