Mosquitos, one of the most common yard pests, can quickly turn a nice weather fun time into a nice weather not-so-fun time due to those annoying and painful bites they like to inflict on anyone and everyone in your yard. While the lifespan of an adult female mosquito is relatively short—only a couple of months, during those couple of months, a female mosquito has the potential to lay up to 500 eggs. Multiply that number of eggs by all the mosquitos that can swarm your yard, and you’ve got a lot of mosquito eggs that can turn into more mosquitos, multiplying the mosquito problem exponentially.
Types of Mosquitoes in Massachusetts
There are eight types of mosquitos that are common to Massachusetts, and all eight species like to feed on human blood. And while you think you might be able to escape mosquito bites in spring or fall when the temperatures might not be so hot, you are wrong. The mosquitos most commonly found in Massachusetts mosquitos, of one species or another, are active in spring and fall and in all the months in between.
There really isn’t a “safe” time of day to avoid mosquito bites in Massachusetts either. While it’s commonly believed that mosquitoes are most active in the dusk and nighttime hours, at least one species is also active in the daytime.
Here’s another “fun” mosquito fact: While most mosquito eggs hatch in 1-3 days depending on the temperature, researchers found that eggs left in moist environments can last for up to 12 months, and they can still hatch and continue on the life cycle after all those months of enjoying that moist environment.
Do Mosquitos in Massachusetts Carry Diseases?
Not only are mosquito bites painful and annoying, but mosquitoes carry diseases as well. If you’re wondering, “Do mosquitos in Massachusetts carry diseases?” The short answer is: YES!
While there are many different diseases stemming from mosquito bites throughout the world, in Massachusetts, the most common mosquito-spread diseases are West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis. These illnesses can cause symptoms ranging from a mild fever to more serious diseases like meningitis or encephalitis, both of which can be life-threatening in extreme cases. For this reason, alone, preventing mosquitoes from laying their eggs in the first place becomes the priority in any yard pest prevention plan.
Where Do Mosquitoes Lay Eggs?
If a yard—or any part of a yard—isn’t maintained regularly, especially from spring to fall, that yard can be a prime breeding ground for mosquitoes since an untended yard often means not only standing water but vegetation overgrowth also. And any overgrowth can be an optimal environment for mosquito eggs to thrive. The key here is to make sure your yard is regularly maintained so overgrowth and standing water are kept to a minimum. Even if you keep up with your yard regularly, there are several places you may not even think of when it comes to mosquito breeding. Scroll down for more.
Standing Water: No matter the species of mosquito, they all have one thing in common when it comes to laying eggs: Water. So, what’s the best way to prevent a mosquito infestation in your yard? Go to that egg-laying source: Water. Namely, standing water. Let’s break down some common sources of standing water in your yard and what you can do to prevent mosquitos from ruining your outdoor fun.
Flowerpots: While water is needed to grow flowers, if too much water is used in a flowerpot, it results in standing water and the potential for mosquito eggs. Since mosquito eggs take very little standing water to thrive, even the tiniest bit of standing water can be a home to mosquito eggs. To prevent this, make sure you’re watering flowers only as much as needed and remove any water left in the pot or in the pot drainage tray.
Puddles: It seems like a no-brainer where mosquitos and standing water are concerned, but if you have areas in your yard—both in landscaping and on hardscaping—where puddles accumulate, it would be a good idea to address these areas to make sure any standing water is as minimal as possible. With landscaping, some extra fill dirt as well as a proper drainage plan can solve the problem, and with hardscaping, it might be best to fill in these areas permanently to prevent continuous standing water due to irrigation or rainstorms.
Bird Feeders: While it’s fun to watch birds play in the water in your bird feeder, if that water is allowed to go stagnant, it’s also a fun place for mosquitos to lay their eggs. Either change out the water regularly, or if the water isn’t being enjoyed by your neighborhood birds, remove it regularly, especially after any rainfall.
Empty Tires or Yard Debris: Empty tires can be fun play structures for kids (as well as awesome workout equipment!), but when left to collect water, empty tires can become prime structures for mosquito eggs if water is remaining after irrigation or a rainstorm. Yard debris can also be a favorable breeding ground for mosquitos as it’s often left for periods of time, during which it collects standing water.
Rainwater Barrels: Collecting rainwater to use for irrigation purposes can be earth-friendly as well as budget-friendly; however, when these barrels are not tightly sealed, mosquitos can get into them and lay their eggs. And since rainwater barrels are a consistent source of standing water, this can be problematic if the barrel isn’t properly maintained.
Gutters: Standing water in gutters can be a prime mosquito breeding ground since they’re more difficult to maintain due to their decreased accessibility. And since gutters are often placed on a home’s entire perimeter, there’s a lot of places for mosquitos to lay their eggs. In order to prevent this option for mosquito breeding, be sure and remove any leaves and other debris from gutters regularly and make sure gutters are maintained as well to avoid any mosquito issues.
Contact us for any of your mosquito concerns, whether it’s about preventative spraying or understanding how to best treat for mosquitos in your yard, as well as for any pest control questions in general. We’re here to put our expertise to work for you and your yard.