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How to get rid of mosquitoes

When the temperatures start rising, we know that summer is well on its way. Unfortunately, warmer weather isn’t the only indication that summer has arrived. Mosquitoes are nuisance creatures that thrive in moist, humid climates, making summer their favorite time of year. To help you with all your mosquito problems, we wrote the ultimate guide on how to get rid of mosquitoes. 

When mosquitoes start to make their presence known, every homeowner gets busy trying to think up ways to get rid of them. Whether you make use of a home remedy, clean up potential breeding grounds around your yard, or contact a professional pest removal company to rid your home of mosquitoes, it is possible to greatly reduce the population of this annoying insect. How do you get rid of mosquitoes? Read our ultimate guide to learn more about how to bid summer’s least favorite winged creature a not-so-fond farewell. 

If you’ve got mosquito problems in the Dallas-Fort Worth area then we’d love to help. You can get an accurate price quote here. You can also give us a call at 972-855-8469 or email us at info@vinxpestcontrol.com.

How Long Do Mosquitoes Live?

If you’ve got a mosquito infestation brewing in your backyard, how long mosquitoes can live is probably at the top of your list of questions. Most mosquitoes do not reach their projected lifespan as they are often eaten by other predatory animals or are killed by humans.  The complete life cycle of a mosquito from the egg stage to death from advanced age is between one to two months. However, few ever live to enjoy old age. To properly understand the average life expectancy of a mosquito, it is helpful to be familiar with each stage of the insect’s circle of life. 

  • The egg stage

Female mosquitoes require blood to remain healthy enough to reproduce. Hence, it is this strong desire to propagate the species which promotes the need for a meal of blood to prepare the female to lay eggs.

Once the blood meal has been sourced and consumed, the female mosquito selects the ideal environment where she can deposit her eggs. Her preferred locale is an area which is home to water that is stagnating or regions are known for flooding.  After the female lays her eggs, there is a gestation period of a week before the eggs are ready to progress to their next stage of life. 

  • The larval stage

The next stage of life occurs when the eggs have hatched. The mosquito larvae are quite tiny, measuring only ¼ of an inch in length. At this time in the mosquito’s life cycle, the insect does not yet have wings. Their small thin bodies are worm-like in appearance and covered in hair. Even at this tender age, the mosquito’s main body parts are already clearly formed including the siphon-like appendage which stems from the torso and that is used to suction blood in an adult mosquito. Its primary role is to permit proper respiratory function at the larva stage. 

During this stage, larvae mostly feed to gain strength and the proper nutrition to begin the molting process, something that must occur four times before the insect may progress to the next stage of life. A period of approximately two weeks in length, the larval stage is complete when the insect has increased its overall size by two times. 

  • The pupa stage

The pupa stage is largely inactive. The feeding period of development is now over and no further molting occurs. It is during this time that pupae begin to experience light and to react to it. It takes up to four days for the pupa to develop into a fully grown mosquito. 

  • The adult stage

The adult stage is achieved when the mosquito breaks through its casing. Males are most often the first to emerge. When the female emerges, there is an immediate surge to mate. Though the female mosquito can live up to two months, males typically die after only a couple of weeks. It is the female mosquito who requires a blood meal; males feast on the nectar from plants.

What Attracts Mosquitoes?

If you’ve ever wondered why mosquitoes seem to be drawn to one person over another, your observation is correct: certain people ARE more attractive to this pesky winged insect. The American Mosquito Control Association has been conducting research to determine what elements must combine to make a person a desirable host for mosquito activity. It is believed that a person’s genetics are responsible for up to 85 percent of their appeal to the mosquito population. Experts agree that the unique chemical composition of a body when present on the skin is a strong attractant for mosquitoes. Steroids, uric acid, and cholesterol tend to be three of the most popular compounds. 

Mosquitoes possess the unique ability to detect their next meal from a distance of up to 50 meters away from the food source. 

How is this possible?

Carbon dioxide is one of the biggest mosquito attractants in the world today. People who are larger in size or stature emit more carbon dioxide which helps to explain why adults and pregnant women are at a higher risk of being the recipients of mosquito bites. 

Mosquitoes are also drawn to the lactic acid released in sweat. 

How to Keep Mosquitoes Away

Keeping mosquitoes away from your home and family is an important priority. Thankfully, there are many different things you can do to greatly reduce the mosquito population in your yard. Among the top solutions are:

  • The use of window screens

One of the key components against mosquito bites is prevention. Traditional mesh window screens keep mosquitoes from entering your home, thus eliminating the worry of mosquito bites while you and your family are asleep. 

Window screens allow fresh air to permeate a home but are equipped with openings too small to permit mosquitoes a portal of entry. To ensure the utmost efficacy of a screen, carefully check them for signs of tears or breaking away from the frame and repair all vulnerabilities. 

  • The removal of stagnant water sources

For mosquitoes to reproduce water is required since the egg, larva, and pupa stages all occur in water. Few families are aware that mosquitoes can lay their eggs in the most minute amount of water including collections in cups or bowls left out in their yard.

For the best form of mosquito control, remove all stagnant water sources from your yard. This one simple act will eliminate common mosquito breeding grounds and will greatly reduce their population. 

Common items that collect water include rain gutters, eavestroughs, children’s toys, wheelbarrows, and garden watering cans. Time is of the essence when it comes to restoring items in your yard to a dry state as mosquito eggs hatch within four days and often sooner. 

