This post was written in partnership with D.C. Mosquito Squad and contains affiliate links
I used to have a love-hate relationship with summer. The carefree, warm days meant for a season of relaxation bring summer thunderstorms and an explosion in the mosquito population. I’m a mosquito magnet and for years, was unable to enjoy our outdoor space until I hired D.C. Mosquito Squad for regular yard treatments to eliminate backyard pests. This solution has helped me reclaim our backyard without the worry of mosquitos and ticks.
We’ve already started our annual all-natural barrier mosquito treatments for the year to help us enjoy our yard to the fullest throughout the summer but in between visits from D.C. Mosquito Squad, I’m vigilant about maintaining a mosquito-free yard. If you’re a mosquito magnet like I am, here are 7 simple things I do to keep myself bite-free so I can unplug and enjoy our backyard in the summer.
8 Tips for a Maintaining a Mosquito-Free Yard
Removing Standing Water
Summer rain storms can bring welcome relief to the heat but mosquitos are attracted to water and lay their eggs in stagnant water. Be on the lookout for places where small pools of water collect. Drip dishes for plants on a patio, bird baths, sand boxes and sand pails, play sets with tire swings, tree houses, wheelbarrows, and tarps hold water so be sure to drain water from them to discourage mosquito breeding. Rain barrels are great for harvesting rain water to use in your garden but they also serve as a place where mosquitos breed. Mosquito dunks are effective at killing mosquito larvae and are harmless to humans, plants, and animals.
Maintain Your Yard
Regular yard maintenance can make a big difference in curbing the mosquito population. Clean out gutters, make sure downspouts are attached properly, and keep your lawn mowed and areas weed-free.
Toss Yard Trash
Female mosquitos take shelter under dead leaves, grass, and other debris after breeding. Prevent this by raking up piles of leaves gathering in the corners of your yard, gathering yard waste in bags, or shredding it before putting it in your compost bin or flower beds. Mosquitos are clever and even the smallest items are breeding havens that can increase the population in your yard.
Remove and Shake Out Tarps
Tarps are great for keeping the things underneath dry when a storm passes through, but they can also catch water. Stretch tarps taut so water runs off or give the tarp over your firewood pile, portable fire place, grill, recycling cans, boats, and sports equipment a good shake to before replacing it.
Consider Backyard Chickens
Yes, you read that right- consider backyard chickens! I live in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. and have backyard chickens who regularly appear on my Instagram and Instagram Stories. We love gathering fresh eggs every day but the chickens also keep mosquitos away! Our 5 hens spent a fair amount of time overturning leaves to look for bugs and insects and eat mosquitos because they’re mosquito predators! For more information about backyard chickens, read my post Why Backyard Chickens Make Great Family Pets or read this post about How Chickens Can Help Keep Mosquitos Away on the DC Mosquito Squad blog that explains the research done by Swedish and Ethiopian scientists who found that chickens emit odors that repel mosquitos!
Team Up with Neighbors
Your mosquito elimination strategy is only so effective if you don’t have a neighbor who is also on board. Town homes and houses with little space between the lots means mosquitos can breed in a neighbor’s yard and fly into yours. Talk with your neighbor to help them be aware of the simple things they can do to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds on their property. It takes a village!
Wear Mosquito Repellant
DEET-based mosquito repellants work to keep mosquitos away as long as you remember to reapply. If you’re not a fan of DEET, look for natural mosquito repellants containing lemon eucalyptus, citronella, and castor oils. Another organic solution is to plant some citrosa plants. While it’s debatable whether just having these plants around for their citronella-like odor really works, crushing a leaf between your fingers and rubbing the scent on your skin might work. If you don’t like things on your skin, wear lightweight a pair of lightweight pants and a long sleeve top to keep limbs covered but if mosquitos love you, they’ll still find any patches of exposed skin to bite.
Treat Your Yard
The Washington, DC area is a haven for mosquitos because of the area’s natural geography, climate, and population. While I can’t control these factors, I can take charge of my own yard! Every two weeks a DC Mosquito Squad technician comes out to apply an all-natural barrier spray to our front and back yard that repels and kills mosquitos. An email notifying me know the day before reminds me when a technician is scheduled to spray and since we have backyard chickens, we also letting us know the technician’s ETA so we can make sure our chickens are back in their coop. While the spray is safe for our chickens, I don’t want the technician to be surprised by them!
The technician wears a backpack sprayer and treats the area under our bushes and shrubs and other places where mosquitos like to live and breed in our front and back yards. The entire process is quick and quiet.
It takes about 15 minutes to spray and 30 minutes to dry. When the spray is dry, it’s safe for our kids, Oliver the dog, and our chickens to go back outside and the effect of having DC Mosquito Squad treat our yard is felt immediately.
DC Mosquito Squad treatments are quick, easy, and effective. I don’t need to be home when the treatment happens and if I happen to be out, the technician leaves a door tag with the time they sprayed so I know they were there and when it’s ok to let my animals out.
DC Mosquito Squad treats homes, businesses, and even pools regularly and for special events throughout Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. To see where they treat, visit their website, call 571-830-8002, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To read my other posts about DC Mosquito Squad, visit:
- 29 Ways to Protect your Family from Mosquito Bites and Zika Virus
- 4 Ways to Get Rid of Backyard Mosquitos and Ticks
- How to Keep Biting Bugs Away from Special Summer Events
This post was written in partnership with D.C. Mosquito Squad who is providing all-natural barrier treatment for our yard this summer. I also appreciate that are supporting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with a $500 donation to my St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend race for a second year in a row! Thank you D.C. Mosquito Squad!