How To Get Rid of Mosquitoes
Mosquito season is here – but don’t let them chase you inside!
We all know that these pests can also be extremely irritating, but they also carry some nasty diseases, like West Nile Virus and Zika.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss some of the best ways to get rid of mosquitoes, both inside and outside of your home. We’ll also provide information on how to stop them from becoming a problem in the first place. We’re here to help you avoid being “eaten alive!”
Why are Mosquitoes Attracted to My Yard?
Mosquito breeding grounds can be found anywhere that has standing water, which is the #1 reason mosquitoes are in your yard. Without standing water, the larvae (immature mosquitoes) cannot survive.
This is really important because the females breed and lay eggs about every 3-4 days — and they can lay up to 200-300 eggs each time! This means that an individual female could produce thousands of eggs per month!
It’s easier to get rid of larvae than adults. Do anything you can to eliminate stagnant water.
Standing Water in Bird Baths & Baby Pools
If you intentionally have standing water, be sure to agitate the water at least once a week. Once mosquitoes breed, the eggs can hatch within 5-10 days.
The larvae live in the water, but they have to breathe. Vigorously stirring up the water will drown the larvae.
You can also use a bubbler or waterfall to keep the water moving constantly. Just make sure that all areas of the water surface are being agitated.
Where Do Mosquitoes Breed?
Taking a few minutes to identify and eliminate potential breeding sites can go a long way toward reducing these pests in your area.
Your rain gutters are an easy spot to miss. But this is one of the most common places where we find these pests. Plus, it is right at your house and right above your head!
Anything That Holds Rainwater
This can be more involved than it sounds, but addressing as many of these items as possible should help reduce the mosquitoes in your yard:
- Remove any toys, dog bowls, buckets, old tires, and bottle caps from your yard.
- Don’t use trays under potted plants.
- Look under your deck and check for puddles.
- Turn over items (like wheelbarrows and baby pools) when they’re not being used.
- Support tarps and boat covers to allow rainwater to run off, eliminating pools of water.
- If you use a rain barrel, make sure the top is covered with at least 18 x 18 screening.
- Get rid of puddles, damp soil, and leaf litter. Temporary puddles can harbor thousands of these pests.
People Attract Mosquitoes
Another reason these insects might be hanging out in your yard is that they’re attracted to the carbon dioxide that you exhale. Carbon dioxide tells them where they can get a “blood meal.” When you breathe out, the mosquitoes are thinking, “I smell dinner!”
Need some help getting rid of mosquitoes?
Do-It-Yourself Mosquito Control
If you’ve reduced areas of standing water, and you still have a mosquito problem — you’ll need to buy a handheld mister or fogger and treat all the plants on your property. We use Stihl SR 550 misters as well as some Echo units.
When buying a mister/fogger, make sure to check the maximum spray range. The ones we use will go over 40 feet. This helps save a lot of time, and most properties can be treated without walking into any landscape beds.
If your sprayer can’t reach far enough, you’ll need to walk through the landscape beds to hit all the plants. Otherwise, you’ll miss the most important spots. And there’s benefit to misting your lawn. Even though mosquitoes don’t live there, they will land there.
Additionally, when you’re going to buy a mister/fogger, check out the droplet size. The smaller the droplet size, the more effective the treatments will be.
Why does Droplet Size Matter?
First, smaller droplets float through the air better because they are lighter. And a mister “wafts” the material out, towards the plants, and up. As the mist is blown forward, it also rolls backward – kind of like a rising wiffleball. This is important because mosquitoes land on the underside of leaves.
Second, a large droplet will drip to the ground and waste a lot of the material.
Backpack and Pump-Up Sprayers
A backpack or pump-up sprayer will not be very effective. If you use either of these sprayers, the “wafting up” will not occur. So, it will be hard to spray the undersides of the leaves.
Other Helpful Measures
- Make sure window and door screens are “bug tight.”
- Keep doors and windows closed between dusk and dawn. Replace torn or damaged screens.
- Stay indoors at dusk and early evening.
- When you go outdoors during these times, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Some synthetic clothes are just about as cool and comfortable as shorts and short sleeve shirts. Mosquitoes can bite through some of these garments, so it’s good if they’re a little baggy.
- Use LED lights. Incandescent lights and compact fluorescent lights attract more insects. LEDs are cooler; heat from light bulbs also attracts insects.
- If you’re going to use one of the best insect repellents, be sure to follow all directions on the product label.
Do Fans Keep Mosquitoes Away?
Fans won’t stop all mosquitoes, but they can certainly help. The stronger the fan, the better.
A fan needs to be within a few feet of a person to be effective. The more people sitting together, the more fans you’ll need.
Professional Pest Control Options
At Green Giant, we offer synthetic treatments for mosquitoes. This type of insecticide is produced to imitate a natural insecticide. But synthetic products have been improved to last longer and be more effective.
Organic Mosquito Control
Our pest control company also provides organic mosquito control for season-long relief. We primarily use garlic extract, cedar oil, geraniol (geranium extract), and cinnamon oil. Most often, we use a mix of these together. The material works as a repellant and also kills mosquitoes.
Both synthetic and organic treatments work equally well as long as there is little to no rain. However, synthetic treatments last longer when there is rain. We typically treat every 4 weeks with our synthetic treatments and every 2-3 weeks with our organic service.
An added benefit to getting rid of mosquitoes is that these misting treatments can deter other pests, like fleas and ticks.
From the Desk of Green Giant
Dan Rothermel is President of Green Giant Home & Commercial — a company with over 40 years of experience in lawn care and pest control. Before offering our organic mosquito treatment to customers, Dan decided to use his own lawn to test it out.
“I use our organic service at my house in Wyomissing, PA, and like it very much. I started using it as a test to see how well it works before we offered it to customers – and I never went back! I am very happy with the results but, if we get heavy rain, we will have increased mosquito activity. If that happens, Green Giant will re-treat your property, at no additional charge, between your scheduled services.”
BTi is a naturally occurring material that kills the larvae of mosquitoes in standing water. It comes in different forms, but we mostly use the pucks — it’s just BTi in the shape of a hockey puck.
According to the US EPA, Bti has no toxicity to people or animals and is approved for use for pest control in organic farming operations.
Commercial Mosquito Control
Green Giant also provides commercial pest control. Some of our commercial customers are:
- Loading docks, manufacturing buildings, and warehouses
- Buildings near wetlands or retention ponds
- Business parks and industrial parks
- Businesses with outdoor dining
- Property owners associations (We offer special event sprays and can work with you to create a plan that fits the needs of your property)
With our help, you can finally take back your yard and enjoy outdoor activities again without having to worry about these pesky pests. Sign up for our mosquito service and get started on ridding your yard of these unwanted guests!
All of our technicians are licensed by the state of Pennsylvania, and we’re proud members of the Pennsylvania Pest Management Association, the National Pest Management Association, and the Professional Pest Management Alliance.