Get Rid of Mosquitoes in Your Garden

Get Rid of Mosquitoes in Your Garden

By Michael Jenkins

With spring coming soon, many of us are looking forward to spending more time outside. Whether we’re in our garden spaces or enjoying some other outdoor activity, spring is a beautiful time of the year. However, there’s a cloud to every silver lining and with the return of spring also comes the return of many insects, including mosquitoes. While these blood-sucking insects are a part of nature and need to be understood in those terms, they can be annoying and do sometimes spread diseases. So in this blog we’ll talk about how to get rid of mosquitoes in your garden, some basic steps for mosquito control, and a few methods to keep from getting bitten. Let’s dig in!

All About Mosquitoes

In an etymological sense, mosquitoes are technically flies. The word mosquito is Spanish for “small fly”, which pretty well describes these insects. Members of the family Culicidae, there are something like 3,700 different species of mosquito found all around the world. These are adaptable bugs—there are mosquito species living in almost any environment you can think of!

Mosquitoes have a close relationship with water, preferring to lay their eggs in standing water so that the larvae can thrive their during their first stages of development. Interestingly, while all species of mosquitoes feed on plant nectar, not all are bloodsuckers. However the ones that are can be very annoying to humans. Mosquito bites cause itchy bumps or even rashes, and mosquito saliva can transmit diseases to both humans and animals (while we think about mosquitoes as a human problem, they can bother pets and farm animals as well). Common mosquito-borne diseases include malaria, yellow fever, and dengue fever.

Keeping Mosquitoes Out of Your Garden

So while there are some very good reasons to keep mosquitoes away from your home and garden, how do you go about it? The good news is that there are some (relatively) easy steps we can all take to reduce the mosquito population near our homes. While different places and different species of mosquito may require different solutions, here are some general tips for getting rid of mosquitoes.

  • Remove trash, detritus, and yard wastes in order to help ensure that there’s no habitat for mosquitoes or other pests to live in. While we do recommend creating wildlife habitat in some part of your garden if at all possible, piles of trash or yard waste attract and house pests, not wildlife. Cleaning up your space encourages mosquitoes to move on.
  • Don’t forget your gutters, birdbaths, and vehicles in the search for standing water. Rainwater can pool in partially clogged gutters, giving mosquitoes a place to breed. Likewise, standing water in old tires, the backs of pickup trucks, or even in the wheels of rarely-used vehicles can also give mosquitoes a home. By eliminating these sources of standing water—and changing the water in your bird baths every few days—you can keep mosquitoes from taking up residence. Self-draining containers for container plants also help keep mosquitoes away, so try to use them when possible.
  • Rain barrels must be managed properly to prevent mosquito infestation! Keep your rain barrels well-sealed, with screens over openings when possible. Check your rain barrels regularly to make sure that they’re not becoming mosquito condos!
  • Use an appropriate insect repellent and wear long sleeves when working outdoors. It may not be the most convenient thing in the world, but by using a good human and/or pet safe mosquito repellent and wearing loose fitting, long sleeve clothing you can keep mosquitoes away from you and your animals. This in turn denies them a meal and thus reduces their population; many species of mosquitoes only lay eggs after feeding on blood.

Mosquitoes are annoying, and potentially a source of disease. By taking regular, routine steps to keep mosquitoes out of our garden spaces, we can all help reduce their populations and keep the outdoors a bit more safe and comfortable. We hope these tips help you do just that!

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