How to Get Through Mosquito Season in Georgia
July 17, 2020
By Daniel Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS
There’s no quicker way to ruin a Georgia barbeque than having swarms of mosquitoes infesting the area and biting whomever they please. However, mosquitoes are more than just a nuisance—they can also be dangerous. Aside from leaving itchy red welts where they bite, these pests are also known to carry and spread several diseases.
In order to limit the number of mosquitoes around your property, start by understanding what draws mosquitoes to your property. With a few simple tips and tricks, you and your family can get back to enjoying your yard, even during the peak of Atlanta mosquito season.
Types of mosquitoes in Georgia
There are 176 known mosquito species in the US, but only three are prominent in Georgia. Below is a brief description of the types of mosquitoes you’re most likely to encounter.
Culex mosquitoes are common house mosquitoes that feed on the blood of birds, humans, and other animals. They’re attracted to standing water in barrels, horse troughs, ornamental ponds, unmaintained swimming pools, puddles, creeks, ditches, and marshy areas. Culex mosquitoes carry many diseases, including the West Nile virus, Japanese encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, filariasis, and avian malaria. They have dark, short palps and long, dark beaks with somewhat reflective bronze or blue-green scales.
Aedes mosquitoes, also known as yellow fever mosquitoes, are the primary species that spread Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and other more common viruses. They prefer to feed on human blood and are more likely to spread diseases than other mosquitoes.
Aedes mosquitoes are dark with white markings on the legs and lyre-like markings on the thorax. They’re smaller than common house mosquitoes and range between four and seven millimeters long.
The Anopheles mosquito is commonly known as the “malaria mosquito” because it’s considered the primary carrier of the disease. They live in fresh and saltwater marshes, mangrove swamps, rice fields, grassy ditches, the edges of streams and rivers, and small, temporary rain pools. Anopheles mosquitoes prefer habitats with ample vegetation. The male anopheles mosquito can be identified by its bushy antennae and long beak, while females have antennae with fewer hairs.
When is mosquito season in Georgia?
Because of Georgia’s warm climate, insects can remain active longer than in other parts of the country. Mosquitoes are most prevalent from March to October and peak during the warmer summer months. Once temperatures reach an average of 50 degrees Fahrenheit or above, you’ll start seeing mosquito activity increase, and rainfall can further increase their spread. Mosquito season can be considered over when temperatures drop below 50 degrees on average, and vegetation begins to die out for the year.
How to prevent mosquitoes at home
While you will never be able to eliminate mosquitoes from your property completely, you can take steps to make your property less attractive to them and cut down on their numbers.
- Removing all areas of standing water
- Filling in holes and low-lying areas in the yard and driveway
- Removing any vessels that may collect rainwater
- Clearing gutters of any clogs or debris to prevent water buildup
- Fixing any leaky outdoor pipes or fixtures
- Keeping the lawn well-trimmed
- Trimming back any vegetation or bushes around your property
- Using screens in both windows and doors
How to prevent mosquitoes while you’re away
If you’re going to be away from your home for an extended period, follow these easy steps to help mitigate potential mosquito problems:
- Eliminate standing water: Many mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. Before you leave home, empty any water collected in children’s toys, pots, bird baths, buckets, trash can lids, wheelbarrows, and other outdoor items.
- Clean up debris: Some mosquitoes only need damp soil or damp debris to lay eggs. Remove decaying logs, lead piles, and gutter buildup before you leave. Store wood where it can drain easily and dry quickly after rain.
- Add the right plants: Mosquitoes are naturally repelled by many common plants. Consider adding geraniums, lemongrass, rosemary, catnip, bee balm, ageratum, peppermint, basil, or sage to your garden.
- Use coffee grounds: Coffee grounds can prevent mosquito larvae from growing. Before you leave, sprinkle some used coffee grounds in areas where you’ve noticed mosquito activity or near any standing water you can’t eliminate.
Pest control services
The best way to handle an existing mosquito problem or prevent future infestations is to hire a professional pest control service like Hawx Pest Control. We offer affordable, high-quality solutions for mosquito infestations to bring peace and safety back to your home. Our knowledgeable staff uses a three-fold process and high-quality tools and products to address infestations thoroughly. Call us today for a free estimate to get your pest problem under control.