Angie's List Report: Eliminating Mosquitoes

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Updated: 7/11/2013 10:48 pm

Summer is synonymous with many things: baseball, fireworks and unfortunately, mosquitoes. They can ruin a summer barbecue faster than a rotten hamburger. In this Angie’s List report, how to prevent mosquitoes from invading your yard.

For homeowner Jerry McVeigh, living on a wooded lot with a pond and a lake, he has seen his fair share of mosquitoes. So McVeigh hired a professional mosquito control company to treat his yard regularly.

“We tried everything: foggers, all the different coils. You name it, we tried it. And a lot of other people I’m sure understand this – we were so sensitive about strong chemicals because of what’s going on with the wildlife,” McVeigh said. As the founder of Angie's List points out, these insects are more than just bugs. They present a health hazard that people in eastern Idaho know all too well.

“Not only are mosquitoes a nuisance when you’re out trying to have a family barbecue, but they are also a health risk. For example, you could get West Nile. Making sure you have a comfortable outdoor mosquito-free area is important for your family,” said Angie Hicks, found of Angie's List.

With a little preventative maintenance and monitoring, you can gain the upper hand on mosquitoes. But you have to be diligent. What might seem like an insignificant amount of water could still end up a breeding ground.

“There are many places around a homeowner’s property where they can look for sources of standing water. The thing is we are only looking for a very small amount of water. In fact, it only takes a soda bottle cap full of water to breed several hundred mosquitoes,” said Ken Frost, a mosquito control contractor.

For homeowners it means emptying bird baths, kiddie pools and flower pot saucers. It also means keeping gutters clear.

“If you tackled every effort you can as a homeowner you might need to hire a professional. Having someone come in you need to talk to them exactly about their experience in treating mosquitoes and then also ask what kind of chemicals and treatments they are going to use especially if you have children or pets," Hicks added. But if you're going to use a contractor there are things they will be looking for.

“A mosquito like anything else has to eat to live so our target areas are leafs such as this one. On the bottom side of this leaf you’ll see there are plant nectar veins here, that is what the mosquitoes are after so when we apply our product to this foliage, with our backpack sprayer, it sticks to the underside of the leaf, dries in the foliage and when the mosquito comes to feed on that, it kills them off,” Frost said.

For Jerry McVeigh, using a professional has done the trick at his property.
“We can go out now with the children and grandchildren and be out in the evening, walk around anywhere, go down to the lake and fish,” McVeigh said.

Several types of plants also act as a natural mosquito repellent. Mosquitoes also avoid catnip, lavender, marigolds, basil and peppermint.

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