How Mosquitoes Find You
You may have heard that certain blood types, foods or drinks attract mosquitoes to you. Or maybe you've heard that mosquitoes prefer blondes over brunettes. While you may have the bites to prove it, none of these myths really explain why mosquitoes bite humans.
Very simply mosquitoes are drawn to the carbon dioxide we expel when we breathe. A secondary mosquito attractant is the scent of our skin or sweat. Mosquito activity is highest at dawn and dusk, so if you are out during these hours you're at a higher risk for bites.
Eliminate Breeding Grounds
Your first line of defense to get rid of mosquitoes in your yard is to eliminate the areas where they are breeding. Mosquitoes breed in stagnate water, depositing up to 200 eggs at a time. Mosquito eggs can hatch in as little as 1” of water and mosquito larva will spend up to their first 10 days in water.
Gutters, birdbaths and kiddie pools may be obvious sources of standing water, but consider these unlikely places as well:
- Tire swings
- Plant saucers
- Leaky pipes or faucets
- Watering cans
- Water can even pool up in the folds of your grill cover
When storms are in the forecast, turn over any object that can collect water or empty out water after the rains pass. You can even add holes for self-draining in objects like tire swings and plant saucers.
TIP: Do you have a pond on your property? Goldfish and koi are natural predators known for including mosquito larvae in their diet.
Once you've eliminated their breeding areas, a natural mosquito repellent is one of the best mosquito control methods. Granular mosquito repellents work by masking the scent of carbon dioxide, skin, and other body odors from nearby people and animals.
To apply, sprinkle mosquito repellent around the perimeter of your pool, patio, deck or other areas you want to protect. Dr. T’s Mosquito Repellent will activate within 1 hour of application, and can provide up to three weeks of protection.
Limit Mosquito Access
Once you've removed all standing water and set up your repellent barrier, there are a few additional steps you can take to keep mosquitoes away from your home.
- Keep screens on open windows and check periodically for small tears or holes
- Consider adding screens to open porches, patios or decks
- Mow your lawn and tend to weeds regularly. Tall grasses and weeds provide resting areas for mosquitoes.
- Use a small fan on your porch or deck. In addition to keeping you cool, mosquitoes can't fly in steady winds.
- Use fluorescent light bulbs outdoors. Mosquitoes are attracted to incandescent lights.
What methods of mosquito control have been successful your yard? Share your tips in the comments below.