Summer in St. Louis means many things — more sunshine, more time spent outdoors, and unfortunately, more mosquitoes. With warmer temperatures and heavy rain comes wet earth and standing water that attracts mosquitoes that bite and spread diseases if an infestation occurs on your home or property.
There are over 200 breeds of mosquitoes flying around, but the most common mosquito you’ll meet in this area is the Asian tiger mosquito. Originally from Southeast Asia, they can transmit harmful diseases like West Nile virus, Chikungunya, dengue fever and even Zika when they bite.
Identified by their tiger-like markings, these mosquitoes are black with silver stripes. The females are the biters, and usually do so during daylight hours and leave behind itchy red bumps. Males don’t bite and feed on plant nectar.
While most mosquitoes feed at dusk and dawn, Asian tiger mosquitoes bite all day. This in turn can make your home’s outdoor spaces unlivable if you’re not taking the right precautions to prevent bites. Even if you do take the extra precautions to protect your home and family, infestation can become a huge problem that the pros may need to help solve.
Protect your home
Summer is the perfect time to open windows, air out your home, and swing the sliding door wide open to allow for indoor-outdoor fun. That is, of course, until mosquitoes get in too. To prevent these unwanted visitors, check windows for properly fitted screens and be vigilant about teaching your family the importance of keeping doors closed.
Most mosquitoes love standing water, so keep a close eye on areas of your yard that can collect at least a half-inch. Even clogged drains, gutters, and ditches can offer an attractive spot for females to lay eggs when water is stagnant. This check is especially important after periods of heavy rain in St. Louis.
Don’t let your grass get too tall or landscaping get overgrown. Tall shrubs, an abundance of weeds, and wild grass can create shelter and shade and keep areas of your lawn damp, something that mosquitoes love in a hiding spot. Talk to your neighbors, too, if you notice they might need help learning how to control mosquitoes in their own yards.
If you have a pool in your backyard, keep it clean and well-maintained; mosquitoes won’t be able to lay eggs in a pool that has a running pump to keep water moving. If you have a pond, consider adding fish like minnows or guppies that love to chomp on these insects.
Protect your family
While we can’t say to stay indoors all day to avoid getting bitten, we can give you some tips for avoiding bites.
- Don’t forget repellant: Look for ingredients like picaridin and IR3535 — all of which the CDC says are safe for children and pregnant women.
- Dress accordingly: Dark colors attract biting mosquitoes so keep it light and loose. Lighter colored-clothing that’s not as tight offers better protection.
- Smell matters: Some mosquitoes are attracted to the smell of bacteria and other orders on your skin, so shower if you get sweaty and look for repellents that contain DEET.
- Go au naturale: Oil of lemon eucalyptus is a natural choice of repellants, and studies show that it can be quite effective and blocking bites.
The CDC does not recommend repellant be used on babies under the age of 2; instead use mosquito nets to protect them outdoors. Other tools to use outdoors to keep mosquitoes at bay include bug zappers, citronella candles, and even apps that deter mosquitoes from coming near. Unfortunately many of these are quick-fixes that don’t truly protect your family if there’s already and infestation on your property; that’s something only pros can take care of.
All mosquitos start off as an egg in the water, then turning into larva, and then a pupa just before turning into an adult. Each stage of a mosquito’s life requires a different extermination process and we know them all.
While all of these strategies can keep you safe anywhere, including your own backyard, you won’t truly get rid of an infestation without the help from pest control pros who have experience and expertise. That’s what makes us the perfect choice for your mosquito control needs. Our team knows where they like to lay their eggs — knowing where to hunt them down helps us find and eliminate the source.
Mosquito infestations bite, especially during the peak of summer months when everyone is out enjoying the St. Louis sunshine. Get in touch with our pest control pros to learn how you can pack away the citronella for good — and reclaim your outdoor living space from those pesky mosquitoes!