Mosquitoes need water. They need stagnant, shaded water as breeding sites for their eggs to develop into adult mosquitoes, more on a mosquito’s lifecycle. Eliminating standing water is an important part of mosquito control.
Different mosquito species have different preferences for sites to lay their eggs. The mosquito that carries the West Nile virus in our area likes to breed in containers that are holding water. Items such as the saucers under your flowerpots, gutters that are not draining properly or perhaps even some trash that has been tossed under a bush are all potential breeding sites. Scrap tires are popular breeding sites. Even the cap to a 2-liter soda bottle can be a breeding site for hundreds of mosquitoes and it only takes 5 days for an egg to develop into a flying, biting insect.
Ivy, tall grass, mud and pine straw are not breeding sites. Standing water must be present for eggs to develop. Magnolia leaves can hold water long enough to breed mosquitoes. Adult mosquitoes do, however, like to linger in shaded vegetation like ivy because it is cool and moist; you may find many adult mosquitoes there.
It is important to regularly check your yard for items which may be holding standing water and breeding mosquitoes. It is a good idea to make a checklist of items to check and dump every week.
Some items that you may want to include on your checklist:
|Rain barrel, cistern
|Bucket, pan, can
|Rain gutters and drains
|Swimming pool, spa and covers
|Tarp or other plastic covers
|Drink can, bottle
|Litter and debris
|Low spot in yard
|Wagons, trucks, toys