What Bug Are You?

Going Batty: Why Seeing Bats in Your Yard Is a Good Thing

flying batBats get an unfair reputation as blood-sucking rabies monsters, but really, they’re one of the most efficient pest control critters you can have around.

Now, I’m sure you’re thinking “Why would I actually want bats in my yard?” It does sound odd, but keep reading.

A bat can eat more than a thousand mosquitoes and other insects in a single night. That’s just one bat in one night! Bats are probably already around your area anyways, you just don’t realize how helpful they are.

If you have a big mosquito problem, encouraging bats to roost in your yard by putting up a bat house could drastically reduce nuisance insect problems. Providing a place for bats to sleep and hibernate will encourage bats to your area (and keep them from roosting in your house).


Before you set up a bat house, it is important to make sure bats won’t be able to set up camp inside your roof, attic, or other areas of your home. This is especially important if you know there are already bats existing there.

Bats won’t leave an established roost for a designated bat house. This means you will have to exclude them and make sure they are not able to return, and will hopefully take up residence in your new bat house.

However, be careful to wait to exclude bats or take exclusion measures when there are no baby bats present. Often, female bats may roost together to give birth and raise the pups, and this is generally from March until August.
It may be impossible to completely block bats from creating roosts in your home, since they can fit through spaces as small as 1/4 inch, which is why offering a bat house is so important, in order to give the bats a better option than your attic. To find out how to exclude bats, visit our bat removal page.


Bats can live almost anywhere, from wetlands to cities. They usually feed in relatively open areas, like over water, clearings, fields, and even under streetlights. To have the most success with encouraging bats to move into your bat house, you can:

  • Begin to observe outdoor lights at night to see if bats are feeding in the area.
  • Ask a neighbor, wildlife expert, nature center, etc., about the bats and habits of bats in your area.
  • Put up a bat house and hope for the best!

Bat houses are best in a more rural area, but as long as you have enough room (about 20 feet of unobstructed flying space), are about a quarter of a mile from a water source like a stream or pond, and can receive half a day of direct sunlight on your bat box, you have all the ingredients to make a happy home for bats.

Make sure to put your bat house about twelve feet above the ground, on a house, building, or pole. Avoid putting houses on trees, as the shade from the branches and possible predators will discourage bats from use.

Even if you are still a bit nervous at the thought of inviting bats into your backyard, they can greatly reduce mosquito and other insect populations, making your outdoor experience much more enjoyable. You can get bat boxes here.

Bug Off!: Choosing and Using Insect Repellents

Recently, I needed to pick up some bug spray before going to an outdoor play. There were only about five or six choices at the store, but it still took me a good ten minutes to decipher through the labels to choose what I needed. DEET or no DEET? Deep woods? Gentle? Scented or unscented? Natural?

I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. While I do know that DEET is highly effective, I’ve heard differing opinions on whether it is really “good” to use on our skin. I also know that there are tons of natural insect repellents on the market today as well, and I know even less about them. And to top it all off, I have no idea how well any of the products work, how long they will last, and what bugs they’ll repel.

Hopefully next year, though, everyone will have a much easier time choosing the best repellent. The Environmental Protection Agency, along with the CDC, released a statement this month detailing a new graphic that will be available on licensed insect repellents early next year (see image below).

The graphic aims to accomplish several things. Most importantly, the new graphic will hopefully protect people better. The incidences of mosquito and tick borne diseases are on the rise, and the EPA and CDC hopes that if people can see the efficacy of the insect repellent at a glance, they’ll be more likely to both purchase and apply the repellent.

It will make it much easier and faster to look at a product and immediately know what it will protect you from and how long the protection will last, sort of like a sunscreen SPF label.

Many people either do not use insect repellent or do not use it correctly. It is very important whenever you are spending time outdoors to protect yourself from mosquitoes and ticks, not only to avoid bug bites, but also to protect yourself from diseases. Mosquitoes carry West Nile virus, chikungunya, malaria, degue, Japanese encephalitis, and others. Ticks carry Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, and many others. Along with using common sense and other precautions in conjunction with proper insect repellent use, you can avoid contracting these preventable diseases.

