How to Prepare for Mosquito Season with DIY Mosquito Control

this tire filled with standing water is an ideal mosquito breeding ground

Summer is right around the corner, and if you live in Central TN, that means so are swarms of mosquitoes. We bring this up now because spring is absolutely the best time of year to start planning your mosquito control for the year. As the weather has starts to warm up, mosquitoes wake from their winter diapause. Activity of these pests may be light now, but a little strategic mosquito control – and even some DIY mosquito control – can have a big impact on the rest of your year.

Are There Any DIY Mosquito Control Measures to Prevent Mosquitoes?

Yes, there are some easy yard maintenance tasks you can do that can make a huge difference in whether your property becomes a mosquito haven or not.

The first and most important thing you can do is eliminate standing water from your yard. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water and their entire early life cycle is aquatic. In fact, mosquitoes don’t emerge from water until they’re adults. To state it simply: if mosquitoes don’t have water, they can’t reproduce. Walk around the yard after the next rain and note the places where water accumulates. From now on after it rains, dump out that water. Get rid of it, even if it’s a small amount. Mosquitoes only need a few millimeters of depth to breed.

Also, keeping your lawn manicured can make your property less hospitable to mosquitoes. Mosquitoes like to rest and breed in thick grass. Additionally, it will help limit the number of areas where water can accumulate. It will also make it easier for you to identify these areas.

What Does The Bug Man Recommend?

With DIY mosquito spot treatments, you’re unlikely to ever eliminate an entire infestation. That’s just the nature of mosquitoes – how relentless they are, how quickly they breed, and how widespread they are. But you may find some of these mosquito repellent solutions helpful situationally:

  • Mosquito traps: Mosquito traps work well if you have a small area of heavy mosquito activity you want controlled. They’re not as effective for large areas or controlling entire infestations.
  • Citronella oil / candles: Again, Citronella candles can be useful against mosquitoes in certain situations. They can be hit or miss, but if you plan on spending time outside they don’t hurt. Just beware their effectiveness wanes gradually the longer you’re outside.
  • Store bought insecticides: Yes, you can buy insecticides at the store that are effective against mosquitoes. But remember the rapid mosquito life cycle. Even if you are successful, you will have to continue applying treatment. That’s why if you’re considering applying insecticides yourself, we suggest you consider a professional treatment instead. A professional mosquito exterminator can get you better results with less frustration.
  • Natural Predators: There are a number of animals and insects that naturally prey on mosquitoes. For example, frogs and certain types of birds are big mosquito consumers. If you have a water feature on the property, consider adding fish to it to eat the larvae off the top.

DIY Mosquito Control Myths

It doesn’t get much more frustrating than wasting a bunch of your valuable time on mosquito control measures that don’t do anything. That’s why we’re here to tell you not to waste your time with these supposed remedies:

  • Coffee Grounds: Please don’t scatter coffee grounds around your yard thinking it will keep mosquitoes away. It won’t. The mosquitoes will see you doing it and think you’re off your rocker. It will make your soil more acidic, though, which can affect the growth of your plants positively or negatively depending on the plants you have.
  • Cedar Mulch: The idea is that cedar has a strong smell that mosquitoes don’t like, but unfortunately there’s no evidence this is true. Any claim that cedar keeps away mosquitoes is anecdotal and not based on any real pest control science.
  • Plants: Mosquitoes have finely tuned senses of smell and they’re triggered by a variety of human smells. This means it’s difficult for any plant or oil or smell to hide the presence of humans from them when they’re hungry for a blood meal. Feel free to plant things like citronella, lavender, mint, catnip, or marigold if you like them, but don’t expect much of a difference in mosquito activity.
  • Lighting: Many insects are attracted to light, but mosquitoes aren’t one of them. Studies have shown that mosquitoes aren’t attracted to light at all, so you can leave lighting traps at the big box stores.

The Best Mosquito Control. Period.

It’s always tempting to try to solve a problem yourself, but DIY mosquito control is simply not the best option in Central TN. You may have limited success, but if you’re serious about getting rid of mosquitoes on your property during the height of mosquito season, nothing can match a professional mosquito extermination company.

At The Bug Man, our goal is to help you enjoy a mosquito-free summer and pest-free living all year-long. That’s what we’ve been doing since 2001. Ready to make it a reality in your life? Give us a call today.

Want to know more about mosquitoes in the Murfreesboro, Tennessee area? Check out our Mosquito Learning Center!

Can Overwatering Your Lawn Attract Mosquitos

Mosquito on narrrow leaf

For a healthy lawn, it’s crucial to strike the right balance. Too little watering can leave grass looking unhealthy and create unsightly yellow patches of dead grass. Watering your lawn too frequently can cause problems too. Excessive moisture can cause lawn diseases and attract unwanted mosquitoes, which would make it even harder to enjoy your lawn. Read on to find out how you can prevent mosquitoes on your property by watering appropriately.

