The Marin / Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District provides great resources on protecting your family from pests, including the summertime favorite, the mosquito.
Your backyard is the #1 source for mosquito production. Mosquitoes just need a 1/2 inch of standing water to complete their lifecycle, which takes place in 5-7 days! Therefore, anything in your backyard that can hold water for 5-7 days has the possibility of containing mosquitoes. The best way to maintain the mosquito population is to diligently check and remove any standing water around your home. Use the below checklist to check your backyard. Many of these places you may not have considered before!
- Trash bins: Keep lids shut tight and remove any water that may have accumulated inside.
- Boats: Cover with a tight-fitting tarp.
- Fountains and bird baths: Clean or hose out weekly.
- Rain gutters: Keep clear of leaves and other debris.
- Water under home: Use a sump pump to remove water.
- Tires: Drill holes in tire swings. Recycle used tires or store in a covered area.
- Water bowls for pets: Rinse and fill with fresh water 1 to 2 times a week.
- Screens: Install and maintain tight-fitting window and door screens.
- Leaky hoses: Replace damaged hoses and fix leaky faucets and pipes.
- Low areas: Do not over water lawns or gardens.
- Sculptures: Check for water that may collect in lawn ornaments. Drain or flush out weekly.
- Containers: Store containers upside down, cover or place in a sheltered area.
- Rain Barrels: Cover tightly with a fine mesh screen.
- Chain link fence: Cover hollow chain link fence posts with metal or plastic caps.
- Drains: Make sure that drains are flowing freely.
- Flat roofs: Water may puddle on flat roofs during the rainy season. Inspect weekly and remove any standing water.
- Lighting: Check garden lights and eliminate water from tops of fixtures and from inside floodlights.
- Pools and spas: Maintain even when not in use. Remove standing water from the top of pool and spa covers. If you know of a neglected pool or spa please contact the District.
- Rot holes in trees: Be aware that water can collect in rot holes, crotches and dead tree stumps. Check with an arborist for best way to manage water or fill cavities.
- Water troughs and ponds: Stock with mosquitofish. Keep ponds free and clear of excess vegetation. Learn more here.
- Potted plant saucers: Don’t over water. Flush out saucers with a hose or drill holes in the bottom to allow for better drainage.
- Septic tanks: Screen vent pipes with a fine mesh screen. Cover exposed tanks or manhole lids with plastic or a similar material and secure in place. Place several inches, or more, of dirt or sand over the top of the area.
If you are looking for some extra protection, be sure to stop by your local Friedman’s Home Improvement. We carry bug zappers, mosquito traps, repellent and citronella candles. Check your store for current inventory.