Choosing Insect Repellents
While this new addition to repellent labels will make it much easier to glance through the products and make your choice, it might also be helpful to know a bit more about the active ingredients found in popular insect repellents and how they work.

Repellents don’t technically “repel” insects or cause them to move away, but instead block the receptors insects use to detect their hosts. An individual’s genes and diet, as well as what activity they might be doing (like hiking or sitting at the beach) also affects how well and for how long a repellent will continue to work.

DEET is the shortened name of the chemical N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, which has been used since the late 1940s as a highly effective mosquito repellent, and is the standard to which all other repellents are judged. It works on mosquitoes and ticks very well and will last for several hours. It shouldn’t be used on infants younger than two months, and never around eyes, nose, or mouth. Some experts recommend using a product with 30 percent DEET or less.

Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus
This essential oil has been seen to have a similar efficacy to a low concentration of DEET, but for a shorter period of time. It should not be used on children under three years, and may have to be reapplied more often.

Other Essential Oils
Many natural insect repellents contain a wide variety of essential oils as the active ingredient. Cedar oil, lemongrass oil, and peppermint oil are popular choices. Their efficacy varies, but they do not work well against ticks. Natural products do work for many, and are great for times you are simply in your yard or outdoors for short periods of time or in an area ticks are not known to be.

Tips For Applying Insect Repellents
We want you to have a safe, fun time outdoors. Follow these tips to ensure you’re using insect repellent correctly.

  • Always apply insect repellents according to the label directions
  • Only apply what you need; avoid over-application
  • Do not apply under clothing, broken or irritated skin, or the face
  • Do not apply repellents on or near children’s hands or faces
  • Do not apply around food or drink
  • Apply product in a well ventilated area
  • Once inside, wash treated skin with soap and water and launder treated clothes before wearing again.
  • Avoid combination sunscreen insect repellent products, as you may accidentally apply too much insect repellent while regularly applying the sunscreen.

Be on the lookout for the new graphic next year; we won’t be wasting precious outdoor time in the bug spray aisle anymore!

Shoo, Fly! How to Get Rid of Those Annoying House Flies



I was once a barista at a coffee shop – a wonderful, lovely place. Except in the summer. The flies would come in droves, attracted to the back door (near the dumpsters) and, as it was warm, we would leave the door cracked for a breeze. Big mistake. Soon, we were overrun, and they made their way into the cafe area to annoy customers, too. Eventually there was a no-door-open rule, as well as fly paper and a UV light trap set up. Slowly but surely, the flies began to disappear!

Flies Can Carry Diseases

We weren’t just concerned that our customers would be annoyed, but that they might be a bit grossed out. Flies aren’t just nuisances; they carry and transmit many diseases.

Flies breed and feed in places like sewers, dumpsters, garbage heaps, manure, and any other moist decaying matter like rotting meat.  They can transmit typhoid fever, dysentery, cholera, leprosy, tuberculosis, salmonella, malaria, and many more.

Now, I’m not trying to use scare tactics here, but many people don’t realize that the flies in their kitchen are more than just nuisances. They can make you and your family sick if not controlled and kept in check.

Luckily, it isn’t hard to get rid of houseflies. It takes time and patience, but following the steps below can make it simple.

How to Control Flies in Your House

The four main points of indoor fly control include sanitation, exclusion, non-chemical, and chemical measures.

