Fun fact: mosquitoes don’t actually survive on the blood they get from biting you. It’s true! Actually, only female mosquitoes bite, and they use the protein from blood to make eggs. Both male and female mosquitoes survive on a diet of nectar and water.
Why is this fact important? Well, remember that mosquitoes are just like any other insect or animal: they’re attracted to areas that have the things they need to live. That means you could unknowingly be attracting more mosquitoes with your yard!
If your yard has lots of nectar and standing water, you could be in for a bad time this summer. The good news is that you can fix this! Keep reading to learn what plants attract mosquitoes, what plants are mosquito repellants, and what you need to do to mosquito-proof your yard this year.
Why Your Yard Has Mosquitoes
Is your yard a mosquito utopia? Check the following list. If your yard has any of the following sources of standing water or nectar, it’s like a beacon guiding mosquitoes to your home.
Standing water (water that isn’t moving) is where mosquitoes lay their eggs. That’s why it’s important to get rid of it. Here are just a few of the places you can find standing water:
- Neglected birdbaths
- Clogged gutters
- Kiddie pools left outside
- Tire swings
- Pets’ water bowls
- Plant saucers
- Wheel ruts or holes in the soil
Plants That Attract Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes get nectar from plants—but they like some plants more than others. Here are some of the plants that might be attracting mosquitoes to your yard:
- Water hyacinths
- Water lettuce
- Plants that require lots of watering (increasing the standing water in your yard)
- Plants that hold water in their leaves (again, increasing the standing water available)
What Plants Are Mosquito Repellants
Instead of the mosquito magnets above, consider cultivating plants that repel mosquitoes. It’s a good idea to plant them around your yard and near outdoor seating areas. Here are a few that might help:
- Catnip (yes, the plant that cats love!)
- Floss flower
- Lemon-scented plants (lemon balm, lemon grass, lemon thyme, lemon eucalyptus, etc.)
An important note: the plants above discourage mosquitoes because the mosquitoes don’t like the plant’s scent. Since mosquitoes use smell (among other senses) to find a person to bite, the plant’s strong and unpleasant smell help to confuse and discourage them. That said, for the most benefit, the plant needs to be crushed in order to release the scent. Here’s a quick tip: if you’re going to be spending a lot of time outdoors (say for an evening outdoor picnic), you can clip the leaves off of the plant and scatter them on the walkways: every time someone walks over and crushes the leaves, some of the scent will be released!
How to Get Rid of a Serious Mosquito Problem
Of course, planting mosquito repellant flowers and shrubs doesn’t solve the problem completely. Because of dangerous mosquito-borne diseases (like West Nile, Zika, and others), we always recommend that you use an effective mosquito repellant spray. It’s also a good idea to wear long, loose-fitting layers when spending lots of time outside. Together, these measures are a good solution to the average mosquito problem.
However, if you have a serious mosquito problem that won’t go away, it’s time for professional pest control. (After all, bug spray, mosquito repellant plants, and long sleeves only go so far.)
ScherZinger Pest Control is here to help with our Mosquito Mitigation Program. Mosquito Mitigation is a monthly treatment from April to September—the warmest months of the year, when mosquitoes are active. This program is guaranteed to reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home, so you can enjoy the outdoors again!
Contact ScherZinger Pest Control, a trusted pest control company in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky areas, including Dayton, OH, and now Columbus, OH. We’ve been pioneers, engineering new standards for ways of eliminating and controlling bugs and pests. Contact us by phone at 1-877-748-9888 or through our website, Facebook, or Twitter.