We have all been there; the weather just starts getting nice. It’s warm but not too hot, humid but not overbearing. The trees are just starting to green up and the birds are chirping. You decide to have some friends over for drinks and a BBQ. After all, you’ve felt quarantined inside your home all winter. So, you set up some chairs outside and all of a sudden, your friends arrive. No, not the ones you’ve invited, but rather the ones that buzz, bite and somehow find any exposed flesh on which to feast. We can’t let that happen. It’s time to reclaim your outdoor space so you can enjoy your summer to the max.
Step 1: It is important to understand the environments that are conducive to insects. The first thing you need to do is remove any stagnant water, the preferred breeding spots of mosquitoes and gnats. Empty buckets, bowls and other yard debris that may be holding stagnant water. Clean out your gutters of leaves or branches. It is worth remembering that a mosquito larva only needs 8-10 days for germination. Removing all breeding sites from your yard is just the start.
Step 2: Keep your lawn well manicured. Tall overgrown grass, bushes, and trees produce great living environments for mosquitoes. They enjoy shade, decomposing leaves and the moisture retention of the tall grasses. A well-kept yard will not provide the best habitat for breeding these biting invaders.
Step 3: Treat your lawn and bushes with an insecticide. This will need to be done every month or so, depending upon how much rain your area may get. The more rain, the more likely it is that the product is being washed away. If you are planning on having an outdoor party, be sure to treat your lawn at least two days in advance. Consider Malathion 50% E.C. by Southern Ag.
Step 3a: Consider a few bio-friendly alternatives, if you don’t feel comfortable using chemicals. Try citronella candles and/or thermacells. You may want to incorporate some mint and rosemary plants into your landscape as the strong aroma of these plants may drive some of your biting friends away.
Step 4: Put your feet up and enjoy your mosquito-free space. To recap, the best way to enjoy a mosquito-free summer is to make your home as uninviting as possible to them. Remove all standing water, clean your gutters regularly and keep a well-maintained yard. If they do still make some untimely visits, treat with an insecticide or employ a bio-friendly alternative.