Mosquito Squad of Central MA

Ponds, streams, bird baths or buckets: which of these is turning your Central Mass yard into a mosquito factory?

What makes a better mosquito habitat? A neighborhood pond filled with fish, frogs, and other insects or a forgotten dog dish sitting undisturbed under a shady tree in your suburban back yard? If it is left with water in it for more than a week, the dog bowl is by far the better mosquito habitat.

To help you eliminate the mosquito production that might be happening on your property we want to start by dispelling a couple of popular mosquito myths:

Mosquito Myth #1Central MA mosquito larva in standing water

Streams are a major source for the growth of mosquito populations. The truth: mosquitoes cannot reproduce successfully in moving water. Only along the dry undisturbed shallow edge where a stagnant puddle could still remain can a mosquito grow from larva to pupa to adult.

Mosquito Myth #2

Ponds and Lakes are mosquito factories. The truth: A long established pond or lake is a perfect habitat for many animals like fish, insects, frogs and spiders that are the natural predator of mosquitoes. While being a great water source, these sometimes large bodies of water are not producing droves of mosquitoes.

Where do mosquitoes live and multiply?Bucket with rainwater

Mosquito larvae live in shallow undisturbed water. They feed on bacteria and other organic material so that they can grow into a pupa and eventually grow into an adult blood thirsty mosquito.  The growth from larvae to pupa takes about a week so it is vital that you dump out any containers or items in your yard that could hold water for this long.

If you have a bird bath, statue or other decorative fixture that holds water and you want it to continue to hold water, we can help you determine whether this item is the host to baby mosquitoes. If you look very closely at the surface of the water you may see some tiny movement underneath. The wiggling little creatures that are nearly impossible to see are likely mosquito larvae. Watch the video below so you know what to look for:

While we always advocate eliminating standing water in your yard all together, we realize that this is not always possible. Our best advice to you is to try to dump out any and all standing water. If you’re going to refill the receptacle such as a birdbath, clean the item before refilling. Keep in mind that the time required for mosquitoes to develop is about 4.5 days, but the average is a week or so. So it’s a good idea to clean out your bird bath every 4-6 days, even if you can’t see the larvae.

For everything else on your property always remember The 5 T’s of Mosquito Control:

1. TIP. Tip anything around your home that can collect water from rain or your sprinkler system. Dog bowls, plant saucers, clogged gutters and kid’s toys are a perfect breeding ground.

2. TOSS. Remove excess grass, weeds from gardens, leaves, firewood and other leftover clippings from yards.

3. TURN. Turn over larger yard items that could hold water like baby pools, children’s portable sandboxes or plastic toys.

4. REMOVE TARPS. If tarps stretched over firewood piles, grills or boats aren’t taut, they’re holding water.

5. TREAT. Call Mosquito Squad. Our mosquito elimination barrier treatment eliminates up to 90% of the mosquitoes on your property. Remember that mosquitoes are more than just a nuisance; they can carry dangerous diseases such as West Nile virus, Malaria, Encephalitis and more.

Dave Macchia mosquito protection author and tick protection author.

Dave Macchia is the owner of Mosquito Squad of Central Mass and the author of 2 blogs about mosquito control and tick control

In addition to eliminating stagnant water sources in your yard, Mosquito Squad of Central Massachusetts is your best mosquito control weapon. Our traditional barrier spray eliminates mosquitoes on contact and continues to work for up to 21 days. By lowering the populations of mosquitoes in your yard by 85-90% we can help keep them from laying eggs in your bird bath in the first place. Contact us to sign up today by giving us a call at (877) 387-7823, dropping us an email at chelmsford@mosquitosquad.com or visiting our website at centralmass.mosquitosquad.com. We look forward to protecting your property this season and for many seasons to come.