  • Sanitation is one of the most important aspects of fly control. Even the smallest amount of food residue or access to garbage, etc., can provide food for many flies. Restricting access to food will discourage flies from being in your area. Clean up all spills, make sure garbage cans are lidded or secured from access, do not leave dirty dishes out overnight, and try not to leave fruit out on the counter. Outdoors, keep garbage cans away from the house and make sure they are closed tightly.
  • Exclusion is the next step; making sure flies cannot get in. Check to make sure all screens are intact, repairing any holes or gaps. Check for any gap or crack around doors, vents, pipes, or any access point from outdoors to indoors.
  • Nonchemical fly control can be highly effective and is very safe to use indoors around pets and family members. Using UV light traps, sticky traps, fly swatters, and more, you can easily reduce or eliminate flies when you include nonchemical control products in your control efforts. You can even use nonchemical fly control products outside, using hanging flytraps that use a safe lure product that can trap hundreds of flies.
  • Chemical control methods are best used outdoors on the exterior of your home to discourage flies from landing or getting near any windows or doors to get inside.
    bug-a-salt salt fly gun

Now, none of these methods really help you out if you’re hanging outside, having a picnic or barbecue. Hang traps up outdoors around the perimeter (away from your guests) and have plenty of flyswatters on hand.

To turn fly killing into more of a sport, bring in the big gun – Bug-A- Salt, into the mix (image to the right —>). If we would have had the Bug-A-Salt at my old job, I’m pretty sure we would have been having a lot more fun with those flies!

Check out more in-depth fly control and our full range of fly control products here.


Pet Pests: Keep Your Dog and Cat Bug-Free This Summer

When summer hits, the annoying insects do to, and it seems that everyone prepares with bug repellents, citronella candles, bug foggers, the whole nine yards. But as we spend more time outside, our pets often follow suit. What we might forget is that our pets need that same level of protection (see pet flea control), but we might not know just how to give it to them.

bug spray

Image via Inhabitat.com

To most of us, our dogs, cats and other furry friends are simply part of the family, so it seems silly that we would neglect to protect them from bug bites as we ourselves are dousing ourselves in bug spray or perform rigorous tick checks after a hike. Our pets are vulnerable to a host of insect-borne diseases, like heartworms and Lyme disease, which can be very dangerous. It is easier to prevent rather than treat these conditions, and makes it more convenient and worry free for everyone.

heartworm life cycle

Image via kleinbrookah.com

It might just seem like one more thing to add to your ever-growing summer checklist, but if you take a look at these guidelines for the right and wrong way to achieve pet pest control, it will be simple to keep your pets safe, healthy, and happy!

Wrong: Treating your pets with human products or medicines
Products made for people, while effective, can contain chemicals and ingredients that can harm your pets. While it might seem like a good idea to spray down your puppy with the same bug spray you use, it can be dangerous. For example, DEET, a common ingredient in mosquito repellents, can cause neurological damage. Citronella, a plant-derived repellent ingredient, can cause respiratory problems and skin irritations.

Applying skin creams for rashes or bites, or giving your cat or dog an over the counter antihistamine, can also be very dangerous. Cats and dogs are much, much smaller than us, so medication will affect them much differently, and it is never a good idea to risk it without talking to a vet or seeking out more appropriate options. Skin creams and applications can cause harm, especially to cats, since they clean their fur with their tongues and can ingest these products.

Right: Seeking out specially formulated repellent products
There are many great, safe products made just for your pets that repel all of the common nuisance insects. Pet Peeve Insect Spray contains naturally derived ingredients that repels mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, biting flies, etc., and is a great option for dogs and cats, and can also be used to treat your home, commonly used areas by the pet, and so on. There are even more products available for flea and tick control.

Wrong: Over or under treating your pets with medication or treatments
Some people like to think “the more medicine, the better!” or, they like to split dosages up to make the product last longer over time. However, the dosage listed on the package for tick, flea, or heartworm medication is very specific for dogs and cats, especially when it comes to weight. One pound’s difference is huge for small animals, and can greatly affect the efficacy and safety of the medication.

Another important point on dosage: do not give dogs and cats the same medication unless it is formulated for both species. The size, tolerance, and allergies is different for dogs and cats, and some ingredients present in dog flea and tick medicines are dangerous for cats.

Right: Asking your vet for approval
Do your research before purchasing any preventative medication for your pets. Since many less expensive options are available outside of your vet’s office, make sure you ask your vet if it is safe or effective before giving it to your pet.

