4 Common Mosquito Breeding Grounds in Your Yard
Summer is the time of year we get to enjoy ourselves most here in North Carolina and throughout the country. Whether it’s hosting a cookout, playing games in the yard with family or simply relaxing and soaking up the sun, the summer brings the perfect weather for spending time outside. Unfortunately, it’s the time of year mosquitoes are a common pest in North Carolina. While it’s warm and humid both day and night here, the summer is the perfect time for mosquitoes to multiply. But where exactly are mosquitoes breeding and multiplying in your yard?
Where Do Mosquitoes Breed?
The most common mosquito breeding grounds are:
Why Do I Attract Mosquitoes?
If you have a backyard that's been overrun by mosquitoes you'll probably be wondering to yourself, what attracts mosquitoes? Unfortunately there are quite a few things that might be attracting mosquitoes to your backyard. Mosquitoes thrive in areas that are warm and have plenty of moisture. This means if you're located near a creek or river, have standing water such as birdbaths or faulty gutters, you'll be attracting mosquitoes to your home!
Outside of environmental factors, people can attract mosquitoes by:
Don't Let Mosquitoes Push You Inside!
Not only do mosquitoes cause itching and discomfort wherever they go, but they can also carry and transmit harmful diseases. With dangers of Malaria, Zika virus, West Nile and more, having mosquitoes around your home can put you and your loved ones directly in harm’s way.
You shouldn’t have to spend your beautiful summer indoors avoiding mosquito bites. With proper precaution and awareness, you can help limit the number of mosquitoes that make their way into your yard. Below we talk about the most common mosquito breeding grounds in and around your yard that you may not be aware of!
While you may know that stagnant water is the best place for mosquitoes to breed, you may not be aware of just how little of this water they actually need to do so. Mosquitoes don’t need a wheelbarrow full of water or whole pond to reproduce; they can lay their eggs in as little as a bottle cap of water! It can be very difficult to get rid of every single source of standing water around your yard, so it’s important to know some of the most common sources you may not be already aware of, including:
- Trashcan lids
- Flower pots
- Grill covers
- Discarded cups
The easiest fix to these sources is to drill holes in the bottoms, so that water is able to drain when it rains and can’t collect to make a perfect nest for mosquitoes.
Did you know the wind is one of the biggest enemies of mosquitoes? To avoid the threat of even the slightest breeze, mosquitoes will often take refuge in debris that may be lying around your lawn. Allowing bundles of sticks or piles of branches to remain in your yard invites mosquitoes to hang around. When bushes and other natural areas go unchecked and overgrow, they become a perfect shelter from wind for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes can even find protection from grass that is too tall! Some other common yard debris attractive to mosquitoes are:
- Grass clippings
- Thick vegetation
- Raked leaves
- Compost piles
If you’ve got yard debris around your home, do yourself a favor and get rid of them. Not only will it help minimize the number of mosquitoes in your yard, but your lawn will look even more beautiful than it already does!
A very common mistake many homeowners make is to not properly keep gutters and drains cleared during the summer. When leaves and twigs are allowed to gather and clog drains, gutters, and drainage pipes, mosquitoes get an ideal home that’s a combination of tips 1 and 2: standing water and a place to hide. Withstanding water trapped from debris in drains, mosquitoes are given everything they need to reproduce and invade your yard. One of the best ways to keep mosquitoes from your home is proper drain and gutter maintenance and cleaning!
One of the only downsides of summer is that sometimes it gets too hot. And when your pets get too hot, they need to cool off with a big bowl of water. However, since you can’t drill holes in the bottom of it, you should never leave your pet’s water bowl outside for extended periods of time. The undisturbed, fresh water will attract mosquitoes straight to your home. The same goes for bird baths--these provide a source of shallow, stagnant water for mosquitoes to lay their eggs in. The birds may be pretty, but mosquito bites certainly aren’t!
Wearing dark clothing has been shown to attract mosquitoes more than light clothing. Blue is particularly attractive to mosquitoes!
Solution: Brightening up your wardrobe with some lighter colors will lessen the attraction of mosquitoes! Wearing tightly woven clothing can also help repel them. Materials like cotton and linen are usually worn in the summer for their cooling properties, but they just don’t cut it when it comes to mosquitoes. Clothing made of synthetic fibers are usually woven close enough to keep mosquitoes away!
Mosquitoes are attracted to body odor and moisture. At times, both of these are near impossible to avoid in the hot summer months, but unfortunately, this can attract mosquitoes.
Solution: Try your best to keep sweat from settling and staying on your skin, and opt for moisture-wicking fabrics. You can also get an outdoor fan--mosquitoes struggle to fly in winds and it will keep you from sweating! That’s what we call a win-win. If your backyard is not particularly windy, opt for some outdoor fans!
Yes, mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide, meaning simply breathing can attract mosquitoes. Mosquitoes have evolved to detect CO2 as a sign that life is near. This means the bigger the gathering, the more likely you are to experience mosquitoes.
Solution: While this one is pretty hard to avoid without dying, doing heavy exercise outside is only going to be a huge attractor for your mosquito neighbors. If you are exercising outdoors, grab the DEET. Though some research shows it being potentially dangerous, reactions usually only happen when it is ingested. When used in small quantities, it is very effective and not harmful to most people. When used appropriately--rubbed, not sprayed--it can definitely do the job of keeping mosquitoes away.
Strong smells can possibly be attractants for mosquitoes, meaning smelling good might put your family at risk of itchy bites!
Solution: Perhaps opt for not wearing scents if you know you will be outside for long periods of time--and consider your deodorant! Strong smelling deodorants can also attract mosquitoes.
Get $50 Off a Mosquito Treatment
Even with following all of these tips and paying careful attention to common mosquito breeding grounds, it can be nearly impossible to keep every mosquito out of your yard without professional help. If you’re in need of effective mosquito control in Greensboro or the Triad area, Terminix Triad is currently offering $50 off your first mosquito treatment. We offer targeted treatments every month during the summer and fall to ensure mosquitoes stay away for the long haul!