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Hot summer weather is just around the corner, and so are those pesky mosquitoes that can ruin your backyard cookouts! Mosquitoes are common summer outdoor pests in Northern NJ, especially around homes near water or in wooded areas.

There’s no great way to eliminate them, but you can keep mosquitos away from your home, family and pets with organic mosquito control.

While these pests can certainly disrupt your outdoor activities, mosqutios can also create serious health problems for your family and pets.

Mosquito bites can cause itching and swelling, skin irritation, hives and allergic reactions in some people, but even bigger concerns are related to mosquito-borne illnesses like Dengue Virus, West Nile Virus and Zika Virus.

organic mosquito control

Mosquitoes in Northern New Jersey

With the warmer-than-usual New Jersey winter that just passed, mosquitoes were able to lay their eggs weeks ahead of normal breeding time, so many mosquitoes have already hatched.

According to New Jersey public health officials, this year’s warm winter temperatures may have created the perfect storm for a spring and summer mosquito invasion in New Jersey.

The Asian tiger mosquito, one of the peskiest types of mosquitoes that can also transmit Zika Virus, is common to Bergen County and Passaic County areas, and officials think they hatched as early as April. This year, organic mosquito control should be done early to protect the health and safety of your family.

Although there is no way to predict the severity of New Jersey’s mosquito season, there are several contributing factors that increase mosquito breeding. Two necessary things that mosquitoes need to breed are warm weather and water. You can’t control the weather, but you can control standing water and excess moisture around your home.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mosquitoes can breed in as little as 1/8-inch of water. Check around your home and eliminate any standing water in outdoor fountains, bird baths, pet bowls and plant saucers.

Check outdoor hoses for leaks and keep swimming pools, spas and hot tubs clean and covered when possible. To safeguard your family, use preventive measures and organic mosquito control that will keep mosquitoes away from your home.

organic mosquito control

What Attracts Mosquitoes to Humans?

Mosquitoes are attracted by movement, heat, carbon dioxide, lactid acid, dark colors and certain scents produced by colognes, perfumes and even beer.

  • Movement and Heat – Movement creates body heat and puts blood closer to the surface of the skin. Mosquitoes look for these areas because they provide a better blood meal. They typically bite on the neck, forehead, elbows and wrists.
  • Carbon Dioxide – Mosquitoes look for victims with a steady stream of carbon dioxide, and they can smell it from 50 feet away. Carbon dioxide is naturally emitted when we breathe. Larger people give off more carbon dioxide, which is why mosquitoes typically prefer adults over children. Pregnant women also produce a greater-than-normal amount of exhaled carbon dioxide.
  • Lactic Acid – Lactid acid is produced by your sweat glands. If you’re sweating from hot sun on a summer day or after a workout at the gym, you’re more likely to be bitten by mosquitoes.
  • Dark Colors – If you’re planning a family cookout in the back yard, don’t dress in black or dark colors. Dark-colored clothing provides strong contrast against the sun, so mosquitoes can see you much better.
  • Scents – Sweetly scented colognes and perfumes attract mosquitoes to your body. Some studies even show that drinking a bottle of beer can make you more susceptible to mosquito bites.

organic mosquito control

Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Mosquitoes are considered one of the most dangerous insects on the planet because of their ability to spread deadly diseases. Organic mosquito control is essential for prevention. According to reports by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, mosquitoes kill more than one million people a year through the transmission of malaria.

Add to that the numbers of people sickened and killed by other mosquito-borne diseases such as Dengue Fever, Yellow Fever, Chikungunya Fever, West Nile Virus and Zika Virus, and it’s easy to see why mosquito bites are so dangerous.

In recent years the rate of infection from mosquito-borne diseases has risen dramatically. There is growing concern around the country about mosquito-borne diseases and the need for organic mosquito control prevention.

  • Dengue Fever – Dengue Fever typically shows up about a week after a mosquito bite with symptoms that include high fever, headaches, back and joint pain, rashes and eye pain. If the fever lasts for a week, there may be bruising and bleeding as well.
  • Yellow Fever – Common infection symptoms include fever, chills, headache and nausea. There may be a short remission, but the disease often returns with more serious symptoms like nosebleeds, vomiting and abdominal pain. Fatality rates range from 15 to 50%.
  • Chikungunya Fever – This strange-sounding disease is transmitted by the Asian tiger mosquito which is common to Northern NJ. Symptoms include sudden fever, chills, headache, nausea and vomiting, rash, lower back pain and joint pain with or without swelling.
  • West Nile Virus – The virus multiplies in the blood stream, then travels to the brain where it impacts the central nervous system and causes inflammation of brain tissue, known as encephalitis. Symptoms include high fever, headaches, swollen lymph nodes and stiff neck. Severe cases can lead to convulsions, coma and death.
  • Zika Virus – Zika Virus can be spread by the Asian tiger mosquito, commonly found in Northern NJ. Pregnant women are especially at risk of brain damage to their unborn babies. Most people infected with Zika Virus have no symptoms or mild symptoms like slight fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis (red eyes). Since Zika Virus is difficult to detect, organic mosquito control is essential for prevention.

organic mosquito control

Mosquito Prevention for Your Home

Plenty of mosquito repellents line the shelves of hardware and home improvement stores, but they don’t usually provide adequate protection against mosquitoes in your landscape, especially if you have a large Northern New Jersey property.