Wrong: Leaving your pet unprotected
A “no pest, no problem” attitude might work for people, but it isn’t a great motto for pets. Just because you might not see any fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, or flies around your dog or cat, doesn’t mean they’re not there or haven’t already passed on a bite or disease.

Even indoor animals are not immune to summer’s bugs, and should not be left out. A disease-carrying mosquito could find it’s way inside, or even a tick or fleas could wander in when everyone is coming and going.

Right: Treating your pet early and often for common cat and dog pests
Prevention is much, much easier to handle than treating an infection, infestation, or illness after the fact. Your pet won’t suffer, and you’ll be able to enjoy the summer without worrying about your furry friend. Don’t wait till your pet is scratching and itching and miserable, but be proactive, just as you would for yourself.

What To Do About Snakes in Your Yard

Once, when I was about six or seven, I was camping with my large extended family in the summer time. There was a manhole cover with access to some sort of drainage system, and one of my cousins insisted we open it. My uncle lifted the cover, and out poured hundreds of snakes. Big and small snakes of all colors were squirming around inside, and almost every adult bolted. Not us kids, though. Not even me. I ran to the commotion and picked up a tiny green snake. It bit me, and I was bleeding, but it didn’t even hurt! I was shocked and surprised, but ever since then, snakes haven’t phased me. They’re sort of cute…aren’t they?

Most people will probably disagree with me. This time of year, you might start hearing your neighbors complain about all the snakes they’ve been seeing in their yard. Maybe you’ve accidentally come across a few of these slithering creatures in your own yard or garden. Despite my insistences that snakes aren’t the bad guys, my friends and family are very anti-snake. Late spring is when snakes are on the move to their summer habitats, so seeing snakes in larger numbers is not uncommon – nor should it be alarming!

Garter snakes and king snakes are a couple of the most common snakes seen, and are harmless to humans.

garter snake

Garter Snake - www.domyownpestcontrol.com/snakes-c-179.html

Before you jump to kill every snake you see, you might want to consider a few things first.

  • Snakes, despite their reputation, can be very beneficial in your yard and garden. Snakes eat small nuisance wildlife animals, including rats, mice, voles, and even other snakes. They can also eat many destructive insect pests.
  • Each state has a couple dozen native snakes. Within the native group, only a handful or less of those are dangerous. So, the likelihood of you coming upon dangerous snakes is fairly slim. However, knowing how to identify the dangerous types of snakes in your area can help you feel safer and more in control around snakes.
  • Many times, at least some or even all snakes in a particular state may be protected. In Missouri, for example, all snakes and reptiles are protected and considered non-game animals. It is illegal to kill protected animals.
scarlet king snake

King Snake - www.domyownpestcontrol.com/snakes-c-179.html

However, there are some instances where having snakes around isn’t necessarily desirable. I am a big advocate of getting rid of nuisance wildlife in a humane, non-lethal way, and luckily, there are methods and products you can use to keep snakes at bay without harming or killing them. Whether you see snakes only occasionally or have a small population living around your property, there are some simple steps to follow to make your property unappealing to snakes.

Snakes are just like most pests; removing food and shelter drastically reduces their presence in your area. Adding in some repellents to the mix should make your yard and garden an unappealing place for snakes to hang out.


snake in brush pile

Snake in Brush - gardens-in-the-sand.blogspot.com

1)   Removing food sources: Since most snakes eat rodents and other small animals, reducing their population will in turn reduce snakes hanging around your garden. Check out our rat and mouse pages to learn how to get rid of these critters.

2)   Removing shelter: Snakes like to live in damp, dark, cool places, and your yard could be full of them. Make sure you do the following things to reduce shelter for snakes and other pests: Store firewood at least a foot off the ground, remove lumber or junk piles, remove or reduce heavy mulch, trim bushes or trees close to exterior foundations, keep lawns trimmed and raked free of leaves or debris, seal any cracks/crevices especially in attics or basements.

