Summertime means being outdoors, and being outdoors means one thing: dealing with mosquitoes. Wherever you live in the country, you face these summertime pests to one degree or another, and everyone knows how their presence can ruin a family’s summertime fun. While completely eradicating mosquitoes may be just a dream, there are some things you can do as a homeowner to lessen the numbers of mosquitoes you have on your property.
As you probably know, mosquitoes breed in water. What you may not know, is that these minute critters only need a tiny amount of water in which to breed. Any place where water can stand still for a few days is a potential mosquito nursery, so be sure to check your property for some of these top mosquito-breeding offenders:
1. Containers. Plant containers, toys, cups… basically anything that can hold water inside of it is at risk to become a breeding ground. Keep containers off your property, or turn them upside down so that any water inside of them drains off.
2. Bird baths. Cute, beautiful bird baths can attract all kinds of frolicking feathered friends… and also a ton of biting mosquitoes. Bird baths are find to keep in the garden if you stick to one rule: make sure that you replace or add to the water every few days. Mosquitoes need stagnant water to breed, so disturbing the placidity of the water in the bird bath is all it takes to interrupt their breeding cycle and keep the baby buggers at bay.
3. Rain gutters. If you live in a climate with warm, rainy summers, your clogged rain gutters can become a haven for mosquitoes. Be sure to clean out the gutters after the spring storms have subsided and before it gets too hot, and keep a check on gutters after any major summer storms to ensure that you don’t have pools of water standing in any of the lines.
4. Tarps and plastic covers. Many people have storage areas on their property, and some use tarpaulin to cover items stored outside. While this is great for the items, it’s also great for mosquitoes, who can find small dips and puddles in the bunched tarps in which to breed another generation of blood-suckers. If you’re going to use tarps outdoors, be sure to shake them out periodically to keep them dry, particularly after a rain.
5. Trash and recycling containers. We do our best to care for the environment, but if left open to the elements, our trash and recycling containers can become standing water vessels that invite mosquitoes to come and breed. To counter this problem, drill small holes in the bottom of any outdoor garbage cans, to prevent them from holding water.