Mosquito larvae hatch in pools of water, so the first line of defense against these unwanted pests is to remove standing water from your property. Check the following areas often, especially if you have had significant rainfall:
• Saucers under potted plants
• Children’s toys
• Buckets, wheelbarrows or lawn tools
• Tarps or plastic sheets covering pools, compost piles, etc.
• Patio furniture and grills
• Lawn decorations
• Pet bowls
• Trash Cans
You should also keep your gutters and downspouts clean and in good working order. Blocked gutters and clogged downspouts provide ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Here are some tips for dealing with special situations:
• Regularly replace the water in bird baths, or other water features in your yard. Mosquito eggs hatch into larvae in about 48 hours, so if you pour the birdbath water into your garden at the end of the day and re-fill the bath the next morning, you interrupt the mosquito’s life-cycle.
• If you have a fish pond you can stock it with breeds of fish that eat mosquito larvae.
• Rain barrels are now sold with filters meant to keep mosquito’s out. You can also prevent larvae from forming by using collected water quickly. Consider attaching a soaking hose to your rain barrel and threading that hose around nearby landscaped plants. This way you save water and time because the soaking hose waters plants for you.
• If you have an old tree stump that tends to collect water, fill the cavity with sand.
• Time-release pesticide tablets called “Mosquito Dunks” are also available. Toss them in your pond or other body of water and kill mosquito larvae for up to 30 days.