If you live in a wet or low-lying area, you are probably already very familiar with the whine of a hovering mosquito. These annoying pests not only cause itchy, painful bumps when they bite, but they are also responsible for the spreading of serious diseases like the recent Zika outbreak. With more cases of Zika being reported within the United States every week, many homeowners are more eager than ever to keep mosquitoes away from their yards and families. This is particularly important if you live near a body of water or have incorporated a standing water fixture into your landscape design. These four landscaping tips may not keep every bug out, but they should help dramatically reduce the mosquito population in your backyard.
Installing Bat Boxes
Bats may have a creepy reputation, but these flying mammals are actually an essential form of pest control. A standard bat can eat an estimated 1,200 mosquitoes per hour, and they are harmless to humans. You can attract more bats to your property by installing a bat box somewhere quiet and out of the way. Your nocturnal residents will stay quiet and out of sight during the day and then emerge at night to feast on the mosquitoes that might otherwise be feasting on you.
Burning Chemical Mosquito Repellents
If bats aren't your cup of tea or if your property is not conducive to bat boxes, you can drive mosquitoes away by burning chemical repellents such as citronella. Installing specialized burning trays or torches will give you an easy platform to light these repellents whenever you want to spend an evening outside with friends or family. This solution, however, requires more frequent action than the others and may be responsible for significant spending in the long run.
Planting Natural Mosquito Repellents
Mosquitoes can also be warded off with the strategic placement of certain aromatic plants, many of which are popular additions to herb gardens anyways. Mints, sage, rosemary, and catnip all have a reputation for driving away mosquitoes, and they may improve the natural smells of your yard in the process. Lemon balm, lavender, and citrosum, are also popular options.
Avoiding Standing Water
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, from which swarms of hungry young bugs emerge to search for their next meal. If you live next to a pond or lake, you may not have much of a choice when it comes to your local mosquito levels. But if you have a stagnant fountain or pond in your own yard, it may be the culprit behind your pest problem. Replacing standing water with a moving fountain or treating it for mosquito problems can halt the next generation of larvae before they can turn into winged, bloodsucking terrors. If you have grown tired of being a free meal for these disease-spreading bugs, contact a landscape designer today, such as All American Landscape Design Inc., to begin making these simple renovations that should have a dramatic impact on your mosquito population.