Seven places mosquitoes might be hiding in the yard
Family Features | 6/27/2016, 11:18 a.m.
Spring has sprung, which means that mosquito season is almost here. These tiny insects could be living, flying and breeding right in your yard, and you might not even know it.
Mosquitoes aren’t just a nuisance, they are also a health threat. Some species common in the United States can carry and spread Zika virus, Chikungunya virus, West Nile virus and canine heart worm. The first sign of mosquito activity is usually buzzing from female mosquitoes and their bites.
Where Mosquitoes Breed
Female mosquitoes can lay as many as 100 eggs at a time. They can lay eggs in just a few inches of standing water, making pinpointing breeding sites a challenge. To help homeowners, Orkin Entomologist Ron Harrison, Ph.D., reveals seven places mosquitoes like the most and offers advice on how to help keep them out of your yard.
• Gutters. If enough debris is left to collect over time, dirty gutters can clog up and create pockets of water perfect for mosquito breeding. Cleaning gutters regularly to make sure water is flowing smoothly can help keep mosquitoes from breeding so close to your home.
• Toys. They are an often overlooked source of standing water, but toys can collect pockets of water and just a few inches is enough for a mosquito to raise a family.
• Flower pots. Rainwater can collect in saucers under flower pots. If left to sit for days, the water becomes an excellent breeding spot for mosquitoes.
• Bird baths. Even though birds eat a variety of insects, standing water in bird baths left unchecked for days at a time can become an oasis for female mosquitoes looking for a place to lay eggs. Inspect and change the water weekly to avoid an infestation.
• Rain barrels. If water is used within a few days, it will likely not be enough time to create a mosquito problem, but if water is left standing for multiple days, be prepared to find a hotbed of hungry pests.
• Plants. Some plants can hold water in their “mouths” and offer mosquitoes enough standing water to lay their eggs. Other shrubbery can serve as a hide-out for grown mosquitoes. In addition to blood, mosquitoes feed on nectar from flowers, so they often hide in shrubbery during the day. Thinning dense shrubbery to increase air flow can help reduce the number of adult mosquitoes in your yard.
• Tree cavities. Each year, cavities in tree stumps and trunks are filled with water by rainfall or melting ice and snow, and mosquitoes may choose these holes for breeding. While it can be difficult to remove the standing water, a licensed professional can help identify and treat these areas.
• Low points in the yard. Any areas lower than the rest of your yard may collect and hold standing water. Make note of these areas when patrolling and be sure to inspect and drain them if necessary.
Take Back Your Yard
It’s important to do a weekly inspection of your entire yard to locate and eliminate any standing water. It’s also a good idea to encourage your neighbors to do the same so that mosquitoes aren’t traveling from their yard to yours.
If you’ve done everything you can to help prevent mosquitoes and are still having problems, you may need a licensed professional. For more details, visit http://www.orkin.com.