Mosquitoes and Your Landscape

When it comes to the West Nile virus, our primary concern is the Culex mosquito. They are prevalent during hot summer weather. Culex flies during the cooler times of the day and produces the familiar whining sound buzzing around your ear. During the heat of the day, this mosquito prefers to rest in cool, damp, protected and shady places. Culex is attracted to sources of light and carbon dioxide.

The carbon dioxide comes from the respiration of humans and other animals. Decorative and security lighting may attract mosquitos.

What can you do to make your property less attractive to these biting insects?

Treating ponds and birdbaths for newly emerged mosquito larvae is highly effective. Treating adult mosquitos resting in vegetation is much less effective and must be repeated.

Water

Eliminate or change frequently sources of standing water, as standing water is a perfect breeding ground for mosquitos. Adjust your irrigation system and check its efficiency frequently.   If you have a wet spot that cannot be remedied by a redesign of the irrigation system, plant a tree such as a willow, which may dry the wet area.

Mowing

Keep grass mowed to a height of three inches. Mosquitos can breed and rest in long damp grass.

Weed Control 

Weeds over a foot high are perfect places for adult mosquitos to rest during the day.  Mow and/or treat weeds with herbicides.

Pruning

During the day, mosquitos rest in dense, protected foliage found in foliage less than six feet high. If appropriate, limb up trees and open up dense shrubbery by taking out old canes and reducing plant height.

Prune branches away from gutters and downspouts. This will lessen the likelihood of clogged gutters that can serve as breeding grounds for mosquitos.

New Landscaping

Consider ground covers and dwarf shrubs close to your home’s foundation, around your patio and other frequented areas. Outdoor lighting near windows and doors may invite mosquitos into the home.  It is recommended to position lighting away from windows and doors.