I teamed up with RISE to help you learn about how to keep mosquitos out of your yard this summer!
It’s finally summertime and while that brings tons of fun in the sun, it also means bugs, bugs, bugs. Thanks to the super wet Spring here in the South, I’m predicting that this summer will be epic in terms of mosquitos. Ugh. Then add in the threat of the Zika virus and it makes all those backyard barbecues you have planned a little less exciting.
While the U.S. is well-equipped to control mosquitoes and the spread of diseases such as the Zika virus we still need to do our part to protect our families. So this month I partnered with RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment)® to help you learn how to keep mosquitos out, keep your home healthy and take back your summer. No reason for those pesky little mosquitos to keep you from enjoying all the fun you have planned.
Obviously you are going to be using personal repellants this summer when you are out and about but today I want to talk about how to keep mosquitos out of your backyard this summer. These are some simple steps to take and if you are proactive and diligent, you should see fewer numbers bothering you this summer.
:: Eliminate Standing Water
All mosquitos go through four stages during their life. The first three stages all occur in water. That means one of the best prevention techniques is to eliminate standing water in your yard. Most people are probably pretty proactive in dumping large water sources in their yards – especially during the summer but did you know that just half an inch of water can be enough for mosquitos to reproduce? While you may be actively emptying your kids’ swimming pool or dogs’ water bowls, here are five water sources you might not be checking:
- Tire Swing – If you have a tire swing in your backyard you may have standing water inside the rim. Regularly check it or drill a hole in the bottom to let it drain.
- Clogged Gutters – If your house gutters aren’t draining properly due to debris, they can be breeding grounds for mosquitos.
- Grill covers – If you have a cover over your grill, make sure it’s pulled on very tightly. Otherwise water may pool in a low spot.
- Plant Saucers – After a good rain, your outdoor plants may have some excess water in their saucers. Make sure you check these and regularly dump out the excess water.
- Kids Toys – Children’s toys are a huge source of standing water. After a rainstorm check buckets, wagons and even plastic shovels to ensure there is no water resting in any of them.
:: Trim Grass and Bushes
Once mosquitos move into the fourth stage they no longer need water. Instead they like to hide out in tall grass and bushes during the heat of the day. Bushes and tall grass not only provide shade but they are often cool and damp from rain or watering. Be sure to plant pest-harboring shrubs and ornamentals away from your home to ensure mosquitos don’t have easy access to the indoors. Also keep your yard mowed and keep bushes and plants trimmed.
:: Keep the Air Moving
Turn on the ceiling fan on your patio. Fans can do a nice job at repelling mosquitos for a variety of reasons. Obviously if the air is moving quickly it’s harder for a small mosquito to circle and land on you. However, that’s not the only reason fans work. When you breathe you exhale carbon dioxide. This is one of the major chemicals that attract mosquitos. A fan dilutes and spreads that carbon dioxide making you less attractive. Mosquitos are also attracted to sweat, lactic acid and body heat. The air from the fan helps keeps you cool, thus reducing body heat and sweat.
:: Treat Your Yard
In addition to weeding and mowing, you may need to incorporate mosquito control products. You can either do it yourself or enlist the help of a professional. If you go the DIY route, make sure you educate yourself before you start spraying. Larvae mosquito treatments are applied directly to water sources and will help control growing mosquito larva in the early stages of life while adult mosquito treatments can be used to reduce mosquito populations. Since these are chemical based products, always read and follow all label instructions – this ensures safety and effectiveness. Also keep in mind that only EPA-registered products have been proven to control mosquitoes. You can also learn more about pesticide applications dos and don’ts here.
If you do enlist the help of a professional, here are some questions you may want to ask your potential provider:
- Are you licensed by the state to apply pesticides?
- How long have you been treating for mosquitoes?
- What training have you and your team undergone specific to mosquito control?
- How do you decide when to treat?
Follow these simple steps for how to keep mosquitos out of your yard and hopefully you will see fewer in your yard this summer. I know my husband and I are busy tackling our yard making sure it’s a safe place to play and entertain this summer. I hope you’ll join me. Mosquito prevention truly is a community effort!
More About RISE
RISE works to educate people on the responsible use of pest control products such as personal repellents and pesticides used on lawns and gardens, playing fields and parks, and inside homes and other structures, as well as mosquito control. RISE also created debugthemyths.com, a resource hub designed to answer common questions about repellents and pesticides and to serve as a place to ask questions and learn more about controlling common pests in your yard and community.
Join me and RISE for a Twitter party on June 28 at 9PM ET. You can follow along at #AtoZika.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of RISE® as part of the Mom It Forward Blogger Network. The opinions and text are all mine.