If mosquitoes have been ‘bugging’ you this summer, you’re not alone. But before you reach for chemical solutions, consider prevention first. Here are some ways to reduce mosquito breeding in your yard and prevent mosquito bites.
Mosquitoes breed in standing water such as small puddles, in containers around your yard, in ornamental pools and aquatic gardens, and under air conditioning units. Some mosquitoes can breed in only a bottle cap of water. Since many types of mosquitoes do not travel far from where they hatch, getting rid of mosquito breeding sites can reduce the number of mosquitoes in the surrounding area.
- Get rid of standing water and regularly empty containers that collect water such as toys, buckets, birdbaths, swimming pool covers, or debris such as old tires.
- Drill holes in the bottom of recycling bins, swing tires and other outside containers.
- Clean out rain gutters and make sure they drain properly.
- Repair leaky pipes and outside faucets.
- Turn garbage can covers right side up and tightly cover water storage containers such as buckets, cisterns, and rain barrels.
- For containers without lids, use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito.
- Fill holes or depressions in trees with sand or mortar, or drain after each rain.
- Use larvicides to treat large containers of water that will not be used for drinking and cannot be covered or dumped out.
- If you have a septic tank, repair cracks or gaps. Cover open vent or plumbing pipes. Use wire mesh with holes smaller than an adult mosquito.
- Report potholes that hold water to the City.
- Stock ornamental ponds with mosquito-eating fish, like mosquitofish, fathead minnows, killifish, and bluegill.