If you plan to move to a Midwest state, like Iowa, you should familiarize yourself with common pests in the area so that you can safeguard your home. While mosquitoes are ubiquitous pests in the U.S., they are a particular problem for Midwesterners. Learn more about this pest and how to keep them out of your yard and home.
Why Are Mosquitoes a Particular Problem in Midwestern States?
Over the last several decades, large floods have plagued the Midwest due to frequent rainfall, geography, and temperature. Along with home damage and economic problems, floods also bring a large amount of mosquitoes. Why? In order to breed, mosquitoes need stagnant water. Once their eggs are laid, these eggs clump together and float on the surface of water.
Ironically, drought goes hand-in-hand with flooding in this region because of climate change. Drought can cause a chain reaction in the ecosystem that increases the danger of mosquitoes. For instance, because drought causes fewer water sources, both mosquitoes and birds may need to congregate in the same areas to get water. And since birds are hosts of the West Nile Virus, they can transmit this disease to mosquitoes, who then can transmit it on to humans.
Why Are Mosquitoes More Than an Annoyance?
While no one wants itchy bug bites, mosquitoes are more than a mere annoyance — they can carry many diseases. Some mosquito-borne diseases include things like:
- Encephalitis viral strains, such as St. Louis, Western Equine, and LaCrosse strains. Encephalitis can cause brain inflammation and can be deadly.
- West Nile Virus, which can cause headaches, fatigue, and rashes that can last a week. In severe cases, West Nile Virus can lead to an encephalitis strain that affects the spinal cord.
- Chikungunya, which is a viral disease that can cause severe joint pain, muscle pain, fever, nausea, and fatigue.
- Yellow fever, which is rare but has seen cases in the U.S. This virus can cause liver damage and be fatal.
Although you cannot control the flooding and drought that can bring mosquitoes and their illness to the area, you can take action to prevent their presence around and in your home.
How Can You Get Rid of Mosquitoes Around Your Home?
The main goal in your yard is to reduce pools of standing water. Homeowners typically aerate their lawns to encourage healthy growth and beautiful landscaping. But aeration can also be beneficial at reducing mosquitoes because it loosens up the soil enough to allow excess water drainage.
As you assess your yard, be sure to eliminate any buckets, cans, or other artificial containers that could collect and hold water. If you have birdbaths or bird feeders, make sure that these items are cleaned periodically and that old, stagnant water is dumped. Clean out gutters and drain pipes that may be full of leaves and other debris that could hinder proper drainage.
Your yard may be your main focus, but don’t forget to seal up your home. Replace any damaged screens and caulk poorly sealed windows to keep mosquitoes out.
Lastly, contact a pest control professional in your area to spray your property with mosquito repellent. These chemicals are typically more effective than DIY methods; plus, the treatments are safe for your landscaping and your family members.
Some pest control companies can apply treatments that deter mosquitoes from coming near water services in your yard. Some services might use insect growth regulators (IGRs). IGRs can mimic hormones released by mosquitoes, but they are actually insecticides that kill adult mosquitoes so they don’t continue to breed.
Reach out to us at Diam Pest Control for more information about dealing with Midwestern pests.