Summer in Wisconsin means warm, beautiful weather that draws you outside. Early mornings are perfect for long walks and the extra-long days have us staying outside until dark. These two times of day, dawn and dusk, are also the favorite hours of mosquitos. These pesky insects are most active from May to September during the coolest hours of the day before the temperature gets too hot for them. They are active during these hours, looking for food and laying their eggs.
Wisconsin is home to at least 56 species of mosquitoes. Fortunately, many do not bite people, and those who do are choosy in who they bite. Only females bite to seek protein in blood so they can lay eggs. If you find yourself being bitten more often than your friends, your genetics cause your skin to excrete substances that are attractive to female mosquitoes.
While Wisconsin mosquitoes are less harmful than some found in other states, you can still get sick if bitten by one that carries a disease. Most of the time, mosquitoes are just viewed as pesky insects whose sole purpose is to annoy humans. But mosquitoes do play an ecological role, serving as pollinators and as a food source for other wildlife. Fortunately for humans, their primary food source is flower nectar, not blood. Mosquitoes fertilize plants as they transfer pollen from flower to flower while feeding on nectar.
Here are a few things you can do to control and repel mosquitoes from your yard so that you can enjoy your favorite hours of the day bite-free.
Around the Yard
First, take a walk around your property to examine for standing water and drainage issues. Mosquitoes live in areas with slow-moving or stagnant water, as well as forests, marshes, and tall grasses. If you have these areas on or near your property, you have a breeding ground for these insects. Females lay eggs in standing water, so empty all stagnant water you can from buckets, gutters, ditches, and pet bowls. Cover your pool at night and during the months when you aren’t using it. If your property has an ongoing drainage issue, contact the professionals at Createscape Landscaping Service to discuss redesigning your landscape.
Another fast way to make your yard less hospitable to mosquitoes is to keep it manicured. Trim trees and shrubs, and mow regularly to keep grass from getting too tall. Cedar mulch is a natural repellent and soaks up excess moisture around plants. Install plants in your flowerbeds that are natural deterrents such as lavender, marigolds, lemongrass, citronella, basil, garlic, peppermint, rosemary, geraniums, and sage. Not only will they add beauty to your landscape, but many of these can be used in cooking.
Birds and bats are natural mosquito predators and setting up bird feeders and a bat house will attract them to your yard. If you have a pond, consider adding goldfish, koi, and red-eared slider turtles, which are all predators to mosquitoes. Be accepting of other insects in your garden, such as spiders and dragonflies, which love to eat mosquitoes.
Around Your Patio
There are also a few easy options for your patio and deck areas where everyone gathers. Burning citronella candles helps repel the insects and they come in fun, decorative containers such as tiki sticks that can be stood around the perimeter of your entertaining area during a party.
It may be tempting to use a bug zapper that kills mosquitoes by electrocuting them on contact. However, this method is inefficient and often kills beneficial and harmless bugs. Instead, consider installing yellow LED lights throughout your entertaining area, which are less appealing to them than traditional light bulbs.
Hire a Professional to Help
At Createscape Landscaping Service, we provide many services that help control mosquitos in your yard. Our services encompass many of the tips listed above, such as regular mowing, trimming, landscaping design to control water drainage, and of course, application of insecticide sprays for mosquito and pest control. Let our professionals do the work for you and help control the mosquitoes on your property this summer. Reach out to us for an estimate and more information at (262) 662-0201 or createscapelandscaping.com/contact-us.