Let’s face it, we all conjure up images of October that involve falling leaves, pumpkin spice and dark evenings with crisp fall air. In Texas, reality usually falls short and we find ourselves sweltering in the heat while trying to dispose of a molded pumpkin that deflated well in advance of the trick-or-treaters.
Mosquitoes appreciate our fall just as much as our summer. In fact, they rarely go away here in the south. Hibernation only occurs once temperatures drop beneath 55 degrees and stay there for at least a week, or we get 3 deep freezes in a row. Mosquito Joe will never treat when those parameters are met. It’s worth adding that we’ve met those parameters only once in 6 years, and it lasted but a week.
Fall in Texas does involve falling leaves, and those play a role in your mosquitoes. The more leaf litter (and pine needles) on the ground, the darker and damper the soil. There is nothing a mosquito appreciates more than shade and moisture. The leaves create the perfect spot for a female to lay her eggs. One rain shower and a good 300 hatch under the one leaf. The hatched adults immediately breed and the females, once they have bitten and acquired the blood protein required to lay eggs, go off to find another lovely home to lay their eggs. Before you know it, your mosquito population is very high, and enjoying the cooler evenings is no longer fun.
Keeping your yard raked will play a huge role in reducing your mosquitoes. While we totally agree that raking is the worst, maintaining a tidy yard will have a huge impact.
Another important location to keep your eye on is your gutters. Leaves and pine needles can quickly block them, and the resulting standing water is another location mosquitoes will quickly take advantage of. It’s worth mentioning that even gutters that are covered cause issues. The leaves that sit atop those will turn into sludge with rain. That sludge falls into the gutter and causes blockages. We often have customers who have a huge mosquito population because the gutters are blocked, and they don’t realize it. So long story short, keep your gutters free of leaves. If you have covered gutters, hit them with water from a hose to push out all the debris inside them and keep them clear.
Finally, be aware that some of your fall décor can be causing issues. Check for standing water after rain and be sure to dump any you can. And remember, it won’t be long until Christmas and snow (not).