Have you ever been outside after a rainy spell and noticed an uptick in the number of mosquitoes in your yard? If so, you weren't imagining things.
Mosquitoes breed in standing water. Excess rain or rain on already saturated soil can create prime conditions for a mosquito population boom. Georgia, for example, gets a whopping 27% more rainfall than the national average. The city of Marietta is one of the wettest spots in the state, seeing almost an inch and a half more rainfall than average. It's no surprise that a recent report named Atlanta as the "Top Mosquito City" in the U.S. - for the third year running!
If you want to spend more time enjoying your yard and less time "swatting and swearing," we've got some good news for you. While there may be no way to completely eliminate mosquitoes, there are methods you can practice to keep the pesky mosquito population in your yard under control.
Female mosquitoes tend to lay up to 300 eggs at a time and they usually lay eggs three times before they die. These clusters of eggs, often referred to as rafts, exist on the surface of stagnant water or in areas that flood often and easily. Unfortunately, it is important to monitor these areas closely, as mosquitoes can hatch in as little as an inch of water. The new mosquitoes start out as eggs, and then hatch into larvae called wigglers. They then develop into pupae which are partially encased in coccoons. Over the course of several days, these pupae then morph into mosquitoes.
Mosquito season lasts from March to October, with the heaviest population boom occurring in the summer months. This means that February through early spring is a great time to prepare for managing your mosquito problem. Schedule an appointment with pest experts to reduce the mosquito population immediately. Keep their activity from spiraling out of control later in the year.
Breeding Area Management
Though you may not be able to stop the rain, you can do your best to eliminate easy breeding areas for mosquitoes. Look over your yard, and see if there are any containers accumulating water. Some common breeding spots for mosquitoes include watering cans, buckets, children's toys, and tire swings. Empty out any non-essential containers, and if you have any object intended to hold water— such as a birdbath— pour it out and refill it.
It takes a week or two for mosquitoes to go through their hatching cycle, so you don't need to make this patrol daily. Giving your yard a walk-through every few days can make a big difference.
Different species of mosquitoes prefer different types of puddles to breed in, and it doesn't take a lot of water to lure them. No matter how vigilant you are, you won't be able to get rid of all their breeding spots.
However, a little common sense combined with professional treatment can let you and your family reclaim the outdoors this year!