Summer’s here, and that means barbecue, sunshine, swimming, and unfortunately… MOSQUITOES! If you find yourself swatting at pesky bloodsuckers every time you try to relax outside, check out these tips for how to get rid of mosquitoes in your yard.
1. Get Rid of Any Standing Water
Any pockets of standing water on your property are potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Buckets, tires, tarps, trash cans, and gutters are some common problem areas. Next time it rains, take a look around and your yard to see where water is gathering, then do whatever you can to get rid of it. A mosquito can lay 200 eggs in a bottle cap full of water, so try your best to eliminate even small amounts of water.
If you have standing water you want to keep around, like in a bird bath, be sure to change that water frequently or use something like these “dunks” to kill larvae – they contain bacteria that is toxic to mosquitoes, but they won’t harm humans or anything else in your yard.
2. Cut Back Existing Vegetation
Mosquitoes don’t just live off blood – they also eat up plant nectar. And they like to hang out in cool, covered areas when they’re not flying around. By manicuring plants and bushes, clearing out any brush, and mowing your lawn often often, you’ll eliminate sources of nectar and expose more sunlight to your yard.
3. Mosquito-Repelling Plants
Many plants release natural fragrances that mosquitoes aren’t so fond of. Catnip, citronella, lavender, mint, sage, rosemary, basil, and marigolds are some examples. And while you’re gardening, you can also also put down some mulch around your plants – it will help eliminate excess moisture.
Some folks swear by traps for getting rid of mosquitoes. If you want to go the DIY route, you can make one out of a bottle or bucket. If you do make a trap, be sure not to neglect it and let the solution get diluted – then you’ll just have another mosquito breeding ground in your yard.
You can also buy all sorts of traps. The electronic lantern-style traps are the most common, but there are also propane traps that are pretty neat – they convert propane to carbon dioxide, moisture, and heat to attract mosquitoes.
5. Blow Them Away
This isn’t a longterm solution, but if you’re just hanging out, set up some fans. Mosquitoes are pretty weak when it comes to maneuvering through the air, so they avoid any wind. If you want to take this to the next level, you can create a trap with a box fan, window screen, and zip ties:
6. Bug Bulbs
Replacing outdoor light bulbs with yellow “bug lights” like these is another way to keep mosquitoes away. Mosquitoes and other bugs are mainly attracted to incandescent lighting, so bug lights are essentially invisible to them. Another option is zapping mosquitoes by using these light bulbs with built-in traps. Whichever bulb replacements you choose, it’s a great idea especially for lights near doors, since it will keep pests from coming inside your house.
7. Build a Bat House
If you’re not too creeped out by bats, you can install a house for them on your property. It’s worth it – a single bat can eat 1,000 mosquitoes in a night! If you want to go this route, it’s a fun DIY project, but you can also buy a bat house on Amazon.
8. Professional Treatments
If you’ve tried everything and you’re still getting swarmed every time you step outside, consider having a pest control company treat your yard. Typically a single treatment will be effective for about a month. The potential harmfulness of having a few such treatments done on your yard is debatable, but keep in mind that mosquitoes can also carry and transmit dangerous diseases.
I hope some of these methods help you control mosquitoes in your yard. If you’ve got any tricks that work well for you, please be sure to share them in the comments below!