Learning how to get rid of mosquitoes naturally is important beyond ensuring a comfortable backyard cookout. Mosquitoes present a health risk to everyone in the family — even pets. Mosquito-borne diseases — which kill more than one million people worldwide every year — include malaria, yellow fever, encephalitis and, more commonly in the United States, West Nile virus. Mosquitoes also carry heartworm, a life-threatening disease for dogs.
So, it’s worth the effort to control mosquitoes around your house and to reduce your risk of getting bit. Here are some tips for backyard mosquito control:
Most mosquitoes can fly no more than one to three miles, and some mosquitoes such as the Asian tiger mosquito have a flight range of just 100 yards or so.2 So they’re always looking for a place to land or a place to lay eggs, and water is an attractive option.
- Eliminate standing water where mosquitoes breed by emptying the saucers for plants, hauling off old tires, cleaning rain gutters and frequently changing the water in birdbaths. Don’t leave pet bowls filled with water outside when your pets are indoors. Look out for water that gathers in pool covers, buckets and trash cans. Even discarded Frisbees, toys and lids can collect water after it rains and attract mosquitoes.
- Walk around your property with an eye for puddles. Fix the problem, and mosquitoes won’t have a place to lay eggs.
- Stock ornamental ponds with mosquito fish that eat the larva or treat the water with larvicide mosquito rings sold at home and garden stores.
- Most adult mosquitoes rest during daylight. Mosquitoes spend daylight hours hiding among vegetation. Reduce mosquito shelter in your yard by trimming weeds and keeping the grass short.
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