The warm weather is coming and you want to prevent a yard full of mosquitoes before they start getting out of hand. It is helpful to understand some things about their breeding and life cycle.
First, very simply: Just like with any other pest, the more you disrupt their breeding cycle and other normal activities, the fewer of them you will see. Specifically to control mosquitoes around your home and yard, it helps to know how they reproduce and then get rid of any potential mosquito breeding grounds around your home, patio, garden, and yard. With no good places to lay eggs, mosquitoes will have to go elsewhere, leaving you and your family to enjoy summer without them.
Mosquito Breeding Habits
Adult mosquitoes can survive without much water, but they need at least some water in order to lay eggs (or in some sort of vegetation or damp soil). Water provides food sources (e.g., algae, bacteria) for the mosquito larvae as they develop.
Female mosquitoes can produce 100-300 eggs at a time, and these eggs will hatch into mosquito larvae within 48 hours. The larvae develop into a pupae, and then finally emerge as an adult mosquito within about a week after that. After another week, you will have an entirely new generation of mosquitoes ready to start the breeding cycle all over again.
Breeding begins away from the water, but then female mosquitoes lay their eggs on the surface of a standing water source, or, in the case of floodwater mosquitoes on damp ground. If there is not enough water to sustain the eggs, they will lay dormant for up to four months, until it rains or water somehow collects again to "revive" the eggs.
When Do Mosquitoes Breed?
For most of the United States, mosquitoes are only troublesome during warm weather months. Fortunately, mosquitoes don’t breed all year round. They become active and start the breeding cycle after the winter when temperatures start consistently hitting about 40° to 50°F. Depending on the species, mosquitoes die off or go into hibernation when temperatures drop again.
Where Do Mosquitoes Breed?
Mosquito breeding areas can include ponds, marshes, bogs, puddles, bird baths, pool covers, etc., as well as heavily shaded areas and long grasses.
Mosquitoes don't need a heavily flooded area or even a puddle to lay eggs. Their eggs are so tiny, that even a bottle cap on the ground filled with rain water (or any other type of container that will hold water for four to seven days) will suffice for a female mosquito to lay eggs. The warmer the weather and the longer standing water is left, the faster mosquito breeding can occur.
Get Rid of Mosquito Breeding Areas
Because so much of mosquito reproduction is dependent on the availability of water, the first and most effective thing you can do to help prevent mosquitoes in your yard and garden is to eliminate standing water and other potential mosquito breeding areas outdoors.
Stay on top of eliminating standing water in:
- Rain barrels
- Kiddie pools and toys
- Pet bowls
- Plant saucers
- Tires and tire swings
- Rain gutters
- Trash cans (and lids)
- Pool covers
- Unused, uncovered hot tubs
- Do what you can to ensure that gravel, sand, and soil along driveways and pathways do not collect to block the draining of rainwater from your yard. Keep pavement in good repair to help reduce any water collection.
Refresh birdbath and pet bowl water frequently (at least every three days), drill holes in the bottom of uncovered trash cans or flower pots, turn buckets and any other containers upside down, and drain pool covers regularly--these are all ways to help prevent mosquito breeding.
Also keep your lawn and yard foliage trimmed short, and remove piles of lawn debris wherever and as frequently as possible. This will also help prevent other yard pests such as fleas and ticks.
How to Get Rid of Existing Mosquitoes
So you've got pesky mosquitoes in your yard, garden, and patio that are ruining your picnics, cookouts, and other summer fun with friends and family.
You may consider an effective plant oil-based mosquito control product for spot treatment, like Maggie's Farm Home Bug Spray, Maggie's Farm Flying Insect Killer, or Maggie's Farm Mosquito Fogger. Plants hate mosquitoes and other bugs just as much as you do, and the natural oils they produce to protect themselves are amazingly effective at killing and repelling bugs of all sorts.
For longer term, more thorough coverage, you can treat wider areas of your lawn with effective hose-end plant oil-based pest control products like Maggie's Farm Mosquito & Tick Killer and Maggie's Farm Yard Bug Spray.
An effective plant-oil based DEET-free personal mosquito repellent, like Maggie's Farm Natural Insect Repellent can help you keep mosquitoes away from and off of you and your family.
Citronella candles and electric mosquito traps can also come in handy in repelling and controlling mosquitoes around your patio and yard. If you have ornamental water around your yard (ponds, fountains, etc.), you may want to consider using mosquito dunks.
For more on controlling mosquitoes, read the following articles:
You May Need to Call a Professional
There's a lot you can do yourself to help manage mosquitoes around your home and yard, and how to prevent mosquitoes from breeding. If you've got an overwhelming mosquito infestation around your home, consider calling a pest control company.
How do you manage mosquitoes in your yard? Share your tips and tricks! Leave us a comment below!
For scientifically-tested, effective mosquito control in your home that is friendly to the environment, try Maggie’s Farm pest control products. Our promise is that our plant and mineral-based products are developed by scientists and seasoned pest control professionals to be the most effective.