As the weather gets warmer over the next few months, most people will stop complaining about the cold and snow and start complaining about the bugs. Warm, humid weather brings out insects, like mosquitoes, in droves.
And the long, cold winter we just had, despite some media reports otherwise, will not have done much to squash the inevitable mosquitoes from coming.
If insects are exposed to cold temperatures for very long periods of time, they will die, but most of them will be able to survive. Notoriously cold-weather states like Minnesota and Wisconsin still see an extreme mosquito population in the summer months.
Mosquitoes can be seen as pests, but they can also be dangerous, as they can carry many diseases including West Nile virus, encephalitis, malaria, yellow fever and others.
However, you don't have to stay indoors or douse themselves with smelly repellent spray to survive the summer unbitten. The Mr. Mister Mosquito Control Company in Doraville, Georgia has six great tips to help keep the backyard a place that's relaxing refuge, mosquito-free.
Drill holes in the bottom of any garbage or recycling containers stored outdoors to limit the breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Be sure to keep gutters clean and unclogged. Also check to make sure the house’s downspouts drain properly, and do not leave puddles in the drainage area.
All swimming pools should be kept cleaned and chlorinated, even when they are not being used.
After a rain shower, walk the whole property to check for areas that are not draining well. Puddles that do not dry up after four days mean the landscape may need extra drainage or need to be regraded.
Always aerate ornamental ponds (perhaps with a fountain) to keep the water moving and not provide a fertile ground for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. Also, stocking the pond with mosquito-eating fish can be quite helpful in solving a backyard mosquito problem.
If it has rained, dump out anything that holds water, at least twice per week. This includes kids’ toys, birdbaths, small wading pools, planters, and even garbage can lids.
Pet water bowls and the saucers under flower pots can be mosquito breeding grounds too. Emptying them out, or at least refreshing the water daily, is key to tamping down a potential mosquito invasion. Discarded aluminum cans and tires, or any other trash that can hold water, should also be discarded.
Mosquitoes can be annoying, but more importantly they can spread diseases, so everyone should be vigilant about these six tips to give them less of a breeding ground.
With a little foresight and daily work, that beautiful backyard can be put to use again!
Entomologytoday.org. Web. Published 13 January 2014. “Falling tmeperatures do not necessarily mean fewer insects.”
MrMr.biz. Web. 21 April 2014. “Mosquito control tips for your backyard.”
CDC.gov. Web. 21 April 2014. “Mosquito-borne diseases.”
Reviewed April 22, 2014
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith