Partner Content: Reducing Mosquitoes on Your Property

Chris Lee is the owner of Wrex Wildlife Services in Croton-on-Hudson. wrexwildlife.com.

This month I would like to share some tips on how to modify your yard to decrease the chances of mosquitoes residing on your property and possibly infecting your family with West Nile Virus, Zika Virus, or Eastern equine encephalitis.

Due to the heavy threat of Zika Virus, NY State recently rereleased a 6 step Zika Action Plan to limit the potential outbreak of Zika virus. Reducing the number of mosquitos is an important first step in combating the virus.

Did you know?

Mosquitoes are aquatic insects and spend part of their life in water, and therefore should be managed both as larvae in the water, and as adults in the air.

The mosquito that transmits Zika Virus is primarily an aggressive day time biter which lays its eggs in containerized water (flower pots, buckets, bird baths, etc.). A single mosquito can lay up to 1200 eggs in one day, in as little as a bottle cap of water.

Mosquitoes are considered by some as the most dangerous animal on the planet causing up to 750,000 deaths a year worldwide. Mosquitoes are host to many deadly diseases such as West Nile, Malaria, Zika virus and Yellow fever.

(Photo Wikipedia)

Common misconceptions about Mosquitoes:

  • Mosquitoes die after biting a human: When a mosquito bites a human, it does not lose its probiscis (mouth piece) so it’s free to feed on other humans.
  • Bats are a great source for mosquito control: While bats are very beneficial to the Eco System and do eat many bugs, not all bats eat mosquitos, and mosquitos are not a primary food source for bats.

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in damp areas. If you follow these suggestions, they will help reduce the population of mosquitoes residing on your property by reducing the damp locations on your property:

  • Clean up excess debris (rocks/ plants) particularly debris that blocks or clogs drains/ gutters.
  • Tip out any buckets, or flower pots which are trapping water. Leave these turned upside down to avoid water accumulating.
  • Remove all stagnant water sources. If you have a pond or bird bath on your property, make sure to have a source to help move the water. An inexpensive solar fountain pump will help move the water, so mosquitoes cannot lay eggs.
  • Add the following plants to your yard, particularly near your home:
    • Citronella
    • Lavender
    • Garlic
    • Mint
    • Basil
    • Sage
    • Lemongrass
    • Marigolds
    • Rosemary
    • Catnip

Another way to reduce or eliminate mosquitos on your property is with a botanical insecticide treatment. The treatment most pest control companies use is 100% organic and 25b exempt, meaning it poses little to no risk to man or the environment from federal registration under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. Unlike other pesticides, the way the botanical components work is they act in the vapor phase and are classified as “true repellents”. When mosquitos come in the vicinity of them, they are repelled by the vapors. In contrast synthetic pyrethroids are called “excito-repellents. The mosquito must physically touch them to be repelled for it to still be effective.

If you have questions about mosquitoes or other pest issues, contact me at rex@wrexwildlife.com and I will be happy to provide you with any information that I can.

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About the Author: Chris Lee