Updated: Jan 28, 2021
Female mosquitos can lay as many as 100 eggs at a time.
That’s 100 opportunities for new mosquito larvae to hatch, which sometimes happens within a few days of being laid. Eventually, it’s 100 new mosquitos laying more eggs.
And if you’re unlucky, all of this is happening in your yard as you’re reading this.
Mosquito breeding happens with very little water, and you might be surprised by the sneaky sites a mosquito can use to lay eggs. Here are some of the mosquito breeding grounds that may be lurking in your yard right now.
Let’s start with an obvious culprit: the birdbath.
Whether you’re an avid bird watcher or you installed it for decor, stone birdbaths bring a touch of style to your backyard garden. However, standing water is also a perfect environment for mosquito breeding.
The fix: Change the water whenever you water your outdoor plants, and scrub the bowl once a week. You might also want to consider switching to a solar-powered fountain to keep the water moving.
2. Kiddie Pool
An inflatable pool can be a wonderful oasis from the summer heat, as well as an inexpensive way to keep your kids cool and entertained.
However, it’s not a good idea to let your pool sit outside for more than a day or so, as the standing water inside it can become a mosquito motel in no time at all.
The fix: Empty and refill your pool once a week during heavy use, and take it down whenever you aren’t using it for a few days.
3. Ponds and Water Gardens
It may be soothing and atmospheric to have a serene pool of water in the back of your yard, but that calm water is the perfect lure for mosquitos. Ponds and water gardens are a constant mosquito breeding ground, and letting them remain idle means you’ll have countless mosquito eggs on your hands.
The fix: You can install a fountain or buy fish that will eat the larvae, but these options can be time-consuming and expensive. The easier fix is a simple larvicide to get rid of mosquitos before they hatch.
You probably already know you should be cleaning your gutters for multiple crucial reasons.
During the warm months, however, gutters can be a problem for another reason: water that gets trapped there is a great place for mosquitos to breed out of sight and out of mind.
The fix: Clear away leaves and twigs on a regular basis. Installing a gutter guard can help with mosquito control by preventing future debris from accumulating.
5. Plant Drainage Plates
If you have a container garden on your patio, you’ll want to check the drainage plates used to catch extra water that leaks from your plants after watering.
The fix: Dump out your drainage plates frequently to keep mosquitos from breeding in the still water. It’s also a good plant watering best practice, as water from a full drainage plate can be reabsorbed into the plant’s dirt, resulting in over-watered plants.
6. Kids’ Toys
You’ve told your children countless times to clean up after themselves, but they inevitably leave their toys behind anyway.
Inside the house, this is a minor nuisance. Outside, it can create little mosquito havens. When plastic toys like beach buckets, trucks, and dollhouses gather rainwater, even a little of the resulting water is the perfect spot for mosquitos to lay eggs.
The fix: Stay firm with your kids about cleaning up their outdoor toys, and ensure that the yard is clear before it rains.
7. Plastic Tarp
In the rainy months, it can be hard to keep things like firewood, lumber, or bikes dry. That’s where plastic tarp comes in.
However, these plastic sheets can create small nooks and crannies that let water accumulate after it’s rained. If this water sits for too long, you might find yourself with much higher mosquito numbers than before.
The fix: Make sure the tarp is pulled taut around whatever it covers.
8. Tire Swing
This classic yard fixture combines recycling with hours of entertainment for your kids, making it a no-brainer for most parents to install.
However, the inner part of a tire swing can hold rainwater. This is annoying when your child swings and gets water on their clothes, but it’s more annoying when it becomes a breeding ground for mosquitos in your yard.
The fix: Drill a hole in the bottom of the swing for drainage.
9. Outdoor Pet Bowls
It’s a good idea to have an outdoor pet bowl to keep your dogs hydrated when they’re out in the heat. The problem arises when that water sits for multiple days in a row, giving mosquitos a place to breed.
The fix: Switch out your dog’s water daily, or empty the bowl at night if your dog sleeps inside.
10. Canoes and Kayaks
These bulky boats can be hard to store properly, as not everyone has wall space for a storage rack or garage space to hide them away. If you leave your canoe or kayak out in your yard, water can pool inside of its cockpit, as well as any nooks and crannies. This, in turn, can make it an ideal breeding ground for a new generation of mosquitos.
The fix: Store your canoe or kayak upside down. If you can’t keep yours in a garage, try putting a tarp over it (but be careful to follow the tips on tarps above!).
If you have a sandbox, you probably like to think of it as a nice, dry area for your kids to play—and it probably started out that way. However, when sandboxes are open to the rain, they can easily begin collecting moisture, especially if you only remember to use the plastic cover after the fact.
The fix: Let your sandbox dry out completely in the sun. If you don’t already have a plastic cover, make sure to buy one so you can keep the sandbox covered whenever it’s not in use. This way, you won’t have to scramble to cover it up whenever it starts raining.
12. Uncovered Garbage Cans
It’s a good idea to keep a lid on your garbage can for multiple reasons, one of which is the terrible smell that emanates from wet garbage. Another, of course, is mosquitos that will love the standing water, regardless of the trash around it.
The fix: Make sure you have tight lids on your garbage can and recycling bin. If you use any garbage cans to collect leaves or grass clippings, don’t forget to keep those sealed as well.
13. Grill Covers
When the day is pleasant outside, it’s only natural to be lured by the temptation of grilled hot dogs, hamburgers, or vegetables. However, when it comes to cleaning up the mess, many homeowners forget to cover the grill afterward. This allows water to accumulate inside the grill covers.
The fix: When you’re done grilling, the key to mosquito reduction is to make sure you’ve set the lid back into place.
It may not be immediately obvious, but the tree in your yard may naturally offer mosquitos the perfect breeding ground.
Some species of trees tend to grow little holes in their trunk, and these holes can be hard to notice, especially if they aren’t at eye level. Some of these holes remain dry and act as housing for birds and small animals. However, if the hole fills with water after it rains, it may allow mosquitos to breed inside of it.
The fix: The CDC has some great tips on filling your tree holes to keep mosquitos at bay.
15. Piles of Leaves or Grass Clippings
Dense vegetation of any kind gives mosquitos a moist and shady place to breed out of sight, but the most common culprit in yards is wet piles of leaves or grass clippings. The combination of humidity and shade creates the perfect mosquito motel, and it’s not a place most homeowners would consider when eliminating mosquito breeding grounds.
The fix: When you do yard work, get rid of any piles of leaves or grass clippings as soon as you rake them up.
Rid Your Yard of Mosquito Breeding
Mosquitos can find standing water in places you wouldn’t believe, so it’s important to keep a vigilant eye out if you’re trying to curb mosquito breeding in your backyard. INZECTO Mosquito Chips are a great way to eliminate breeding grounds in hard-to-clean areas, but you may need a INZECTO Mosquito Trap if the damage is already done. Learn more here, and get ready to take back your yard!