Did you know that mosquito larvae actually hatch in late-February? At least in Massachusetts, they do, according to the Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project. Now is the time to start preventing a mosquito infestation on your property. Mosquitoes live close to where they hatch, so if you don't want to get bitten this summer, then do some easy mosquito control work now.
First, identify anywhere and everywhere that standing water can accumulate. Mosquitoes can mature in just an inch of water. If buckets, birdfeeders, or water features have collected standing water over the winter, dispose of that water. Make sure that rain barrels are covered tightly, and that water is not pooling up around your downspouts and foundation. Clean your gutters, or hire a roofer to clean your gutters, to make sure that they are moving smoothly and not trapping water in stagnant pools.
Second, be a good neighbor and find out if your neighbors have standing water on their property. Depending on your relationship with your neighbors, this could be a touchy subject. If you're on friendly terms with your neighbors, offer to help them to clear out possible places on their properties where mosquitoes could mature. For instance, if any of your neighbors have standing water in their swimming pools, that's a mosquito breeding ground that will counteract your efforts on your own property. It's important for groups of neighbors to be on board together to prevent mosquitoes from inhabiting their blocks.
Third, manage vegetation on your property. According to the American Mosquito Control Association, "adult mosquitoes prefer to rest on weeds and other vegetation". Cut down vegetation adjacent to your house foundation, and mow the lawn regularly. If you choose to use pesticide on your property, a qualified pest control expert can spray the lower parts of trees and shrubs.
Fourth, install good screens. If you have a porch, screen it in. Mechanical solutions, like screens, are one of the most effective ways to enjoy the outdoors without getting bitten by mosquitoes. You'll reap the benefits of installing a screen system on your porch this summer. An example of an easy system to install is the ScreenTight System that Becky, a DIY remodeler from Blair, NE posted about on Hometalk.com.
With some preparation work right now, you can enjoy your backyard with fewer mosquito bites this summer. Do you have any great mosquito prevention tips to share? Leave a comment please.
Chaya Kurtz writes for Networx.com.