How to make a mosquito-free yard
These 5 tips will keep those pesky blood-suckers from invading your outdoor space.
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There are a lot of old wives' tales and gimmicks for getting rid of mosquitoes. But to find out what really works, we asked Russ Jundt, a mosquito and tick expert and owner of several Mosquito Squad franchises in the Twin Cities area. (Bing: A phone app to identify and get rid of pests)
1. Tip containers to drain water
Mosquitoes don't need much water to breed, so reducing — if not eliminating — standing water is the first step in eradicating the mosquito threat. "We create all sorts of areas for water to collect, which provides a breeding ground for mosquitoes," Jundt says, noting that a 6-inch-diameter plant saucer with only a half-inch of water can be enough for mosquitoes to reproduce. "All they need is eight to 10 days for eggs to turn into adult mosquitoes," he says. "It doesn't take long."
He advises tipping any item that contains stagnant water, such as plant saucers, dog bowls and
birdbaths, on a regular basis. Then, if needed, fill them with fresh water.
2. Toss unnecessary items
"Really, we're our own worst enemy. We create mosquito habitats close to our house," Jundt says. So if your yard is full of items that you don't need and that are holding water, get rid of them. Old tires, for example, are notorious for retaining water that allows mosquitoes to breed. Throw them out or, if you're using one for a swing, drill a hole in the bottom so the water can leak out. Also, clean your gutters so the water can drain freely.
Trees and plants near the house provide shade and housing for mosquitoes, while stagnant water and organic material, such as leaves, give mosquitoes everything they need to breed and survive. "The better manicured lawn, with brush trimmed back, eliminates the areas that can be used as habitats," he says.
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3. Turn over buckets and pools
Kids' toys, buckets, wading pools and anything else that holds water but you don't want to throw out should be flipped over when not in use.
For water that can't be drained, such as what accumulates in fish ponds, ditches or rain barrels, use "mosquito dunks" to kill mosquito larvae. Roughly the diameter of a quarter, a dunk is dropped into standing water and releases a toxin that kills only mosquito larvae — it won't harm fish, birds or other animals. Buy the dunks at home centers. They cost about $10 for a six-pack, which kill larvae for 30 days in 100 square feet of stagnant water.
4. Tie your tarps tightly
If you're using a tarp to cover a pile of firewood, a speedboat, your grill or any other large items, make sure it's pulled tight. Otherwise, rainwater pools in the folds and the low spots. If the tarp can't be pulled tight, remove it so the water drains.
5. Treat the yard
A gallon jug of lawn insect repellant costs about $30 at a home center. Spray it on grass, shrubs and landscaped areas to create a barrier that insects won't want to cross, or buy granules that can be applied to the lawn with a fertilizer spreader. The barrier, which is typically made with oils, repels insects without releasing fumes or chemicals, so it won't harm pets or kids in the yard. It's effective for about two to three weeks.
You can hire the pros to do this, too. Mosquito Squad, for example, treats a half-acre lawn for an entire summer for $400. It also handles one-time events, such as outdoor weddings.
These tips work well for eliminating mosquito problems, but they require some planning. If the insects have already invaded your backyard party, there's not much you can do. Jundt says quick-fix remedies such as burning candles and placing fans along the ground probably won't keep you from getting bitten.
Having writer of this article to give the mosquitoes direction to my house please would be the best way to make them disappear as Im sure they would get lost.
I agree, weak info. Draining vessels that contain water on a regular basis is just common sense and will not address the big picture unless EVERYONE is diligent in doing so - - good luck there! I'd opt for the garlic spray over toxic crap anyday. Bat houses probably are the biggest threat against these little blood suckers. Maybe states and counties need to provide them in abundance especially in densely mosquito-populated areas. Do they have any other natural preditor?
I am seriously looking for another home page! I have been the victim of hundreds of these so called articles that are supposed to be informative! I was just commenting to my husband the other day that almost everything I click on turns out to be a poorly written article or not even pertaining to what the heading suggests!!! The second to the last straw was when I clicked to read something about one of Hollywood's elite and found the reference to be the "NATIONAL ENQUIRER"......REALLY???
Now just this supposedly informative article that reeks of advertisement and gives only information any 6 year old child can recite....Enough!
Anyone know of another page out there that is even 15% of what MSN thinks it is???
Now i know who brought the mosquitos with the west nile illness,THE MOSQUITO SQUAD,right 400 hundred dlls.
REALLY??? They found it reasonably necessary basically to repeat the same thing over and over again in 1-4??? Hey you know it's worth it to advertize your own business and kill even the best of bugs...bees, butterflies, spiders, cover all that stuff that feeds the birds with some poisons, no I don't believe for a single second there is a spray that is completely harmless...we will find out in 10 years after 100,000 people end up with some strange disability that it wasn't so harmless after all. Garlic oil isn't harmless either look up Heinz anemia and see if you really want to spray garlic oil around your pets...it's caused by garlic and onions a horrific death, not treatable and the pet suffocates from the inside out.
How about this...not everyone has all the breeding grounds and places to hide the little buggers, just last month I had Mosquito control come out and ask them why we had so many issues in our yard...he said OH because untill the wind direction changes they are being herded our way by the winds from the everglades. Mosquitos actually do add to the chain of life believe it or not both positive and negitive.
They spread terrible affictions on every continent killing millions every year.
They also feed small fish populations (baby fish) so our waters are healthy with larger fish, they feed bats and some small birds...I agree there has to be a happy medium in there some where because they can get out of control, but not everyone is there own worst enemy haing pooling rancid infested water laying about asking to be bitten...can we have some better informaton here other than an info-mercial