  • The commitment to regular yard maintenance

Keeping your yard tidy and as dry as possible will help remove areas where mosquitoes commonly like to congregate. Though mosquitoes favor moist, humid conditions for reproduction, they prefer to recline in the shade, so keeping your grass cut and debris to a minimum is a critical part of keeping the mosquito population in your yard to a bare minimum. 

  • The proactive use of repellents and appropriate clothing for maximum coverage

Mosquitoes cannot bite what they cannot access. To prevent mosquito bites, keep as much of your body covered as you can when outdoors. However, sunny summer days aren’t the ideal conditions for sporting a turtleneck. With this in mind, making use of a mosquito repellent spray on any exposed skin will help deter these annoying insects from making a meal out of your arms or legs.

How to Kill Mosquitoes

There are several different effective methods for killing mosquitoes. Experts recommend the use of more than one type of mosquito control to achieve the greatest reduction in their overall population. 

Among the most popular methods for killing mosquitoes are:

  • Eliminate all breeding grounds

Finding and removing all mosquito breeding grounds brings opportunity for reproduction to a grinding halt. The removal of stagnant water effectively kills any eggs, larvae, or pupae, thus limiting the size of the colony. Making your yard an inhospitable environment for mosquitoes is the most effective means of controlling the population.

  • Introduce predators

There are several different animals that like to feast on mosquitoes. The inclusion of these creatures into your yard or garden can have a tremendous positive impact on the size of the mosquito colony currently in residence. Ornamental fish such as koi enjoy feasting on mosquito larvae. Other animal predators that can assist you in the war against mosquitoes include lizards, geckos, frogs, bats, spiders, and dragonflies.

  • Apply chemical treatments

There are several chemical methods by which you can kill the mosquitoes that have invaded your yard. One of the most popular treatments is the use of an ovitrap. Ovitraps contain a small amount of stagnant water that has been treated with toxic chemicals. The water is a strong attractant for the mosquitoes who enter the trap and succumb to the poison contained in the water.

Another popular chemical treatment is the use of an insect growth regulator, also known as IGR. When added to water, this chemical prevents eggs from reaching the larval stage of development. Though highly effective, exposure to IGR can be harmful to family pets. 

  • Use a flyswatter

The timeless method, a flyswatter, definitely yields great results. Though a flyswatter kills mosquitoes on contact, it requires time and effort to make an impact on the size of a colony.

What Do Mosquitoes Eat?

Male and female mosquitoes have different nutritional requirements. The male mosquito feasts on nectars found within plants and flowers. While the female mosquito also enjoys these same foods, she requires a meal of blood from a living source in order to reproduce. The protein and iron procured from the blood host is a vital component to assisting the female with laying her eggs. 

How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes in the House

It’s bad enough to have an infestation of mosquitoes outdoors, but it is a real nuisance to have them join you inside as well. If you’ve got mosquitoes taking refuge in your home, there are several different home remedies you can try to get rid of them. 

Here are some of the most popular ways to get rid of mosquitoes in your house:

  • Burning citronella candles

While citronella will not kill mosquitoes, its scent does repel them. Other fragrances mosquitoes dislike include peppermint and eucalyptus. 

  • Setting mosquito traps

Homemade mosquito traps are an excellent and cost-effective way to deal with pesky insects. To create your own trap, take a clean plastic pop bottle, and cut it in half. Add 2 ounces of brown sugar to 7 oz of hot water and stir until the sugar completely dissolves. Allow the mixture to cool completely. Sprinkle in a small amount of yeast to create carbon dioxide, the substance which has a powerful draw for mosquitoes. Wrap the bottom half of the pop bottle with black paper. Place the top half of the bottle inside the trap upside down to act as a funnel to guide mosquitoes down into the trap. 

  • Using a flyswatter

If you only have a few mosquitoes in your home, sometimes a flyswatter is the most effective tool.

How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes in Your Yard

Taking stock of where mosquitoes are hiding in your yard is a critical first step to gaining control of the mosquito population. Though it is not possible to completely eliminate mosquitoes, you can implement measures to greatly reduce then control their presence in your yard. 

Here are some of the most popular and effective ways to rid your yard of mosquitoes:

  • Remove pools of standing water

Standing water is an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes. By drying up the source, you will reduce the opportunity for mosquito reproduction. 

  • Include BTI treatments to water to pools

BTI, a fungus known as Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis, can safely be added to pools, rain barrels, drain ditches, and retention ponds. When BTI comes in contact with a mosquito in any life stage, it causes a fatal infection. Though BTI is lethal to mosquitoes, it is safe for water-dwelling plant and animal life. 

  • Keep your yard well manicured

Keeping your yard in tip-top condition helps to eliminate areas of refuge for mosquitoes. Remove any buildup of leaves or grass clippings and maintain a well-tended lawn for best results. 

  • Add plants with mosquito repelling properties to your garden

There are many different plants that mosquitoes dislike, making them the ideal addition to your yard or garden. Among the most popular mosquito repelling plants are lemon balm, lemongrass, lavender, citronella, catnip, basil, marigolds, and rosemary. 

  • Add cedar mulch to your garden beds

Cedar mulch effectively removes excess moisture from your garden. These dehydration properties help to make your yard and garden inhospitable to mosquitoes. 

  • Make use of a repellent

When all else fails, try a repellent spray. Though repellents do not kill mosquitoes, they do keep them away from you which is an important part of disease control.

Got mosquitoes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and wish you didn’t? Try one of our top tips for helping to reduce the mosquito population in your yard. For more information on how to make mosquito woes a thing of your past, contact the professionals at Vinx Pest Control Company at 972-855-8469 or info@vinxpestcontrol.com or fill out the form below. 

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