You’re enjoying a romantic picnic by the lake, the sun is going down, and everything is perfect… until BOOM, a swarm of mosquitoes cramp your style and start eating you alive. Ever wondered where they all come from? Well, believe it or not, the answer is: you probably have mosquito breeding grounds in your backyard and all around you! Luckily, if you know where to look, you can eliminate many of the worst offenders.
Water, Water, Water!
All mosquitoes need water to breed. During their whole lifespan, most mosquitoes won’t travel more than 100 feet or so from standing water. That’s because the female mosquito (they do the biting) needs water to deposit her eggs. In fact, the only reason a female mosquito bites is to get the proteins necessary to form her eggs. She doesn’t receive any nutritive value from her blood meal. So after she’s gone to town on your blood, you can guess what her next stop is! All she needs is about an inch of water to lay the eggs that will become a whole new swarm taking over your backyard.
Defeating mosquitoes is all about stopping the life cycle. Mosquitoes don’t live very long, so if you have a mosquito problem in your backyard, it is the result of continuously regenerating generations of mosquitoes. If you can stop the next generation, you can halt the mosquito infestation in its tracks. Since mosquitoes rely on water to lay their eggs and for their larvae to grow, the obvious way to stop the next generation is to eliminate standing water.
In some cases, it may not be possible to remove standing water. For instance, if you have a bird bath, fish pond, or some other water feature, you may want to keep it full of water. If possible, one way to prevent mosquitoes from turning your water feature into a hatchery is to agitate the water. A simple fountain is an easy and attractive way to keep water moving. Alternatively, you can purchase small pucks or granules of anti-mosquito larvae bacteria that will keep your water from becoming a larvae nursery.
How To Reduce Breeding Grounds
Tiny mosquito larvae come to life in as little as an inch of water, so it’s crucial that you make an effort to reduce mosquito breeding grounds. You’ll have to remove any standing water from around the yard to give yourself a chance at avoiding mosquito bites. It’s not always easy, but a little seek and destroy mission can go a long way. If you know where to look, it’s not hard to uncover (and destroy) dozens of hidden mosquito nurseries.
Mosquitoes can develop in tiny pockets of water found in old tires, pet bowls, or gutters. Even a pile of leaves could hold enough water to host hundreds of mosquito larvae. And if minuscule pockets of water could be such fertile breeding grounds, imagine how many larvae could grow in a bucket, wading pool, or unused boat that’s been collecting rainwater all season long? It’s easy to see why you have such a hard time getting rid of those pesky blood-suckers!
Mosquitoes Love Old Tires
Tires are notorious for breeding thousands of mosquitoes. Filled with water, they’re a potential breeding ground for the biting female mosquito. In pretty much any position, standing up, laying on its side, or otherwise, a tire can hold a pool or pools or water. But that’s not the only reason mosquitoes get comfortable in them.
After sitting around for a while, tires can become filled with nutritious leaves for adult mosquitoes to feed on. Although only female mosquitoes suck our blood (they use the protein for egg production purposes), both male and female mosquitoes eat plant matter for nutrition. By collecting lots of organic matter, old tires can become a double whammy: a nursery for larvae and a diner for adults.
In addition to the nutrition benefits offered by old tires, other aspects of tires are highly attractive to mosquitoes. The thick, rubbery composition of tires helps provide insulation and protection for mosquito eggs, making them the perfect nest for a new spawn of pests to grow. This is especially important to mosquitoes who lay eggs in late fall that will wait until the spring to hatch. Both eggs and adults need a place to stay safe over the winter. A tire can be the perfect spot to keep warm and wait until spring. When that happens, a vast swarm of mosquitoes is ready to go as soon as the weather peeks above 50º for a few days in the spring.
How to Destroy Breeding Grounds
To help you beat the buzz this mosquito season, here’s a checklist you can use when ridding your home of additional possible mosquito breeding sites;
- Air conditioner Drip Trays
- Boats and Canoes
- Children’s Play Sets
- Garden furniture and ornaments
- Pet bowls
- Pipes and Hoses
- Pool Covers and Tarps
- Pools and Spas
- Potted Plants
- Rain Gutters
- Rain Barrels
- Trash Cans
- Tree Stumps and Wood Piles
Ultimately, the best way to rid your yard of mosquito nurseries is to use a sleuth’s ingenuity and find any place that can harbor a small pool of water. These are just a few of the most common offenders. It’s up to you to do the real detective work.
In addition to removing water, another way to keep mosquitoes at bay is to keep your yard well trimmed. Thick brush, tall grass, and overgrown forests are all great hiding spots for mosquitoes. The more you can remove these ideal habitats, the fewer mosquitoes will want to hang out in your yard. The key is to make your yard as unwelcoming as possible to mosquitoes. If there’s nowhere for them to hide and nowhere for them to breed, chances are that the mosquitoes won’t stay long. After a generation or two (which can be as little as a month), you will find a sharp decline in mosquito populations in your backyard.
You may have gotten the idea by now that it is very difficult, nearly impossible, to deprive mosquitoes of every possible breeding ground. Cutting down on standing water can make a huge difference, but there will always be some water somewhere.
So what is the solution? Can your yard ever really be mosquito-free?
The best defense against mosquitoes is safeguarding your home with innovative mosquito control solutions. Pairing the precautions we’ve already talked about with mosquito control from Mr. Mister — including our ClearZone mosquito misting service and our automatic misting systems — will save your skin from an onslaught of mosquitoes and protect you against mosquito-borne infections while you’re at home.
We’ve made it our mission to create a mosquito-free Atlanta, and do so by instilling our solutions into as many homes and business throughout Atlanta and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to see how you and your family can benefit from a healthier lifestyle without mosquitoes, now and in the future!
For more information on what makes Mr. Mister Atlanta’s premier provider of innovative mosquito control solutions and techniques click here. Or, visit our Testimonials page to see what some of our satisfied customers are saying.