3)   Snake repellents: Snake repellents can be very effective tools in keeping your yard snake free, and work even better if you follow the steps above, because once a snake encounters the unpleasant repellent and realize there’s nothing for them in your yard, they’ll be highly deterred from returning. Made of sulphur, essential oils like cinnamon, clove, and cedar, naphthalene, or a combination, these oils irritate or confuse snakes and make them want to leave the area.

During the late spring and fall, you are going to see more snakes than usual. This seasonal migration only lasts a short time, and is no reason to panic. Snakes don’t like people and want to get away from us, so just let the snakes move on and let them be. Most snakes are harmless, so just use these techniques listed above for a safe, humane way to keep snakes away.

All About Plant Food, Fertilizer, and Compost

plant food

‘Tis the season for planting: flowers, vegetables, and plants of all kinds are ready to grow. Most gardeners are also adding fertilizers, plant food, and compost to their soil and plants, boosting plant health and allowing plants to grow to their fullest – but that can get a little confusing!

Fertilizers, plant foods, and composts often get lumped together in the same category, but they have very different functions and produce different outcomes, so it is important to know the differences between them. Here is a quick rundown of what they are and how they affect your pants.

Plant Food

Let’s get this one out of the way first. Plants make their own food, producing it through photosynthesis. Any extra nutrients the plant receives, via fertilizers or otherwise, give the plants what they need to function and carry out other processes. If a product is labeled “plant food” is usually a form of fertilizer, a very specific nutrient labeled for a specific result. So if you see something called “all-purpose plant food,” it’s simply a different way of saying “all-purpose fertilizer.”


Fertilizers give plants nutrients immediately, allowing them to take up the nutrients they need. Fertilizers can include the three main nutrients plants need, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, as well as micronutrients like magnesium and calcium. Fertilizers target the needs of plants, allowing them to grow faster, bigger, etc. You have a huge selection of fertilizers available to you. From grass to flowers to fruit trees, you can find the formula that will work for you.


Compost is made up of decomposed organic material, usually fruit or vegetable kitchen scraps, leaves and grass, or manure. When decomposed fully, you’re left with a nutrient rich mixture that can be added to your soil. However, it is not a fertilizer. Putting compost in your soil improves soil structure, increasing aeration and keeps it moist. The whole point of using compost is to improve the health of your soil, because healthy soil yields healthy plants. There are some nutrients in compost, but it isn’t used as a source for plant nutrients. The longer you use compost, the better your soil will become and the less fertilizer and other products you will have to use.

The Differences: Fertilizer vs. Compost

*See also: How to Compost

Even after researching, reading, and writing about these products many times, I still get tripped up on when to use what products. Here is an even closer look at exactly what makes these products different.

  • The easiest way to differentiate between fertilizer and compost is that fertilizer feeds plants and compost feeds soil.
  • Fertilizers are used to add nutrients to the soil with the intent of meeting needs of plants. It is best to add a fertilizer if you know your soil is lacking in nutrients (soil already has nutrients plants need) or if your plants display certain signs of malnutrition. A small, regular application of fertilizer is often recommended for most plants. There are some risks associated with using fertilizers, including leeching of fertilizer chemicals into waterways and over fertilization that can harm plants. Using an organic fertilizer (made from naturally sourced fertilizer like fish waste or plant meal) can help avoid over fertilization and leeching.
  • Compost adds a rich mix of materials that promotes healthy soil microbe growth. It offers a food source for beneficial soil dwelling insects, bulks up your soil, and introduces a balance of micronutrients to your soil. While there are nutrients in this mixture, they are very slowly released and are not meant to “feed” plants nutrients, but rather feed your soil and create a really rich, healthy soil for your plants to grow in. The soil is the most important foundation for your plants, and a healthy soil environment helps your plants grow larger, resist diseases, and there are no risks when using properly treated compost.
  • You can use both of fertilizer and compost simultaneously, since they are used for totally different purposes. Always read instructions carefully!
  • Check out our selection of fertilizers, plant foods, and compost, and don’t hesitate to ask questions to our experts; we want you to have the best garden on the block!

