5 Ways to Get Mosquitoes Out of Your Backyard - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Published on July 22, 2016

5 Ways to Get Mosquitoes Out of Your Backyard

Mosquitoes carry and transmit viruses and parasites that can cause Zika, yellow fever, dengue fever, chikungunya, malaria and more.

Mosquitoes use watery areas as a breeding
ground. If there’s no standing water
in your back yard, they can't lay their eggs.

They’ve been called the deadliest animal in the world – that’s right, we’re talking about mosquitoes. Mosquitoes carry and transmit viruses and parasites that can cause Zika, yellow fever, dengue fever, chikungunya, malaria and more. They’re estimated to transmit disease to 700 million people annually, leading to more than two million deaths per year.

Most of those deaths occur in impoverished parts of the world where prevention is minimal and healthcare is often substandard. However, as you undoubtedly know, mosquitoes are just about everywhere – even in your own backyard. That doesn’t man your family faces an imminent Zika threat, but it does mean you should take steps to get rid of mosquitoes to help keep your family healthy this summer.

The key is to police your yard for standing water. Mosquitoes use watery areas as a breeding ground. The lifecycle of a mosquito begins when one lays its eggs on or near standing water. It takes about a week for that egg to transform into an adult mosquito. If there’s no standing water, the eggs won’t have the opportunity to mature.

Here are five ways to keep your home and yard mosquito-free:

1. Remove standing water from containers.

This is certainly the number one way to prevent mosquitoes from invading your yard. Therefore, it’s important to tip over or drain birdbaths, old tires, kiddie pools, flower pots or gutters – any place where water can collect.

2. “Bomb” the standing water.

For water than cannot easily be drained – a fish pond or a ditch where water always collects – purchase “mosquito dunks” (they aren’t expensive) and drop them in the water. The dunks release a poison that only harms mosquito larvae – not animals, fish or people. One homemade alternative is to sprinkle used coffee grounds in standing water This forces the eggs to the surface of the water, effectively killing them before they ever hatch.

3. Treat the lawn with insect repellant.

This can help to create a barrier that will prevent mosquitoes from living in your yard. You can buy repellant and do this yourself, or hire a service.

4. Secure tarps.

If you’re using tarps to cover firewood, your grill or any other large item, be sure that they’re pulled tight so that there aren’t any folds where rainwater can collect.

5. Use citronella candles.

These candles won’t prevent mosquitoes from laying their eggs and hatching, but they can help to keep them away from you if you’re trying to enjoy your backyard.

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