There are 150 different species of mosquitoes in the US - and it seems like they all live in North Carolina! In order to produce one batch of fertile eggs, females need a “blood meal.” Yes, you are definitely on the menu. When they feed, they inject saliva under the skin to keep your blood from clotting. This - not the bite itself - is what creates that itchy, red welt.
You could drown yourself in DEET every day, or you could…
- Get Rid of Breeding Grounds. Attack the problem where it starts: breeding. A female mosquito can lay up to 400 eggs, which is why this is a particularly prolific problem. They lay their eggs in standing water. Draining and removing as much of this stagnant water as possible is a smart step in reducing the number of buzzing menaces in your backyard. If you cannot or do not want to remove a feature, such as a birdbath, be sure to change the water at least once a week.
Pay close attention to birdbaths, wading pools, tree holes, clogged gutters, containers (e.g. flowerpots), trash cans and lids, etc. If you have a small pond in your garden, for example, get a filter to keep the water moving and/or get mosquito control rings. These release natural bacteria that kill larvae.
- Keep Your Ponds and Water Features Clear. While we know female mosquitoes love a good blood meal, their larvae eat algae and water-borne organisms. When you kill off the larvae, you reduce the nuisance that bothers your backyard gatherings, gardening, or outdoor chores. If you have water features - ponds, fountains, water gardens - keep them clear. Skimming and moving the water help tremendously, and you may want to pick up an environmentally-friendly pond cleaner.
- Maintain a Mosquito-Resistant Yard. Why not battle mosquitoes and beautify your yard? Planting strategically can help you deter these pests. Some great options:
- Lemon balm
Bonus: some of these make a great addition to your summer dishes! What’s better than garden-fresh garlic and herbs!
You can also make your property more friendly to mosquito predators. Install a bat shelter and/or a birdhouse, and let them help.
- Try a Mosquito Repeller for Your Yard. Ultrasonic mosquito repellers are scent-free, chemical-free, and create a “safe zone” in your yard. They work by emitting a high-frequency sound that is undetectable to humans but that drives pests away.
- Have a Pest Control Pro Spray Your Yard. Once a month, you can treat your yard to kill mosquitoes. The product eliminates the current population and leaves a residue that will take care of those that enter your yard after. It is an effective, safe way to combat a pesky mosquito problem.
If mosquitoes are ruining your outdoor fun this summer, do not hesitate to contact the experts. Rid-a-Bug has extensive experience in removing all manner of unwanted intruders from your yard and home. No, we can’t do much about Uncle Al, but we can help you take care of the mosquitos!