As anyone living in Virginia knows, mid-summer is hot, humid and buggy. The moisture and the heat lead to blooms in the bug populations, particularly increasing the number of mosquitos. Practically anyone who ventures outdoors in Central Virginia this time of year will experience a run-in with these annoying and potentially dangerous insects. Virginia has over 60 varieties of mosquitos but the most commonly found is the Common Malaria Mosquito (Anopheles quadrimaculatus). This horrible fellow and his friends contribute to more illness and death than any other creature on the planet. While malaria isn't much of a concern here in the Richmond area, more and more mosquito-borne illnesses are popping up each year. And let's face it, even just a single itchy bite can be enough to never want to see another mosquito again.
Here are some things you can do, in addition to monthly pest control treatments, to reduce mosquito populations around your yard and property:
Eliminate standing water. Any still water on your property can (and probably will!) become a breeding ground for mosquitos. Buckets, bird baths, vases, air conditioner drip pans - how about that blow up pool that's been sitting full of untreated water for days?- these things are all potential invitations for unwanted insects. Mosquitoes will love you for leaving them around.
Treat ponds and pools. Just because you have a backyard pool or pond, doesn't mean you'll automatically have a mosquito problem.
Keep your lawn manicured. Mosquitoes love unkempt vegetation so keeping grass cut, bushes trimmed and weeds under control will drive mosquitoes to find other areas to live.
Switch outdoor lighting to yellow LED bulbs. Mosquitoes are attracted to traditional white lightbulbs. Switching these out for yellow LEDs will keep your outdoor lighting from attracting as many bugs, including mosquitoes.
Change your plants to natural deterrents. Planting natural deterrents in place of other vegetation will help keep mosquito populations down in your yard. Some examples include: basil, garlic, geraniums, lavender, rosemary and sage.