Stop the Bites! – Helpful Hints for Homeowners to Reduce Mosquitoes

By Kendra Burnett, Mosquito Squad of Annapolis

We may not be loving all of the rain and wetness that has been inundating our area this past year, but we know of at least one insect that is… mosquitoes! Mosquitoes require standing water for their eggs to hatch. Some species lay their eggs where it is dry but know it will be wet after a rainfall while other species lay their eggs directly in water. Some species only need a teaspoon of water to deposit eggs into. They can hatch in places like gutters, plant container saucers, toys, buckets and small ruts. Although not all water sources can be eliminated, homeowners can do their part in reducing the standing water on their property.

Homeowners can follow these tips or 7 “T’s” for mosquito control:


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TIP. A small bottle cap filled with water holds enough water for mosquitoes to breed. Since mosquitoes breed in standing water, the elimination of standing water decreases a mosquito’s breeding ground. The biggest offenders are bird baths, play sets with tire swings, tree houses, portable fireplaces and pits, and corrugated drainage piping. Have a tire swing? Drill holes in the bottom of the tire to empty water or even replace the tire with a wooden or plastic swing. After every rain event, homeowners can walk around the yard and TIP over containers holding water and drain piping.


TOSS. TOSS that yard trash, bag up those clippings and leaves and make sure firewood is stacked neatly. Building or installing a firewood holder to be sure that your firewood pile does not trap water can help.


TURN. Walk the yard every few days and turn over items that could hold water and trash. Look for children’s portable sandboxes, slides or plastic toys; underneath and around downspouts; in plant saucers, empty pots, light fixtures and dog water bowls.


TARP REMOVAL. Many homeowners have tarps, or covers, on items residing in their outdoor spaces. If not stretched taut, they are holding water. Check tarps over firewood piles, portable fire places, recycling cans, boats, sports equipment and grills. Use bungee cords to keep tarps tight.


TREAT. Utilize a mosquito elimination barrier treatment around the home and yard. Using a barrier treatment at home reduces the need for using DEET-containing bug spray on the body.

TAKE CARE. Home maintenance can be a deciding factor in property values and mosquito bites. Regularly clean out gutters and make sure the downspout is attached properly. Re-grade areas where water stands more than a few hours, and make sure that all fallen branches and hollow trees or logs are removed from the property. Check irrigation systems to ensure that they are not leaking and causing a breeding haven. Keep lawn height low and weed areas maintained.


TEAM UP. Despite taking all precautions in your own home, talking with neighbors is a key component to mosquito and tick control. Education and knowledge can be used not only on your own yard, but open spaces and community owned areas.


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About Mosquito Squad

With more than 200 franchise locations nationwide, Mosquito Squad specializes in eliminating mosquitoes and ticks from outdoor living spaces, allowing homeowners to enjoy their yards. Kendra Burnett, local owner of Mosquito Squad of Annapolis, has been fighting the bite in Anne Arundel County for 12 years. For more information, visit www.MosquitoSquad.com or call us at 410.317.8385.


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