If you’re fed up with mosquitoes buzzing around and ruining your outdoor summer fun, you’re not alone. Many people ask us if there are any do-it-yourself (DIY) tricks they can do to solve the problem and the answer is it depends. While hiring a professional pest control service is undoubtedly the most effective way to take care of mosquitoes, there are some DIY methods homeowners can try out for temporary relief. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the realities of DIY mosquito control in Suffolk County & Nassau County and provide you with some practical tips for getting the best results out of your time and effort.
Does DIY Mosquito Control Work?
It’s important to be realistic about the potential outcomes of DIY mosquito control. It is entirely possible that your efforts will have little to no effect. This is because the mosquito life cycle is incredibly rapid, so even if you do succeed in eliminating a portion of the active mosquito population on your property, there will always be more mosquitoes on the way. More eggs hatching, more larvae in development. In a couple weeks they will reach adulthood, ready to buzz and bite in your backyard. This is why mosquito control often isn’t a one-time fix, but an ongoing process.
Which DIY Mosquito Solutions Work in Suffolk County & Nassau County?
There are a number of proven techniques that can alleviate a mosquito problem or make your property less attractive to them. These include:
- Removing Standing Water – Mosquitoes require water to breed, so if you can eliminate standing water on your property you remove breeding areas. Just be aware that they need only a few millimeters of water to breed, so this is easier said than done. Still, the more standing water you can remove the better off you will be.
- Predators – If you have water you can’t remove like a pond or fountain, consider stocking it with koi fish. Koi fish are natural predators of mosquito larvae. Even a few koi can make a massive dent in the population.
- Mosquito Traps – Mosquito scent traps can be very effective if deployed correctly. For best results, use them in a small area you want to clear of mosquitoes. Mosquito traps are not the best choice if your goal is to solve a bad infestation in a large yard.
- Mosquito Netting – Many people have issues with mosquitoes getting inside their homes during the height of mosquito season. If this is the case for you, easily solve the problem by installing mosquito netting.
- Repellent Sprays – Sprays can keep you comfortable when you do spend time outside. Natural repellents may seem appealing, but they have been shown to provide an inferior level of protection compared to repellents containing DEET or picaridin.
An Alternative to Citronella Candles & Torches?
Citronella candles and torches are the most popular mosquito repellent on the market these days. A lot of this has to do with their ease of use. All you have to do is buy a few and light a match and you’re done… but what kind of protection do citronella candles actually offer?
To answer this question, let’s review how citronella candles work. Many people mistakenly believe that mosquitoes dislike the smell of citronella and it drives them off. Actually, it’s more because citronella is a strong smell that masks the smell of nearby humans. If mosquitoes can’t smell us, they don’t know we’re there.
Citronella candles can be hit or miss. If the mosquito infestation is really severe, it’s likely that some mosquitoes will “smell past” the citronella and find you. Also, the effect of citronella candles wanes the longer they’re burning.
If you’re looking for an outdoor DIY mosquito treatment that can be used when needed and is more effective than citronella candles, consider heavy-duty fans. Yes, fans really do work. Mosquitoes are poor flyers that are vulnerable to high winds, so they will leave the area.
Should You Spray Insecticides Yourself?
The nature of mosquitoes in the summer means that most mosquito control methods are just that – managing the problem, since eliminating it can be extremely difficult. Most of the time, the strongest tool we have against mosquitoes and the closest we can come to eliminating them is through strategic use of insecticides.
Insecticides are extremely powerful, even the ones you can buy at the store, so great care should be taken to follow the instructions to the letter and never use more than recommended. Improper use of insecticides can cause injury to yourself, your family, pets, or your yard. Additionally, insecticides are not a set-it-and-forget-it solution. You still need a thorough understanding of mosquito behavior and habitats to use insecticides successfully.
If you’re considering taking this step, we recommend just calling a professional extermination company instead. The professional mosquito exterminators at Suburban Exterminating know exactly where to look and what to do to get the best results.
To learn more about mosquitoes in Suffolk County & Nassau County, be sure to check out our recent blog where we debunk common myths about mosquitoes!