Mosquitoes flying around

What are the Best Mosquito Prevention Tips?

August 17, 2022

By Daniel Baldwin, BCE, CCFS, CP-FS

Mosquitoes are found in nearly every corner of the world, with around 3,000 species of mosquitoes worldwide. These pests aren’t just annoying, they’re also the number one culprit for the transmission of infectious diseases worldwide. Taking preventative steps against mosquito bites and infections is not only beneficial for your summer picnic but also important for your health, too.

child itching mosquito bites on his leg outside in the summer

Ways To Keep Mosquitoes Out of Your Yard

Mosquito season occurs in the summer in North America when the air is warm and humid.

Try these 6 tips to prevent mosquitoes from congregating in your yard and stop them from harassing your friends and family.

1. Pools and Ponds

Lakes, wetlands, and ponds with untreated water are prime mosquito breeding grounds. In order to lay their eggs, female mosquitoes seek out bodies of water that are undisturbed by a current. This means that wetlands and ponds, while providing a beautiful view for your yard, can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Interestingly, only female mosquitoes bite humans because they need the protein to reproduce.

If you have a private pond, there are different natural and chemical methods to address mosquito concerns. Hawx recommends that you contact your local mosquito abatement or vector control district for recommendations.

2. Remove Standing Water

Even small amounts of standing water can act as potential mosquito breeding grounds. In fact, mosquitoes only need a tablespoon of water to be able to lay their eggs. This means that even things like small puddles and damp, swampy areas of soil can make perfect locations for mosquito breeding. 

Take some time to walk around your property or yard, looking for any low points in the ground or areas that might otherwise collect water. If you can, use sand and gravel to fill in these areas so that water won’t settle and become stagnant there.

3. Use Natural Mosquito Repellent Sprays

According to the CDC, there are only five compounds that effectively repel mosquitoes:

  • DEET
  • Picaridin
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus, or its synthetic version called PMD 
  • IR3535
  • 2-undecanone

It’s up to you to decide what you’re comfortable using on yourself and your family. There are also many natural mosquito repellents on the market that use essential oils, like lemon eucalyptus mentioned above, to repel mosquitoes. If you have questions or concerns, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider or county office of public health.

4. Mosquito Traps

Unlike the electric fly zappers you may be familiar with, mosquito traps work in a different way. They entice mosquitoes by mimicking the CO2 that a person or animal emits when they exhale, sometimes in a steady stream and other times in puffs to more realistically replicate breathing patterns.

If you do decide to purchase a mosquito trap, it’s worth taking the time to consider where you’ll place it. Mosquitoes spend the hottest, sunniest parts of the day hiding in shaded areas like low-lying shrubs and bushes. They are attracted to pheromones and carbon monoxide that humans emit, and when the weather gets cooler or the sun goes down, they’ll come out from their daytime hiding spots. Don’t place it near the home or where you plan to be in the evenings or you’ll be bringing mosquitoes directly to you.

6. Keep Lawns Short

Longer grass traps moisture and keeps things cool, which are the ideal conditions for mosquito hideouts during the sunny summer hours. Keeping your grass trimmed will mean that your yard is a less hospitable place for them to hide.

Found as far back as the Triassic period and continuing to be plentiful today, we likely won’t be seeing a reduction in mosquito populations anytime soon. The good news is that there are many ways to help reduce the mosquitoes in your yard and protect yourself from itchy bites.

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