Yard Clutter and Mosquitoes

Yard clutter and debris—such as tires, scrap metal, buckets, cans, bricks, toys—often trap rain water and become a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which are famous for transmitting diseases from the simple summer cold to West Nile and worse. Piles of dead brush, rotting logs, dilapidated sheds, and unused hot tubs also become a breeding for mosquitoes and other pests.

A tire int he backyard full of mosquito larvae

Adult mosquitoes lay eggs in stagnant or slow moving water, or on moist soil or leaf litter in areas likely to collect water. By eliminating these water sources, you can keep new generations of mosquitoes from taking up residence in your yard.

Female mosquitoes can lay up to 300 eggs at a time. Usually, the eggs are deposited in clusters – called rafts – on the surface of stagnant water, or they are laid in areas that flood regularly. Eggs can hatch in as little as an inch of standing water. Females will lay eggs up to three times before they die.

Mosquitoes spend their first 10 days in water. Water is necessary for the eggs to hatch into larvae, called wigglers. Wigglers feed on organic matter in stagnant water and breathe oxygen from the surface. They develop into pupae, which do not feed and are partially encased in cocoons. Over several days, the pupae change into adult mosquitoes.

In addition to decluttering your yard, also consider these tips:

1. Drill holes in the bottom of any garbage or recycling containers stored outdoors.

2. Keep gutters clean and unclogged.

3. Keep swimming pools cleaned and chlorinated, even when not in use.

4. Walk your property after a rain, and look for areas in the landscape that are not draining well. If you find puddles that remain for four or more days, regrade the area.

5. Aerate ornamental ponds to keep water moving and discourage mosquitoes from laying eggs. Stock the pond with mosquito-eating fish.

6. Empty water containers twice per week. Birdbaths, pet water bowls, flowerpot saucers, wading pools, foot baths, garbage can lids, and pottery attract mosquitoes.

Junk King can help you declutter your yard for the sake of your health as well as your enjoyment.