Mosquitoes are not just irritating, they’re potential disease-carriers as well. Disease such as malaria, dengue, yellow fever, and West Nile Encephalitis are just some of the life-threatening diseases that these little vampires carry, and statistics show that 12,500 people around the world die from dengue every year. That being said, how will you keep mosquitoes out of your yard? Here are some easy ways:
- Eliminate all stagnant water. Mosquitoes breed in dirty, stagnant water, so one of the first things you should do to reduce their number is to eliminate their breeding places. Stagnant water is water that stands for more than three days in a single spot. Some potential places where stagnant water could be found in your yard include water in plant pots, ponds, your pet’s water container, birdbath, rain barrel, unused swimming pool, and water in your ditch and gutters.
- Opt for running water. Mosquitoes don’t breed in running water, so if you must have some water feature in your yard, it’s best that you go for a fountain or waterfall (plus, the sound of cascading water has a very therapeutic effect).
- Consider breeding fish that eat mosquitoes. If you want to have a pond in your yard, you could have mosquito-eating fish such as goldfish, guppies, koi and killfish. Bass, catfish and bluegill are also natural predators that will actively kill mosquitoes that come near the pond.
- Have plants that repel mosquitoes. There are many mosquito repelling plants available, and these include eucalyptus, lavender, catnip, peppermint, rosemary, marigold, and citronella grass. By having these plants around, not only will you have fewer mosquitoes in your yard, you’d benefit from the extra fresh air and sweet scent too.
- Try out mosquito disks or dunks. Mosquito disks or dunks are circular, time-release rings that release bacteria that only affect mosquito larvae, fungus gnats and black flies. These are made to float on ponds, and are active for 30 days.
- Trim your grass regularly. Grass can also be a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes, so make sure that you trim it regularly.
- Have a spray handy. If you are going to stay for a time at your backyard, add further protection by spraying the spot where you’d be staying with a mosquito repellent. You could also put on mosquito repellent on your skin. Commercial brands usually have DEET, which has been found to be harmful especially to the young and elderly. That’s why it may be best if you purchase mosquito repellents that are made of natural ingredients, such as citronella oil and lemon eucalyptus oil.
Do know that mosquitoes typically come out after the sun goes down, and those that carry harmful disease tend to bite the legs. Because of this, it’s best that you wear long pants, and stay away from dark clothing that attracts insects more.
Taking these steps may take some effort, but if you consider the potential costs of harboring mosquito larvae in your yard, these precautionary measures are all certainly worth taking. Good luck!