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  • Eliminating Mosquito Breeding Grounds – Take Back Your Yard!

    Tired of mosquitoes preventing you and your family from enjoying your evenings outdoors?  Then it’s time to take back your yard by eliminating mosquito breeding grounds.

    Getting rid of mosquitoes isn’t an easy task.  Mosquitoes will fly up to one mile in search of a good meal, so the mosquitoes that are troubling you may not even be coming from your own yard.  Still, it makes sense to do everything you can to control the problem, not only because mosquitoes are a nuisance, but because they also carry disease.

    Step 1 – Eliminate any standing water. Mosquitoes are small creatures, and don’t need very much water to lay their eggs.  A female mosquito can lay up to 300 eggs at one time.  The following are just some of the many places that water can lurk in your backyard:

    Puddles
    Buckets
    Flower pots
    Bird baths
    Watering dishes for pets or livestock
    Rain gutters
    Air conditioning drains
    Outdoor faucets
    Garden hoses
    Tarps used to cover boats or outdoor equipment
    Pool covers
    Rain barrels
    Watering cans

    Whenever possible, eliminate the source of standing water.  If it can’t be eliminated – as is the case with a watering dish – it should be regularly emptied and cleaned before being refilled.

    Of course, some mosquitoes don’t even need standing water and are perfectly content to lay their eggs in an area that remains damp for several days.  For this reason, avoid overwatering your lawn, and, if the area above your septic tank stays unusually damp, consider treating the area to help it dry out.

    Step 2 – If you have water sources that can’t be eliminated or that you don’t want to eliminate, such as an outdoor water garden, invest in a few fish.  Minnows are a good choice as they eat mosquito eggs.  You can also use a larvicide designed to kill the mosquito larvae.  The most common larvicide is the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis.  However, when using these products, always read and carefully follow the instructions on the package.

    Step 3 – Eliminate places adult mosquitoes like to live.  They like tall grass, so regularly mow your lawn. They also like to hide in bushes and brush, so keep your yard neat and clean.  Finally, you can spray insecticides and repellents on the base of bushes and trees to keep mosquitoes away.

    Step 4 – Consider treating the area to eliminate mosquitoes.  There are a number of commercial repellents and insecticides that you can use.  Be sure to read all of the instructions and precautions carefully, and use only as directed.  Mosquito traps are also available, either in do-it-yourself or commercial versions, ranging from about $25 to several hundreds of dollars, depending on the model you choose.

    Step 5 – Remember Step 1?  Check again.  In fact, plan to look for standing water regularly to keep your mosquito population under control.

    Step 6 – When you find standing water that’s outside of your realm of control, such as a neighborhood ditch or drain, contact your local government.  Many times, a community effort is required to control mosquito populations.