As we near summer, all eyes are watching the Zika virus. This mosquito-borne pathogen, that has been proven to cause microcephaly in unborn children at all stages of pregnancy, has only been found in travelers coming into the country. But that could change at any moment. When it does, it will be called an outbreak. If Zika gets into our local mosquito populations and stays, it won't be the first. Every year we battle West Nile, dengue, malaria, yellow fever, chikungunya, and other diseases carried by mosquitoes. That is why it is vital to understand what draws mosquitoes to our homes.
These are blood eaters. So, we probably don't have to tell you that a few dozen people standing in your backyard are going to attract mosquitoes; and since you're not likely to have dozens of people in your yard every single day, we'll move on.
Mosquitoes breed in still water. This is why mosquitoes are so bad in a swamp, but your backyard doesn't have to look like the Everglades to draw mosquitoes in. If you have objects in your yard that capture water and let it sit, you'll have more mosquitoes. Here are some examples:
Toys left in the yard by children can have pockets that collect water.
Obstructed gutters can cause still water to become available.
A sagging roof can create a pool of water after it rains.
Low spots in a yard can collect water.
Some plants, like ornamental ginger, heliconia, bromeliads, etc., have many spots where water pools up.
Bird pools that don't have a fountain will be perfect for mosquitoes to breed in.
Stagnant water is attractive to mosquitoes. The less you have of it, the better off you will be.
We mentioned plants, but flowers can also draw mosquitoes onto your property. Male and female mosquitoes are both able to draw nectar from flowers. But, it is important to note that female mosquitoes are much more interested in drawing blood.
You may empty your bug zapper and find mosquitoes in it and think that you're winning the battle. But the truth is you're not. Bug zappers are only efficient at killing male (non-biting) mosquitoes. It is, however, extremely proficient at drawing ALL mosquitoes onto your property.
Don't Take Chances with Mosquitoes
Getting bitten by a mosquito is like walking through a minefield. You're not going to get sick with every bite, but at any moment, it could happen. Stay safe, by reducing the things that draw mosquitoes into your yard and consider getting mosquito services from a professional like Parkway Pest Services. Mosquito services kill mosquitoes hiding in your yard, destroy eggs before they hatch, and remove conditions that draw mosquitoes in. Get your yard protected before the summer mosquito wave and reduce your chances of contracting Zika and other viruses.