mosquitoes fight

A backyard retreat can be even more enjoyable when homeowners find ways to keep mosquitoes at bay.

The value of a retreat-like backyard was never more apparent than in 2020. Over the last year-plus, much of the world has been forced to stay home because of the global pandemic.

The online home remodeling platform Houzz reported a 58% annual increase in project leads for home professionals in June 2020. Contractors who specialize in outdoor spaces saw the biggest increase in demand. But one winged, unwelcome guest can quickly transform an oasis into an uninviting space.

Mosquitoes make their presence felt in many areas each summer. These pesky, often hungry insects can carry disease, and their bites can be painful and itchy. Homeowners can try these three techniques to keep mosquitoes out of their backyards.

• Remove standing water

Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. A daily walk around the property may uncover kids’ toys, empty flowerpots or other small receptacles that can collect water. Even clogged gutters can lead to the accumulation of a small amount of water, and that can be enough for mosquitoes to breed. Remove these potential breeding grounds when you find them, and do so each day, as mosquitoes mature from eggs to nymphs in roughly four days.

• Mow regularly

Mowing the lawn so the grass never gets too high is another way to make a backyard less hospitable to mosquitoes. The pest experts at Terminix note that mosquitoes seek tall grass to protect them from the elements, including wind and hot summer sun. Mowing enough so grass never gets too high in summer can make backyards less inviting to mosquitoes.

• Plant with mosquitoes in mind

The home remodeling experts at HGTV note plants can be part of homeowners’ strategy to repel mosquitoes. Various plants have mosquito-repellent qualities. For example, bee balm releases a fragrance as it grows, and mosquitoes don’t like that fragrance.

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