As summer rolls in, many people are spending more time at home and in their backyards — unfortunately, when the warm weather arrives, so do the mosquitoes. So, if you don’t want that annoying buzzing in the middle of the night it’s best to try to prevent mosquitoes getting into your home in the first place!
Here are four simple tips on how to keep mosquitoes away from your home — so you can focus on keeping the fun in and the mozzies out.
1. Stagnant water
Mosquitoes breed in standing (still) water. While they only need a small amount of water to lay their eggs in, it must be stagnant for at least six days in order for the larvae to fully develop. Have a good look around your house, garden, patio, yard or balcony for any sources of still water – by removing them you can start to limit their breeding areas and help keep mosquitoes away from the backyard, patio and around your home.
How to stop mosquitoes breeding in water features:
- Emptying or covering any items that hold water such as buckets, wheelbarrows, water tanks or other containers. Wire mesh can be used as a replacement lid for containers holding water, provided the holes are small enough to block adult mosquitoes (generally, no bigger than 1 mm).
- Make sure that any container that can’t be covered (such as bird baths or pet drinking bowls) are emptied and thoroughly cleaned at least once a week.
- Put sand around the base of plant pots to help absorb water that collects in the dish.
Watch out for plants such as bromeliads which catch and hold water. Regularly rinsing the plants out with a high-pressure hose can remove mosquito larvae before they can fully develop.
You can contact your local council or health authority for more tips and information on mosquitoes in your area and how best to control them. Interestingly, in Queensland you could be fined by your local council if you have a mosquito breeding ground present around your home.
2. Dark, humid areas
Mosquitoes are mostly found in warm, humid areas. Outside, this means areas such as under carports and patio furniture or amongst overgrown vegetation. Make sure your lawns and gardens are kept tidy in order to minimise these areas. Fish ponds and swimming pools should be well-maintained with minimal vegetation around their edges.
3. Insect sprays and repellents
While ‘knock-down’ fly sprays can be used for visible mosquitoes, there are also a range of products which act as more general repellents to help keep mozzies away.
Insect sprays and repellents can be used to target the dark, humid areas around your home where mosquitoes like to hide, such as under the sink, in the shower or behind furniture. When using an outdoor insect spray, focus on areas such as under bushes or patio furniture, making sure to avoid any fish ponds and other sources of water which may be consumed. Remember to always carefully follow the instructions when using insecticides.
If you are spending a long time outside, mosquito coils can help repel mosquitos, as they burn they release smoke which interferes with the mosquito’s senses. Make sure to place the coils upwind of where you are and to never leave them burning unattended.
Alternatively, if you are staying close to your house and have access to a power point, try a plug-in mosquito zapper. For the most effective relief from mosquitoes, you may need to use insect spray as well — the key is finding which products work best for you and your lifestyle.
One of the simplest steps to take when trying to keep mosquitoes out of the house is to use fly screens. Ideally, there should be flyscreens on every door, window, vent and chimney to help stop the mosquitoes from entering your home.
As summer arrives, it’s a good idea to take the time to check your flyscreens for any holes or tears — and try not to ‘invite’ the mozzies in by leaving any doors or windows open if they don’t have flyscreens on.
Remember to be prepared and don’t forget the Stingose — even if you’ve been extra careful around your home there are always occasions when a mozzie has made its way in and is making a pest of itself, probably leaving an itchy bump or two behind! Applying Stingose immediately after a sting or bite can quickly minimise the pain, itch and inflammation.