How Toronto Homeowners Are Preparing Ahead for Mosquito Season
Mosquito season is upon us, bringing along with it annoying buzzing and even more annoyingly, those painful and itchy bites. Mosquitoes aren’t just disliked because they’re annoying, though; they also spread disease.
There are some simple things Toronto homeowners can do to prepare for mosquito season, and Greenleaf is sharing some of our best tips and tricks. Learn how to keep mosquitoes from taking up residence in your yard this year and making a meal out of your family and pets.
The Real Key to Mosquito-Free Outdoor Living? No Standing Water
To a mosquito, water is life. They need it to hide. They need it to regulate body temperature in the heat. And they need it to breed. So removing standing water one of the most important things you can do to drive mosquitoes away from your home.
You may imagine standing water like ponds or pools, but it can actually take many forms. While these are massive breeding grounds for these pests, mosquitoes don’t actually need much water to breed. In fact, some species merely need moist soil to lay their eggs in.
This is why getting rid of any amount of standing water, no matter how small, will make a difference. Three common breeding areas that may not seem to be are outdoor debris piles, your rain gutters, and non-native plants in your garden.
Clean Up Debris Piles
As mentioned, mosquitoes love the water and use it as their home base. Eliminating outdoor debris that can allow water to accumulate such as trash, wood, old tires, tarps, and even children’s toys will reduce places that mosquitoes can call home.
It’s also a good idea to remove any open containers in your yard. Rainwater can collect in them and create a breeding ground for mosquitoes if you leave them lying around.
Clean Your Gutters
Prevent water from accumulating in places such as your gutters by keeping them clean. Make sure there are no obstructed gutters so that the water can flow freely. One easy way to mitigate standing water once the rain gutters are clean? Gutter covers.
Also, make sure to backfill any spots in your yard where water may accumulate. If you can encourage rainwater to absorb into the ground evenly, then you can actively prevent mosquito infestations. When absorption isn’t viable, think about a drainage system of some kind.
Think About Your Plants
There are some plants that simply collect more water than others. Non-native plants are generally where clients run into problems with water accumulation.
Try working with only native plants so they can thrive in Toronto’s rainy climate to eliminate the soggy soil that can harbour mosquitoes.
You may want to consider plants that also help to naturally repel mosquitoes such as basil, catnip, pennyroyal, and citronella.
So What If You Live Near a Pond?
Those with water features or small ponds in their yard or on their private property should consider introducing species of fish that like to eat mosquitoes. Minnows, green sunfish, or bluegills like to feast on mosquito eggs so they can help you to naturally defend your home against a mosquito infestation.
For those living near a public body of water, another critter that can help control mosquito populations is the bat. Think about putting up bat houses to attract them to your yard.
Have You Considered Your Outdoor Lighting?
Many types of insects, including mosquitoes, are attracted to certain types of lights. Like moths, mosquitoes love incandescent lights.
If you have them inside, then you should also change the bulbs in your outdoor lights to yellow lights. This will help keep them from flocking when you have the lights on.
Sometimes no matter what you do, you can still find that mosquitoes are an issue in your yard. If that happens, then it may be time for you to reach out for professional pest control to help protect your home and your family.
About the Author:
Daniel Mackie, co-owner of Greenleaf Pest Control, is a Toronto pest control expert and a regular guest on HGTV. He is renowned in the industry as an innovator of safe, effective pest control solutions. Mackie and business partner Sandy Costa were the first pest control professionals in Canada to use detection dogs and thermal remediation for the successful eradication of bed bugs. In his free time, he is an avid gardener.