NFCCA

Stories from the NFCCA Newsletter, the “Northwood News”

Northwood News ♦ June 2021

Nurturing Nature

Ways You Can Prevent Mosquitoes in Your Yard

By Jennifer McGuire Cox

Mosquito season is, unfortunately, here.  While it’s easy to feel pretty defeated when a swarm finds us as we enjoy our yards this summer, there is actually a lot that we can do to try and prevent, or at least mitigate, them.  Mosquitoes usually don’t fly more than 150 feet from their breeding grounds — near water or in stagnant pools of water — so there’s a lot that we can look out for in our own yards that can help.  Here are a few steps you can take:


Asian Tiger Mosquitoes can bite all day long.

Fun Mosquito Facts

As little as a cap full of water is enough for mosquitoes to breed in.

Asian Tiger Mosquitoes, those black and white-striped mosquitoes that haunt our dreams (pictured), are actually from Southeast Asia and are one of the few mosquitoes in our area that will hunt, and bite, during the day.

Asian Tiger Mosquitoes can actually attach their eggs to the sides of containers.  Even if there is no water at the time, the eggs will stay dormant until the next rain.  The eggs can actually survive for years!

It’s also important to be aware of when you’re outside.  Mosquitoes are often most active at dawn and dusk, although, unfortunately, Asian Tiger Mosquitoes seem active at all times of the day.  Clothing can also play a key role in preventing mosquito bites.  Wear appropriate clothing that minimizes exposed skin.  This includes long-sleeved shirts, pants, boots or high socks/shoes, and hats.  Make sure you wear closed shoes and try and wear light colors, as mosquitoes are attracted to darker clothes.   ■

How to Make Your Own Mosquito Trap

Want a cheap way to try and keep the mosquitoes at bay? Make your very own mosquito trap!

Supplies

  • Large soda/water bottle or large plastic cup that holds more than 16 oz.
  • A black sock
  • String or wire
  • A knife or drill
  • A couple of small stones
  • Stagnant water (or dog food/bread)
  • Piece of window screen
Steps
  1. If using a bottle, cut the top/neck off your bottle and discard it.  If using a cup, it’s ready to go.  This is your container.
  2. Cut a 1/4" round drain hole about 20% below the top of the container; this will allow water to overflow if it rains.  Closer to the top, punch two small holes opposite each other for your wire or string hanger.
  3. Trace the top of the container on a piece of window screen.  Cut out a circle.
  4. Put some small rocks in your black sock, then put it in the bottom of the container, stretching the top of the sock up and over the outside of the container.  If the sock doesn’t stretch tightly over the length of the container, use a rubber band to hold it in place.
  5. Insert your screen, making sure it’s above the drain hole but below the rim of the bottle.  The mosquitoes will lay their eggs on the wet rim above the screen.  Once hatched, the mosquito larvae will crawl through the screen to the water below.  Once they become adults, they will be unable to escape.
  6. Use a wire or string and feed it through the sock and through two small holes at the top of the container that you made earlier.
  7. Pour in your water!  Stagnant water from a pond or container that has been out for a while works best.  If you don’t have any, you can also put a little dry dog food or bread crumbs in tap water below the screen.  The smells will attract mosquitoes.

Make sure to check the water levels daily and add more as necessary to keep the trap from drying out!

For more details and photos, visit mygreenmontgomery.org.


   © 2021 NFCCA  [Source: https://nfcca.org/news/nn202106f.html]