What You Need To Know
While there is some variance in how mosquitoes breed and how they grow their populations, most species rely on stagnant water sources as part of their life cycle. Adult mosquitoes lay their eggs in still water. Those eggs then hatch into larvae and develop into pupae in these areas of standing water, feeding on fungi, algae, and other microorganisms to survive. But if you can break this cycle of reproduction, you can have an impact on the mosquito populations in your yard in the spring and summer. This can be done at any time of the year!
1. Remove Containers
If you have any containers in your yard that can collect rainwater, it is important to remove them to deter mosquito breeding on your property. This could be a wide range of items. It might be a tire or a lawnmower sitting outside. It could be the top of an appliance stored in the backyard or a discarded toy. There are many objects that can function as containers for rainwater.
2. Prevent Water Accumulation
If you have conditions that allow water to form into puddles on your property, these should be addressed. Some examples of these conditions include a broken or obstructed gutter system, a damaged spigot, water hose, or sprinkler, or compacted soil that doesn't allow water to sink into the ground. Anything that creates areas of standing water provides mosquitoes with a place to breed. And all those mosquitoes need is an inch of water to be able to breed!
3. Alter Containers
Some objects that can hold water are able to be altered instead of removed. For example, if you have a tire swing, you can poke a hole in the bottom of the tire to allow any collected water to drain out. If you're able to make an alteration, it can prevent rainwater from accumulating inside as well as the mosquitoes that breed in that water. You can also take measures like turning over a kiddie pool when it is not being used to eliminate stagnant water sources around your home.
If you have an ornamental pond in your yard, there are two ways you can prevent mosquitoes from using it as a breeding site: introduce new water to allow water circulation to occur or put fish in the pond to eat developing mosquitoes.
4. Empty Containers
Sometimes, containers can't be removed or altered, such as bird baths. If you have an object in your yard that holds stagnant water, empty it out periodically to prevent mosquitoes from developing. It takes over a week for mosquito eggs to fully develop into adults mosquitoes. As eggs, larvae, and pupae, mosquitoes need to remain in stagnant water. If that water is emptied onto the ground, those mosquitoes are likely to die off. This is especially effective at controlling mosquito populations in spring as mosquitoes often survive the winter in their eggs because they are more resistant to the cold, winter temperatures inside their eggs.