Nothing sucks the fun out of an evening barbecue outdoors like a swarm of blood-sucking mosquitoes. Not only can they inflict a painful and itchy bite, mosquitoes can transmit a number of diseases. You can keep your local mosquito population under control by minimising their habitat in your yard.
There are four distinct stages in the Life Cycle of Mosquitoes: Egg, Larva, Pupa, and Adult. There are slight variations within the stages among certain species of mosquitoes. The length of time for the mosquito to develop from egg to adult varies as well, taking anywhere from 4 days to 2 weeks or more. After only two days as an adult, a female mosquito is able to bite its first victim.
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Mosquitoes require water to reproduce.
Adult mosquitoes lay eggs in slow moving or “still” water, they can also lay their eggs in moist soil. By removing these sources of water, you can keep the next generation of mosquitoes from taking up residence in your yard.
Here are some tips to help:
- Drill holes in the bottom, not the sides, of all garbage and recycling containers stored outdoors. This will allow the water to drain.
- Keep gutters clean and unclogged. Be sure your downspouts drain properly, without leaving puddles in the drainage area. You may need to reroute your downspouts or add extensions to carry water away.
- Keep swimming pools cleaned and chlorinated, even when not in use. Homeowners who go on vacation without chlorinating their pools may return to a veritable mosquito hatchery.
- Walk your property after a rain, and look for areas in the landscape that are not draining well. If you find puddles that remain for four or more days, regrade the area.
- Ornamental ponds should be aerated to keep water moving and discourage mosquitoes from laying eggs. Alternately, stock the pond with mosquito-eating fish.
- Dump anything that holds water twice per week if it has rained. Birdbaths, non-chlorinated wading pools, footbaths, garbage can lids, and pottery will all attract breeding mosquitoes. Remember to empty the saucers under your flower pots, and don’t leave water in pet bowls for more than two days.
- Keep your property clean of items that can hold water, including discarded aluminum cans and tires.
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