You can find mosquitos pretty much anywhere in the world. In fact, there are over 3,500 types or mosquitos. Mosquitos, and their painful bites, can turn a memory-making summertime party or outing into a nightmare all around for everyone and anyone who gets bit. There’s nothing fun about having mosquitoes as uninvited guests no matter what you’re doing outside when the temperatures warm up.
Not only are mosquito bites painful, but since mosquitos also bite animals, their bites can potentially carry diseases like West Nile Virus, several forms of Encephalitis, and others.
If you’re wondering “When should I spray for mosquitos,” the answer is to spray when mosquitos are most active. We understand this by following the mosquito lifecycle. Following this method, you will drastically reduce mosquitos so you can keep you, your family, and any guests bite-and disease-free.
In order to go from beginning to biting, mosquitos go through four stages in their life cycle: Egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Each stage is important to understand when it comes to mosquito prevention.
- Egg stage: Mosquito eggs are laid on water, and even though these eggs are laid one at a time, once they’re laid, they form a sort of “raft” that floats on the surface of the water. Most eggs hatch and enter the next stage, the larva stage, within 48 hours; however, in the winter months, they can even survive subzero temperatures.
- Larva stage: Upon entering this stage, the larva live and breathe on the water surface, and during this stage, as they continue to grow, they can shed their skins up to four times. The larva feed on organic substances and microorganisms from the water.
- Pupa stage: This stage of a mosquito’s life is a resting and non-feeding stage, and the pupae remain in the water. To stay safe, they move around based on how the light changes around them. Going from the pupa stage to the adult stage resembles how a caterpillar become a butterfly: The pupa’s skin will split as it grows, and once it has shed its skin, it’s now considered an adult mosquito.
- Adult stage: Once the pupa has moved into the adult stage, it will stay on the water’s surface for a little while as it dries off and its body parts harden. An adult will not start feeding and mating for a couple of days after entering this stage. Adult mosquitos can live up to 2 months, but even as they reach “old age” for a mosquito, their kids are already well on their way to taking their parents’ place as far as biting goes since a female will lay more eggs after each “blood” meal.
The one thing to keep in mind with all these stages is one common denominator, water, which leads us right into how to prevent a mosquito outbreak and keep them from getting to the adult stage in the first place.
How to Prevent a Mosquito Outbreak
In addition to regular spraying, which we’ll discuss below, perhaps the best way to prevent a mosquito from even laying eggs in the first place and to keep any outbreaks in your yard as minimal as possible is to keep potential standing water sources free of water. No matter where you live, this is something you’ll want to do frequently year-round, especially after any rainstorms. If you live in a climate that requires you to water your yard, you’ll also want to be aware of where any standing water can happen so you can eliminate these potential sources of mosquitos also. And since you won’t always stay solely in your yard, it’s good to know where mosquitos might be congregating—no matter where you are—so you can avoid mosquito bites as much as possible. Here are some common sources of standing water:
- Divots in concrete (sidewalks, driveways, etc.) where water can collect
- Clogged gutters
- Ponds, lakes, swamps, marshes
- Damp underbrush
- Old tires
- Tree pots
- Tall, wet grasses and plants
- Play structures
- Trash containers
- Sand box toys
- Patio furniture
- Kiddie pools
- Unused hot tubs and spas
Basically, mosquitos love anywhere water can collect, so be sure and examine your yard regularly to make sure you don’t have any sources of standing water.
Another thing to remember is that mosquitos bite just as well inside your home as outside, so make sure that inside your home is mosquito-free as much as possible too:
- Use window and door screens, and make sure to quickly repair any holes.
- Keep doors closed, including garage doors.
- Use air conditioning when possible to make it harder for mosquitos to enter your home through open windows and screens.
When Should You Spray for Mosquitos?
Even if you’re ultra-vigilant in eliminating standing water in your yard, we still highly recommend you follow a regular spraying schedule, treating your yard—including all vegetation—about every 21 days once your daytime temperatures reach 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Another mosquito prevention tip is to also regularly trim these areas and keep weeds to a minimum. In addition to spraying, your pest control professional can also install non-toxic mosquito traps, like those offered by in2care.org, which lure, and then contaminate mosquitos, harming both them and any breeding sites they visit. One huge benefit of mosquito traps is that they’re safe for both the kids and pets who enjoy your yard.
Mosquito prevention doesn’t need to feel overwhelming, especially once you understand both how and where mosquitos breed, where they can congregate in your yard, and how to prevent them both through being ultra-attentive to standing water sources and through a regular preventative treatment schedule. Have questions about how to treat mosquitos in your yard or need a prevention professional on your side?
Contact us, and we’ll be happy to put our expertise to work for you and your yard. After all, our goal is to solve your pest problems—especially where those mosquitos are concerned.