Summer is fast approaching here in Collierville, Tennessee, and that means more time spent outdoors. It’s a time for camping, hiking, backyard barbecues, gatherings with whiskey, and campfires with smores. Unfortunately, the warm weather also brings those nasty, annoying mosquitoes. With our high humidity and plenty of still water sources, our state ranks as one of the worst for these blood-thirsty creatures.
These bothersome pests are a nuisance for everyone, pets included. They may carry harmful diseases such as West Nile, Zika, and EEE, and with just the blink of an eye, can ruin a night of backyard fun. There are ways that you can help reduce the mosquito population on our outdoor property and protect your loved ones and pets. Follow some of the tips below to help combat the mosquito population in your backyard.
First, Eliminate Stagnant Water Sources
It’s no secret. Mosquitoes love water. Spend an evening out on a boat or along a lake in Tennessee, and you will find out firsthand. This is because female mosquitoes need standing water to lay their eggs. Lakes, rivers, and pools aren’t the only sources of water. Something as small as a puddle can become a breeding ground. You may be surprised at how many items on your outdoor property can become a nursery for mosquitoes. Common sources of standing water include:
- Flower pots
- Rain barrels
- Water features
- Water containers for animals
- Old tires
How To Eliminate Stagnant Water and Keep Your Water Features and Birdbaths
So, you’ve emptied rain barrels, old tires, and such, but you don’t want to get rid of your birdbaths or beautiful water features. Of course not! While you can simply change the water in your birdbaths and animal features on a regular basis, there is a way to keep your water features mosquito-free. Because mosquitoes need stagnant water, using something called an agitator can help keep water in motion. Water agitators create continuous ripples in the water that attract birds but keep away mosquitoes.
Another option for keeping these pesky insects out of your water is the use of bacterial insecticides. Bacterial insecticides are not harmful to birds or other wildlife but will kill mosquito larvae. They come in granules or dunks, which can be tossed directly into your water source. They dissolve and release mosquito-killing bacteria. And there you go, you can still enjoy your peaceful water feature without it turning into a mosquito magnet.
Stop Providing Shelter for Mosquitoes and Keep Those Gutters Clean
A clogged gutter not only creates a flooding hazard for your home it also becomes attractive to mosquitoes and other pests. Debris such as dead leaves, twigs, and dirt make a dark, moist, and safe home for mosquitoes. Don’t give them what they want. Keep those gutters clean, and prevent your gutters from becoming their favorite shelter.
Tall Grass and Messy Lawns Harbor Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes and other insects love tall grass and woody areas. Help discourage them by keeping your grass mowed, weeds under control, and hedges trimmed. Mow your grass early in the morning so that the sun has time to dry it out and soak up pooling water.
Repel Mosquitoes With Household Plants
Help keep away mosquitoes naturally with a few common household plants. Many of the scents that we find so refreshing – lavender, citrus, peppermint, lemon, and mint are hated by mosquitoes.
Before heading outside or hosting that backyard barbecue, grab mosquito spray from your local store. Be sure to read the label and only get products recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC recommends using products that contain the chemicals DEET, Picaridin, or the oil of lemon eucalyptus, all of which are proven to work well.
Today, more of us are looking for natural ways to repel insects, including mosquitoes. Whether it’s because you are allergic to the ingredients in mosquito repellants or just looking for a safer alternative, here is one way to protect yourself naturally and make your own mosquito repellant. Just mix the following essential oils with some water and put it in a spray bottle, and you got yourself an all-natural mosquito repellent without the smell of bug spray.
- Lemon Balm
Call In the Professionals at Greenkeeper and Opt for Our Highly-Effective Mosquito Control
While the list above offers a few great ideas, none of these will get rid of mosquitoes completely. The most effective way to combat these dreadful creatures is through a Mosquito Control program like the one we offer at Greenkeeper. During the months of May through October, we apply a barrier to your perimeter and surrounding the areas of your home.
Take control of your backyard and get back to enjoying the outdoors this year. Give us a call at 901-861-2338 or contact us here. The sooner you start, the better chances you’ll have of eliminating mosquitoes from your life and get back to outdoor living. Want to get to know Greenkeeper better? Follow us on Facebook.