There are more than 2,500 different species of mosquitoes found around the world and more than 200 species found in the United States. Only female mosquitoes draw blood. The mouths of male mosquitoes prevent the male from from piercing the skin. Mosquitoes transmit diseases including malaria, equine encephalitis and West Nile virus. They are annoying and they have an unpleasant, itching bite. Mosquito control is a worldwide problem; however, there are things you can do to eliminate an infestation in your local area and in your own landscape.
Things You'll Need
- Garden shovel
Reduce standing water around your home. The most effective method of mosquito control is to find and eliminate their breeding grounds. Empty planters, watering cans, rain barrels, birdbaths, toys, tires and tarps that trap water. Change the water in plant trays and pet dishes daily. Mosquitoes require standing, stagnant water to lay their eggs and breed. Mosquito larvae and pupae live in the water.
Clean out and unclog rain gutters. Trapped, stagnant water and wet leaves are ideal breeding locations for mosquitoes. Remove debris from the gutters and flush out the gutters with a forceful stream of water from the garden hose. Empty wading pools and keep swimming pools clean, treated and circulating. Look for puddles that accumulate under faucets or low spots in the landscape. Use a garden shovel to cut a trench to drain water. Eliminate seepage from septic tanks or cesspools.
Cut the grass. Mowing the lawn to a short height allows the grass to dry out in the sun and prevent mosquito larvae from developing there. Tall grasses and plants around the foundation of a home, under trees and along waterways trap moisture and encourage mosquito habitation.
Repair screen windows and doors to deter mosquitoes from entering your home. Do not leave exterior doors standing open. Use fans to keep indoor air circulating. Mosquitoes will not fly in the wind or a strong draft. Outdoor patio fans are effective deterrents.
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