The temperatures in Houston are rising and with all of its heat and humidity, it is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. But you don’t have to let them keep you from enjoying those warm summer nights. You can still barbeque in the backyard and stay out late without fear of those blood-thirsty pests.
Here are some tips you can use to make sure you get the most out of your yard experience this summer:
- Eliminate Standing Water in Your Yard
Mosquitos don’t need more than a bottlecap of water to breed quickly. Within a few days, thousands of mosquitoes can be flying around your yard. You can do away with standing water by following these steps listed below:
- Take a stroll around your yard, checking regularly for any amount of stagnant water.
- Empty saucers under planters, check gutters and downspouts, and empty outside toys, buckets, tires, trash bins, kiddie pools, or outdoor décor items that could collect water.
- Take care when watering your lawn and gardens not to oversaturate the ground and create puddles of standing water in low-lying areas. These can quickly become mosquito breeding grounds.
- If your yard has a birdbath or pond, consider adding a small pump to keep the surface of the water constantly moving – mosquitoes won’t lay eggs in running water.
- Check Your Screens for Tears and Holes
Mosquitoes won’t always stay outside in your yard. They can find ways into your home through tears in your window and door screens. It is important to check your screens regularly to see they are properly placed almond don’t have any openings where insects like mosquitoes could sneak in. Examine the seals around your doors and windows as well and use caulk if needed to seal any gaps. It is also important to make sure you always securely close the door behind you when entering or exiting your home. It is a constant battle with mosquitoes, the only thing worse than them biting you outside is having them bite you inside your home.
- Use Citronella in Close Proximity Situations
Mosquitoes are repelled by the odor of citronella. They are a great solution when you and others are sitting around outside on your patio furniture. However, citronella candles and citronella plants have their limitations. If you are using a candle, for it to be effective, you must be sitting close to have any protection. This is why they are great if you are just sitting in a patio chair. For a citronella plant to release its scent into the air, its leaves must be rustled or torn to provide any protection against mosquitoes. Citronella can be very helpful but has its limitations, especially as a long-term solution for mosquito infestations.
- Apply & Re-Apply Mosquito Repellants
Repellants come in a variety of lotions and sprays containing DEET or Picaridin. You kind find repellants at most general which will provide you protection as you spend time outside this summer. To get the most out of your repellant it is important you follow the directions listed on the packaging on when you should reapply. As you engage in different activities outside the repellant will fade over time causing you to be more susceptible to bites.
If store-bought repellants aren’t your things, there are options for those looking for a more natural alternative. The oils from lemon and eucalyptus have been proven to provide protection from mosquitoes similar to store-bought repellants that contain a low concentration of DEET. Other natural remedies that can provide protection are citronella, geranium, basil, garlic, and peppermint. While these provide much more limited protection, frequent reapplication can help prevent mosquito bites.
- Keep Your Skin Covered
Mosquitoes are drawn to the heat and sweat that your skin and body produces. By covering up with long sleeves and long pants you can prevent them from ever reaching your skin. Mosquitoes are also drawn to dark-colored clothing, so when you are outside for the evening it is best to wear white or other light colors.
- Use a Pest Control Service
Call a professional the check for hidden breeding areas in and around your home. They can evaluate your yard and a certified mosquito expert can develop a customized prevention plan to address your specific needs. With John Moore Pest Control in Houston, we offer solutions like installing a daily misting system, one-time pest control or monthly treatment plans, or mosquito traps that are pet and child safe.
The reality is that there is no way Houston can remain 100% mosquito-free. The warm and humid climate causes the mosquito season to be longer than in many other parts of the country. However, following these steps can help you prevent a mosquito infestation in your yard. You deserve to make the most of your outdoor space this summer!