As residents of northern Texas, we are all familiar with the frustrations we face each summer as temperatures rise, and mosquitoes begin to emerge. Not only are these pests an irritant to homeowners interested in enjoying their property, but their bites can also pose a serious health risk. Mosquitoes can be carriers of many dangerous and potentially life-threatening diseases, such as the West Nile Virus, and Zika. These carriers can transmit these and other dangerous diseases to us, our children, and our pets with a single bite. Luckily, there are measures we can take as homeowners to control the mosquito population in our lawns, allowing us to feel safe and comfortable when we enjoy the yards and outdoor spaces on our properties.
Mosquitoes are a cold-blooded insect, and therefore thrive in the warm and wet temperatures of the summer and hibernate in the cool winter months.
How Do Mosquitoes Populate?
Male mosquitoes consume only nectar, where as a female mosquito feeds from biting a human or animal and consuming blood. After a female mosquito has mated and bitten, she will lay up to 300 eggs at one time in standing water. This does not need to be a large body or pool of water; mosquitoes can lay their eggs and see them hatch within as little as 1” of water.
Where & When Will We See Them?
The mosquito’s lifespan is completely temperature dependent. Once temperatures rise to about 50 degrees, they will begin to emerge in your community, and in your lawn. Activity and population will continue increases as temperatures rise, peaking around 80 degrees, and thriving as temperatures increase from there. As summer temperatures rise, so will the activity in your lawn, peaking during dusk, nighttime, and dawn. Mosquitoes thrive in cool, sheltered areas all around your property. These areas include the spaces below your decks, porches, and alcoves on your home. They also live and rest in thick brush, shrubs, trees, hollow trees or logs, and potted plants. Any area around your home that is cool, shaded, and moist will attract and provide shelter for a mosquito population.
When Does Mosquito Season Begin and End?
Because mosquito life is directly related to climate, mosquito season will vary regionally, as well as annually in your own community. The warmer the climate, the sooner they’ll emerge, and the longer they’ll remain. Some states won’t see activity until May or June, but here in Northern Texas our season will likely begin as early as the beginning of March.
In our warmest years, we have seen mosquito activity begin as early as February and extend as late as November. As long as the climate remains warm and hospitable to the insect, mosquitoes will remain in your lawns.
HOW TO CONTROL A MOSQUITO PROBLEM
Many homeowners don’t begin to address their mosquito problem until an infestation is in full swing, and their yard and property are swarming with pests. By then, a breeding population has already been established in your lawn, and as temperatures escalate so too will the density of your mosquito population. Because of this, it is best to begin treatments or at home preparations for mosquitoes before the temperatures rise to that 50 degree mark. Since our temperatures are already in the Mid 100’s now, you are likely already dealing with a population. Although it is not too late to alleviate this issue, it’s always best to begin sooner rather than later. At Gecko Green, we provide a very specific mosquito treatment for your yard that will effectively control and reduce the mosquito population in your lawn. However, for our treatment to be effective the homeowner must participate as well by reducing conducive conditions in the environment on their property.
1. Eliminate any objects or areas that collect standing water
Any areas that collect small pools of water create the appropriate space for a female mosquito to lay her eggs. This can mean anything from gardening tools, flower pots, buckets, wheelbarrows, or birdfeeders. By eliminating these areas and objects that allow small pools of standing water to build, you are creating a less suitable environment for the insects to breed.
2. Clean clogged gutters
Clogged drainage systems on the exterior of your home create an ideal environment for a mosquito population to flourish. Do your best to clear any debris or foliage from your rooftop gutters. This will eliminate standing water and areas that would be ideal for mosquito breeding.
3. Take note of hollow logs and stumps in your lawn
Addressing these will eliminate areas with the potential to collect water, as well as eliminate a potential hibernation ground for mosquitoes in the winter.
4. Repair leaks, screens, and cracks on your property
Leaks on the exterior of your home can also be a source of standing water, and need to be eliminated if possible. To protect the interior of your home from mosquitoes, a 16-18 mesh is the ideal screen size for pest control purposes. Any cracks in the walls or foundation of your home can provide easy access for the mosquito to get inside, so be sure to fill and repair these when at all possible.
5. Install bug lights
Bug lights won’t necessarily alleviate or eliminate an existing mosquito population, but they will help to create a less attractive environment for the mosquito during evening hours.
OUR MOSQUITO TREATMENT PROGRAM
Gecko Green provides a regular service to our customers to control and reduce the mosquito population in your yard and outdoor spaces. Coupled with the aforementioned preparation, our mosquito control services can allow you to enjoy your outdoor spaces more effectively in the summer months. Our services will typically begin in early March, or as soon as our temperatures begin to rise to that 50 degree mark. Our technicians will visit your property every 21 days and apply a residual product to the most vulnerable areas of your home. As previously mentioned, the mosquitoes plaguing your lawn are resting and living in the cool, dark, and moist areas of your lawn.
The most effective way to attack them is to spray and treat these resting zones, so that when the insect returns to its resting areas it will contact the product. Each successive evening after the first day of treatment, mosquitoes will rest in treated areas and the population will be reduced. It usually takes about 5 days for the mosquito populations to reach their lowest levels. The product we use will continue to reduce the population for the following three weeks, at which time we will return and apply another layer of protection on those resting areas. The cumulative effect of successive treatments will ensure the mosquitoes are controlled and minimized for the remainder of the season.
Gecko Green is a family owned, local business dedicated to serving our community. Your satisfaction is our guarantee! If you are experiencing a mosquito problem in your outdoor space, please contact us for a free consultation!