Do My Own Pest Control Celebrates 10 years, Offers Special Discounts Every Day Throughout the Month of June

10 year anniversaryDo My Own Pest Control’s CEOs recognize how far they’ve grown, acknowledging that the satisfied customer has always been the root of their success. To thank their supporters, Do My Own Pest Control will be running a month long, daily discount promotion to celebrate ten years of making customers happy.

CEOs and brothers Michael and Phillip Gossling have always had a knack for business since they were kids, so teaming up to form Do My Own Pest Control was a natural choice. Starting out in their parent’s basement, sending out just ten orders a day, they’ve grown the business into an award-winning company that was acknowledged in the 2011 Inc. 500/5000 list of America’s fastest growing companies.

The Gossling brothers have always focused on making the customer the number one priority, and this shows in the customer service team. The customer service representatives are trained by the manufacturer, allowing them to give you recommendations, help you find the best product for your needs, and even tell you how to use the products. You can connect with the customer service team through online chat or by phone.

Working together with this high level of customer service is a top notch, almost fully automated shipping facility that allows Do My Own Pest Control to ship out thousands of orders a day. Offering free shipping and hassle-free returns, using new technology like this gives Do My Own Pest Control the opportunity go above and beyond to reach customers.

The website, the hub of all Do My Own Pest Control’s activity, combines the two tenants of the company – technology and customer service – into one, offering a wealth of information, access to customer service representatives, and the full catalog of everything the company sells in one place.

From humble beginnings ten years ago to now, the satisfaction of customers has remained the top priority for Do My Own Pest Control. To show thanks and appreciation, the entire month of June is geared towards making customers even happier, offering a different deal each day throughout the month.

DoMyOwnPestControl.com 10 Year Anniversary – Thank You Video

May Is Lyme Disease Awareness Month

Lyme Disease Awareness Month

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, and here at Do My Own Pest Control, we want to help protect you against Lyme disease and other tick borne illnesses. Lyme disease is the most common tick borne illness, so it is important to know how to keep yourself and your family safe against this prevalent disease.

It’s no secret that ticks carry diseases. Just the mention of ticks sends people into a tick-searching frenzy. I recently went on a hike with family and I mentioned that it was tick season and we all needed to do a check when we got home, and everyone looked at me a little funny – but I know how serious tick bites can be, especially if we’re all not vigilant.

Before we get into preventing tick bites and Lyme disease, let’s get into Lyme disease a little deeper. We’ve all heard of it, but what is it?

Lyme Disease: What You Need To Know

Transmission: Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. A tick feeds on an animal infected with the disease and then becomes a carrier. The tick can then use you as a host, and thereby transmit the disease to you. The disease is transmitted if the ticks are attached to their host. The longer the tick remains attached, the more likely the disease will be transmitted. The tick needs at least 24 hours, but often 36-48 to complete transmission.

Symptoms: Everyone might experience different symptoms, and often multiple symptoms at once. There are different symptoms depending on the stage of the disease. Early stage symptoms include:

  • A rash extending from the bite or on other parts of the body, often called a bulls eye, since the rash is a red ring surrounding a white middle.
  • Flu-like symptoms, like body aches, fever, etc.

Late stage symptoms include:

  • Joint pain and swelling
  • Meningitis, Bell’s palsy, impaired muscle movement and numbness can all occur any time after the infection.
  • Less commonly, infected people can experience heart problems, eye and liver inflammation, and severe fatigue.

Tick Prevention Tips

tick prevention tips

There are some key steps you need to take when protecting yourself from ticks and tick borne diseases.

1)   Limit Exposed Skin: Ticks can attach very easily to skin, so the more exposed skin you offer, the more likely a tick will latch on. If spending any extended time in heavily wooded areas or grassy areas, try to wear long sleeves or long pants.