Organic mosquito control applications done by a landscape professional can cover a much larger area and provide greater protection for your home and family.

Organic mosquito control should be part of your regular lawn care and maintenance provided by your landscape professional. DIY sprays and insecticide treatments may provide temporary prevention, but they don’t provide enough protection in dense or large landscapes, especially if there is a swimming pool, spa or hot tub in the back yard.

For long-term prevention and proper protection, it’s best to hire a professional landscape company who offers outdoor pest control services.

Talk to an experienced Bergen County landscape professional who can provide an Integrated Pest Management Program for your home. This will ensure year-round protection against mosquitoes, as well as a variety of other outdoor insects and pests.

An Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM) is a pest control approach that uses natural, organic pest control solutions for your landscape. It prevents many outdoor pests, including mosquitoes, and promotes a safe outdoor environment for your home, family and pets.

If you have existing outdoor pest problems and damages, an IPM can help identify the pests and provide proper pest control solutions to prevent further damage.

In addition to regular lawn care and maintenance, an Integrated Pest Management Program can provide specialty treatments that prevent outdoor pests year-round. IPM specialty treatments typically include:

  • Winter protection treatments
  • Organic root feedings
  • Organic mosquito, flea and tick control
  • Organic deer repellent
  • Other special treatments as needed

In addition to organic mosquito control, you can reduce mosquitoes in your landscape with other natural solutions like with predatory fish, mosquito-eating insects and plants with natural repellents.

Mosquito Fish

Mosquito fish are small, minnow-like freshwater fish native to the Southeastern part of the country. They are hardy, capable of surviving in stagnant water and breed to the size of their container to prevent overcrowding. Mosquito fish feed on mosquito eggs and larvae on the surface of the water. They can eat hundreds of mosquitoes every day.

A dozen mosquito fish will cover about 48 surface feet of water. In areas of the country with mosquito problems, local programs often use mosquito fish as a type of organic mosquito control to reduce the mosquito population. Talk to a landscape professional about the benefits of an outdoor pond with mosquito fish for your landscape.

Dragonflies

These strange insects may look like they bite or sting, but they are only dangerous to mosquitoes. Dragonfly larvae, called nymphs, feed on mosquito larvae. Adult dragonflies feed on adult mosquitoes.

The nymphs will eat mosquito larvae in the water, and the adults will sun themselves on the rocks and catch adult mosquitoes when they leave the water. If you want to attract dragonflies to your landscape, you will need to provide an environment that’s comfortable and safe for them. Consider a small, outdoor pond that’s shallow at one end and deep at the other end.

Provide vegetation that grows out of the water and plenty of flat rocks around the pond, then watch for dragonflies in your landscape. Some coastal towns in Maine and Connecticut have been buying and releasing dragonfly nymphs in local waters for decades. They insist that the dragonflies provide organic mosquito control in the area.

Citrosa, Lemon Thyme and Rosemary

These plants contain oils that naturally repel mosquitoes. The citrosa plant, used in citronella candles, is even marketed as a “mosquito plant” for its ability to keep insects away. Planting these plants in your landscape can help to reduce mosquitoes around your home. They have a pleasant smell and can be planted in high-traffic areas around patios and decks, driveways and walkways and pool and spa areas. Leaves can be plucked, crushed and rubbed on the skin for extra mosquito protection with no harmful side effects. When leaves are crushed, protective oils are released into the air.

Planting these plants in your landscape can help to reduce mosquitoes around your home. They have a pleasant smell and can be planted in high-traffic areas around patios and decks, driveways and walkways and pool and spa areas. Leaves can be plucked, crushed and rubbed on the skin for extra mosquito protection with no harmful side effects. When leaves are crushed, protective oils are released into the air.

Leaves can be plucked, crushed and rubbed on the skin for extra mosquito protection with no harmful side effects. When leaves are crushed, protective oils are released into the air.

As a Northern New Jersey homeowner, it’s important to protect your family from the potential dangers of mosquitoes in your landscape. Talk to a Bergen County landscape professional about organic mosquito control for your home before summer weather arrives.