Here in Maryland, May is a time for new beginnings. With it comes to spring, more daylight, more warmth, and more time outside. It also comes with those insects we all hate, blood-thirsty mosquitoes. But there are several ways in which you can help prevent mosquitoes from invading your back yard. Keeping your yard free from clutter and well-maintained will help provide less shelter for these irritating bugs. Along with a well-kept property, several plants and other wildlife can help keep mosquito numbers down. Your friends at Royal Greens Professional Lawn Care have provided a few tips for you below.
Eliminate Standing Water
Standing water is a mosquito breeding ground. Anywhere you can find stagnant water, you will encounter mosquitoes. That is because females lay their eggs in it. After a spring rain, be proactive, walk around your house and empty any containers that may have collected rainwater. Doing this and continuously changing the water for birdbaths and other animal feeders will help keep your mosquito population down. Items of particular interest are:
- Flower pots
- Old tires
- Rain barrels
- Water features
If draining water is not an option, as in the case with birdbaths and elegant water features, you can prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs in them. Bacterial insecticides are highly effective against mosquitoes and mosquito larvae without harming other animals or plants. They work by combining living organisms such as bacteria, and fungi harmful only to a specific species, in this case, the mosquito. They come in granules or dunks, which can be tossed into your water. They dissolve and release the mosquito-killing bacteria.
Keep the Grass Mowed
Tallgrass and overgrown vegetation are a favorite hiding place for mosquitoes, especially for anyone who lives close to water or wetlands. Keep your turf and other vegetation trimmed to discourage mosquitoes from nesting and allow the sun to evaporate pooling water.
Keep Gutters Cleaned
Because they are out of sight, they are often out of mind, but gutters too can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Gutters often become clogged throughout the winter with organic debris such as dead leaves and twigs. This creates the perfect dark, wet haven for female mosquitoes to lay their eggs. Add cleaning out your gutters to your spring clean-up list. Doing this will allow you to cut down on your backyard mosquito population and help prevent flooding from damaging your home.
Plant Things Mosquitoes Hate
Repel mosquitoes naturally with a few common household plants. Most of us already know that citronella repels mosquitoes, but what about lavender and catnip? Mosquitoes can’t stand the smell of lavender. And catnip? Catnip contains a chemical called nepetalactone that acts as a natural repellent. Other common household plants include:
- Lemon Balm
- Floss Flower
So go ahead, plant away this spring and be sure to include a few of these mosquito deflectors.
Invite Bats and Swallows to Your Maryland Lawn
Believe it or not, mosquitoes do have a few enemies. Swallows, purple martins, and bats all eat mosquitoes, so why not invite them into your backyard? Make them feel welcome by putting up a few bat and purple martin houses. Bats eat up to 50% of their body weight every night in mosquitoes and other insects. Because bat species worldwide are vulnerable and endangered, you will be helping to protect our ecosystem and preserve the planet. To attract swallows place your bird box facing open areas of land.
For the Ultimate Protection, Hire the Professionals at Royal Greens
While all of the above methods will help, if you want to truly control the mosquito population in your backyard, you need the help of a professional. At Royal Greens, we offer a natural mosquito service that utilizes natural repellents and oils. This is the perfect choice for those worried about the use of pesticides. We spray our Natural Mosquito Reduction Program in areas where mosquitoes live including flower beds, vertical structures, shaded areas, and mulch beds.
Our Mosquito and Tick Control service will not only protect you from the wrath of mosquitoes but from the harmful diseases, ticks carry as well. We treat the same common areas and both treatments are available on a one-time-only basis for special events.