2)   Use Repellents: If wearing long pants and long sleeves is not possible or practical, try to use an effective tick repellent on any exposed skin. If you are camping, hunting, fishing, or spending a lot of time outdoors, a product containing DEET is your best bet against ticks, like OFF Deep Woods. Alternatively, you can treat outdoor clothing with repellent products that last through washings and provide a protective barrier, like Tick Block.

3)   Perform Thorough Tick Checks: Tick checks are the most important thing you can do after spending time in grassy or wooded areas. Tick bites often go unnoticed, so checks are crucial. Focus on underarms, ears, waist, behind knees, scalp and hair, and between legs.

4)   Protect Your Pets: Your pets are just as vulnerable to Lyme disease and other tick borne illnesses as we are. It can be tough to protect your pets, though, since many spend so much time outdoors. For these pets, monthly flea and tick treatment, like this one, can keep your pets healthy.  There are also several repellent products formulated for animals that can be used as additional protection against ticks and other insects, like Pet Peeve Insect Spray. Don’t forget to check your pets for ticks, too!

5)   Head over to our tick control page for a huge variety of tick products, along with other ways to keep your family safe from ticks. For more information on Lyme Disease, head over to the American Lyme Disease Foundation’s website.

How to Remove a Tick:

how to remove a tick

New Mosquito, Same Rules: Protect Yourself This Season

Asian Tiger Mosquito

Asian Tiger Mosquito

Year after year, summer brings mosquitoes. Most of us know the drill: bug spray, citronella candles, and staying inside during sunrise and sunset to avoid these bloodsuckers. This year, though, you might want to beef up your mosquito-fighting arsenal to keep you and your family safe. An invasive species of mosquito, the Asian tiger mosquito, has been around for years, but just recently it has begun spreading throughout the United States, bringing diseases with it.

About The Asian Tiger Mosquito

This mosquito is black with white stripes, and is a bit more aggressive than your garden-variety mosquito. It is very agile and can easily dodge your swats, and is often undeterred when slapped and swatted away and will continue to feed. They feed all throughout the day, not just at dawn and dusk, but their bites aren’t painful and often go unnoticed. These mosquitoes are highly adaptable and can lay eggs virtually anywhere there is water, even ¼ inch deep. 

Asian tiger mosquitoes arrived in the U.S. in the 1980s, and have stayed in warmer regions of the country. These mosquitoes need warm average temperatures to survive, and as average temperatures continue to rise throughout the country, this mosquito has begun to spread, even all the way to New York.  This mosquito is not necessarily more dangerous than other mosquitoes, but it has a disease carrying potential that brings concern.

New Disease Potential

Recently, outbreaks of chikungunya, a muscle and joint pain disease, swept through the Caribbean and has the potential to make its way over here, according to this CNN article. While this is not a problem yet, the U.S. will have to keep an eye on the progression of this disease. For now, you can take steps to protect yourself and your family from all mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases.

Smart Mosquito Control

While using repellents and insecticides to combat mosquitoes is a great way to prevent morning and evening bites while spending time outdoors, there are ways to keep mosquito populations low in your area.

  • The most important thing you must do in any case is to get rid of standing water in your area. All mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, and the Asian tiger mosquito requires very little to get the job done. Buckets, wheelbarrows, gutters, flowerpot saucers children’s toys, or anything that could hold standing water should be turned over, emptied frequently, or removed from your yard. Birdbaths and pet bowls have a huge potential to become mosquito breeding grounds, so just try to clean these out very frequently and change the water often. If it is not necessary that these be filled, empty them of water.
  • If you have a water feature, creek, pond, pool, or other small body of water near your home, consider using mosquito dunks. These products contain a bacterium that kills mosquito larvae, cutting off the life cycle of the insect and preventing populations from growing. These products are safe to use in natural bodies of water and will not harm other organisms or animals living in the water.
  • Using a fogging system or fog product, like the Bonide Bug Beater Yard & Garden insect fog, in your yard can drastically reduce mosquito populations in your yard, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor space more with fewer mosquitoes. Using a fogging product along with using the other methods mentioned here can help create a safer, mosquito free zone all season long.