After a cold winter spent indoors, there’s nothing like the promise of warmer weather that comes with spring.
But spring’s longer days, sunny skies, and fragrant blossoms also come with a big downside – mosquitoes. This is because the combination of occasional showers and warmer weather is the perfect recipe for an influx of these annoying pests.
And, as many places around the country are starting to see warmer weather hold out during fall too, mosquitoes also tend to hang around longer now. As such, while many of us consider summer to be the season when mosquitoes come out, for many parts of the country, it pays to be prepared all year round.
Check out this guide to learn how to prepare for mosquito season.
When Do Mosquitoes Come Out?
There’s no exact date to mark the beginning or end of mosquito season. Instead, what happens in the summer season is that temperatures rise above 50 degrees and encourage these pests to come out and play. And they’ll hang around until the weather cools.
Of course, in regions with hot summers and mild winters like Florida, mosquitoes can be a year-round problem. As such, it’s even more important to ensure you’re prepared.
So, when are mosquitoes most active? In warmer weather, it can feel like mosquitoes are a constant annoyance. But they do tend to be more active in the late afternoon and early evening so this is when you need to be most on your guard.
How to Prepare for Mosquito Season
Whether mosquitoes are a constant problem in your region or not, it’s never too early to prepare for their arrival. Here are some methods to keep these pests at bay:
1. Remove Standing Water
The best way to keep mosquitoes out of your house is to keep them away from the yard. And one thing that attracts mosquitoes above all else is standing water.
Mosquitoes reproduce in standing water, and even the tiny amount that it would take to fill a bottle cap is enough for them to do so. With this in mind, it’s crucial that you empty out any rainwater that’s accumulated in the garden.
Look out for common culprits like empty buckets and plant pots, pool covers, and pet food bowls. And birdbaths are an easy target for mosquitoes too so make sure to get rid of these.
It’s also important to act fast. Mosquito eggs can mature into nymphs in a few days so any time it rains you’ll need to remove any standing water straight away.
2. Clear Drains and Gutters
You also need to keep your home’s gutters and drains clear. Gutters often get cluttered with fallen leaves that have built up during the fall and winter. This can then cause the standing rainwater that mosquitoes thrive on to pool.
3. Control Your Yard
Mosquitoes love cool and shady gardens full of tall grass and overgrown bushes. To keep mosquitoes away, make a point of trimming and tidying your yard before the high season. Cutting back any overgrown trees and bushes also helps to dry up the wet areas of the garden where mosquitoes are likely to hang out.
While you’re clearing your yard, you should also make a point of filling any uneven terrain on the lawn with topsoil and grass seed. This will help stop rainwater from collecting in these dips, which are often perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
4. Turn on Fans
Although fans aren’t as effective for keeping you cool as air conditioning, they do have the added benefit of reducing mosquito landings.
The breeze created by a fan makes it hard for mosquitoes to stick to their flight path. But fans also help to disperse the carbon dioxide us human emit when we breathe. It’s this carbon dioxide that guides mosquitoes towards us when they’re looking to feed, meaning that fans help to throw mosquitoes of the scent.
And, if you’re wondering, ‘what time do mosquitoes come out?’, they’re often more prevalent around dusk. Make sure to keep your fans running as the sun starts to set and during the evening as this will help keep mosquitoes from bothering you and your family.
5. Call the Professionals
Changing your habits and using home remedies can help to stop mosquitoes from entering your home. But, as explained in this article, it’s often a good idea to hire a professional to inspect your property as well.
During the inspection, mosquito removal professionals can help identify problem areas that you might have overlooked. They’ll also advise you what to do to manage fat mosquito population.
Regular visits from a professional are the best way to keep mosquitoes away on a consistent basis.
6. Add Mosquito-Repelling Plants
Mosquitoes have a keen sense of smell but they hate the aromas emitted by fragrant plants. Mosquito-repelling plants include eucalyptus, rosemary, basil, peppermint, marigold, and lavender.
Plant a selection of these plants in your garden to help keep mosquitoes off your property. You can also add potted plants inside your home to deter mosquitoes from coming inside.
7. Burn Incense and Scented Candles
Mosquitoes also hate the fragrant smoke of incense and citronella candles. It’s a good idea to place these close to your home’s entrance points and light them before mosquitoes come out to play. This will help stop them from entering your home in the first place.
For maximum mosquito-repelling power, buy incense sticks with ingredients like citronella, cloves, and eucalyptus.
8. Stock Up on Catnip
If you’re a regular target for mosquitoes, you also need to protect yourself from bites.
But forget DEET – the compound used in most insect repellents. Instead, you should rub catnip on your skin. Researchers have found that nepetalactone, the essential oil in catnip, is ten times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET.
9. Spray Garlic-Infused Water
Another smell that repels mosquitoes is garlic. For this home remedy, you need to peel and crush some garlic cloves and boil them for around 20 minutes.
Spray this garlic-infused water near entry points around your home and the damp, dark places mosquitoes are attracted to. You should pay particular attention to drainage areas, shady parts of the yard, and air conditioning vents.
How to Repel Mosquitoes
With these great tips to guide you, there’s no excuse for being caught off guard by mosquito season.
All it takes is a little home maintenance and a few mosquito-repelling extras and you should be able to reduce the mosquitoes in and around your home by a significant amount.
For more tips and advice, be sure to check out our other articles!