When spring returns, it’s time to consider what you’ll do so your yard is not overrun with mosquitoes. Your first thought may be to use mosquito control products like bug spray or citronella torches. While these may have temporary success, there are better things you can do to achieve lasting effects.
Understanding The Mosquito Life Cycle
Part of a good plan for mosquito control in Texas, where we get to enjoy more warm months, means understanding the life cycle of mosquitoes. As you may know, it is only the female mosquitoes that bite. They need blood to lay their eggs. Males only eat plants. The blood the females ingest, however, is not used for nutrients. It allows the eggs to mature inside the female before laying. The second big thing to understand about mosquitoes is just how resourceful mosquito mommies are when laying their eggs. Mosquitoes begin their life in water and turn into land insects once they hatch – not unlike frogs! Females need standing water to lay their eggs safely, but the size of that standing water does not matter. Even something as small as an upturned bottle cap full of rainwater is a potential mosquito nursery.
The bites from mosquitoes are annoying enough, but they are increasingly likely to carry disease. Things like West Nile virus, Zika, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, malaria, and heartworm. And some of these things may not attack you, but they will certainly hurt the health of your pets or livestock. West Nile symptoms are flu-like and include headache, fever, body/muscle aches, and a mild rash. While most cases will not show symptoms, it’s still not worth the risk. There’s another form of West Nile called neuroinvasive disease, and the symptoms of that are much more severe – even permanent. When it comes to mosquito control, it’s simply better to be safe than sorry.
Why Mosquito Control Is More Than Bugspray
Now, wearing bug spray is fine if you’re in the woods, a field of tall grass, or some other area prone to mosquitoes. But if you’re looking for a real solution to backyard mosquito prevention, bug spray is not the answer. It’s far more idea to go with a professional mosquito control service for two reasons.
First of all, your technicians will spray to eliminate existing breeding grounds and adult mosquitoes. Common breeding grounds for mosquitoes include:
- High grasses
- Heavy weeds
- Tree-lined perimeters
- Pooling water
What’s so effective about the chemicals professionals use is that it interrupts and kills all stages of mosquitoes. That bug spray you’re using only repels them. That being said, we’re not discouraging anyone from using bug spray. It’s important to stay safe. But with a mosquito control application, you won’t need bug spray.
The second big benefit of hiring professionals is identifying hiding spots where adult mosquitoes take refuge in the daytime. Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn, but in the meantime, they like to stay in the shade as much as we do. If you have any of the following landscape features, it could be a haven for biting bugs:
- Tall Grass
- Shrubs and Bushes
- Piles of Leaves
- Hollow Logs
- Under Rocks
Plenty of homeowners use ornamental grasses, trees, shrubs, rocks, and boulders. We’re not suggesting you remove aesthetic pieces from your garden. Your pest control technician will be able to treat these areas effectively so you can enjoy them, knowing they aren’t harboring mosquitoes. If you’re thinking of adding plants to your garden, consider basil, catnip, and lavender – three plants that we love and mosquitoes hate!
By creating a holistic view of the whys and hows of a mosquito infestation, you can more effectively control and prevent them.
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