There’s nothing like waking up on a weekend, making up a fresh cup of your favorite blend of coffee, and sitting outside to enjoy a peaceful morning catching up on current events. Until, that is, that all too familiar itching sensation flares up on you like the last time you wore Granny’s old ugly wool sweater! And there goes your enjoyable morning thanks to your ineffective mosquito control efforts.
If you live south of the north pole, chances are you have had a run in with a mosquito or two at some point in your life. Mosquitoes leave unsightly and extremely uncomfortable welts on your skin that can sometimes take days to fully fade. For better or worse, mosquitoes are here to stay, but that doesn’t mean you have to lay out the red carpet in your backyard. Here are some simple things you can do today, without purchasing anything, to achieve natural mosquito control on your property.
Who would think mosquitoes would be enticed to your yard by a beautiful, decorative, and predator of the mosquito attracting, bird bath? This seemingly harmless little oasis of water can easily become neglected and be a perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes and diseases alike. Allowing a bird bath to become stagnant by not regularly cleaning the bowl and changing the water will be detrimental to your mosquito control efforts. Now that water is just waiting for your kids to come “wash” their hands off, or your dog to wander over and ingest that nasty slop.
Make a note in your calendar to, at a minimum, clean the bowl and refresh the water at least once a week. But if truth be told, every 2-3 days would be best. That one week minimum will achieve natural mosquito control by preventing any mosquito eggs that may have been laid 2 seconds after you filled it up, from being able to develop into flying, biting adult mosquitoes.
One of the themes you will notice when it comes to effective natural mosquito control is to take care of water sources. As with the bird bath, anything you leave outside that has the potential to collect water is going to become a preferred nursery for mosquito babies(larvae) in a hurry.
So, do a quick once over of the yard while thinking “If the ants in my ant farm needed a tiny swimming pool, where would I take them to have a dip?” From old tires, to a kid’s cup left behind, to a rain spout splash block installed backwards, there are many things that you might be able to find in your yard that are allowing mosquitoes to have a daycare right on your property.
Keep in mind, just because it doesn’t have water in it now, doesn’t mean it won’t after your sprinklers go off in the morning.
You would not believe how many times I have gone to a service call for ants upstairs, only to look up and see a magnificent Douglas Fir growing out of a clogged up rain gutter. Not only is the rain gutter no longer serving the purpose you paid money for it to do, but now it’s holding a few gallons of water behind that clog, thus ruining your chances of natural mosquito control. Plus, those mosquitoes now have a great water source for their babies and a built-in shade tree! Get those rain gutters cleaned out!
Often overlooked in step two, a well maintained and well-watered flower pot (or 20) could just notch your home’s curb appeal over perpetual “Yard of the Month” winner, Mrs. Jenkins. But when the judges come flocking over to get a close up of your beautiful begonias, they are going to give Mrs. Jenkins the win once again after mosquitoes swarm out of your flowers.
The usual problem here is the little saucer that goes underneath the pot to collect water. See the problem, I thought you did! To get rid of mosquitoes, watering the plants so that only the soil is moist and the saucer does not hold water is crucial. A great way to make this happen is to use something like this. It helps keep the soil moist without overwatering. There are many DIY ways to make this happen for you Pinterest users out there! Of course, you could just raise the pot off the ground with a stand or on some old bricks you had lying around and use the terracotta saucer as a one time frisbee. Just keep in mind, without the saucer you will likely need to water more frequently.
If you have ever walked around your yard and sunk your foot into that bog that sticks around for three weeks after a light rain, you know what I’m talking about. Even a small area that doesn’t drain quickly and thoroughly can become a threat to a peaceful outdoor experience and bring a halt to your efforts to get rid of mosquitoes through natural mosquito control. There are some things that you can do to help with proper drainage with what you have around the house. However, to get rid of mosquitoes in this case, you might need a trip to the home improvement store, or even help from a professional.
I purchased a home recently that had about two fifths of the backyard that NEVER dried out. Some of the reasons this was occurring were very easily remedied. For example, one entire section of my side yard along my fence remained soaked all the time. This has caused the fence to begin to lean in a very precarious way! Fortunately for me, the entire problem was caused by a makeshift dam of grass clippings built up against the perpendicular fence. A quick pickup of this debris, solved the problem.
Not every drainage problem will be that quick or easy to resolve, but with the blood saving motivation to get rid of mosquitoes, it can be done. And your submerged grass will thank you for it!
Reclaim your yard today!