Mosquitoes Love Water

Do you know what both your plants and mosquitoes love? A damp habitat. mosquitoes require abundant moisture to survive and reproduce, so an overly saturated lawn can very easily become a hotspot for these pests. An oversaturated lawn allows for a thick layer of thatch to form, protecting mosquitoes and other insects from sunlight, predators, and even some pesticides. If you adequately maintain and irrigate your lawn, it will look better and you’ll reduce the risk of mosquitoes disturbing your enjoyment of your lawn.

Signs That You’re Overwatering Your Lawn

Overwatering your lawn can cause more problems than just mosquitoes. Too much water stunts root growth and makes your grass more susceptible to fungus and diseases. 

Watch for these signs that you’re watering your lawn too much:

Spongy Soil 

A quick and easy way to check if you’re oversaturating your lawn is to perform a step test. Soil that’s overwatered will have a squishy or spongey consistency. You can check the consistency of your soil by stepping around multiple areas of the lawn; if all or multiple parts of your lawn are spongy, it’s safe to say you’re overwatering (As long as you didn’t just water the lawn).

Weed & Fungus Growth 

In a nicely watered yard, patches of mushrooms and weeds will stick out like a sore thumb. You may not realize it, but how much you water your lawn can aid the growth of fungus and weeds which may attract insects. If you notice a sprout of weeds in your yard, you may need to reduce your watering. 

Runoff Water

 Sometimes soil can be completely saturated. This forces extra water up and creates runoff that strips the lawn of important nutrients and carries it to the sidewalk or street. It’s important to notice when this happens as your grass will be extra susceptible to disease, insect invaders, fungi, and weeds.

How Can I Prevent Mosquitoes?

Step one to preventing mosquitoes: get your lawn in a healthy irrigation regimen. Watering your lawn every single day is probably unnecessary, even if you live in a hot, dry area. The ideal amount of water your lawn should get a week is 1 – 1.5 inches. Experts recommend three days of irrigation a week for 30 minutes to give your grass the optimal amount of water.

Trusted Mosquito Control

Even if your yard doesn’t have any standing water, you can still be pestered by mosquitoes. If you live in Central TN and you need mosquito exterminators, the experts at The Bug Man are here to help. Our expert technicians will find the source of the mosquitoes, eliminate them and help keep them away. Contact us today for a free quote!

Bug Basics: Why Do More Mosquitoes Appear After it Rains

Mosquitoes after a rainy day in Central TN - The Bug Man

It’s a well-known fact that the mosquito population in your backyard increases after it rains. After all, the rain provides them with fresh water and more places to lay their eggs. But why? Mosquitoes need standing water like puddles or ponds for laying their eggs. Even a small amount of runoff from a storm can provide enough moisture to support mosquitoes if there are any containers out in your garden that hold some water on its surface.

Next time you anticipate a storm here in Central TN, it’s important to know how to stop the mosquitoes from taking over your backyard afterward. The experts at The Bug Man are here to help you learn how!

Mosquito Breeding Grounds in Central TN

Mosquitoes will make use of the tiniest amount of still, stagnant water to lay their eggs. Female mosquitoes seek out areas that have shallow stagnant water but they also make use of deep puddles too. The female mosquito is able to produce 100–300 eggs in a cycle, which she lays together with up to 10 others per raft on top of the water’s surface where they float like small specks. After a rainstorm, you can expect mosquitoes to find a plethora of mosquito breeding grounds right in your backyard. Some of the most common areas where mosquitoes breed include:

  • Ponds, marches, and bogs
  • Puddles
  • Pools or spas
  • Birdbaths or fountains
  • Garden planters
  • Children’s playsets
  • Stacks of tires
  • Buckets
  • Gutters
  • Clogged drains

Tips to Prevent Mosquitoes After it Rains

After it rains during mosquito season—which is throughout the spring and summer here in Tennessee—it’s important to inspect your yard and eliminate potential breeding sites. Walk around your backyard to locate anything that is holding standing water post-rain. Tip over the water to keep mosquitoes from laying their eggs in it. To prevent mosquitoes throughout the entire mosquito season, it’s smart to place covers over anything that is meant to hold water. This includes putting covers on pools, spas, birdbaths, and more. By knowing the areas in your yard that are more susceptible to mosquito activity, you can effectively keep mosquitoes away from those areas during a rainy week.

Dealing With Mosquitoes After a Storm?

If you have excess mosquitoes in your yard after rain, it may be time to get a professional mosquito treatment. Trying to get rid of mosquitoes on your own once they’ve established themselves can be difficult. At The Bug Man, our mosquito exterminators work hard to locate and eliminate all mosquito breeding grounds around your property. Professionally applied repellents also work to create a barrier around your home, keeping mosquitoes away. To learn more about how we can help you avoid mosquitoes during the rainy season, contact us today!

What Just Bit Me? How to Identify Common Bug Bites

What mosquitoes look like in Central TN - The Bug Man

Having bug bites is never a good feeling, especially when you never catch the critter that did it to you. Lots of anxiety can stem from not knowing what kind of biting pest is living in your home. It is also easy to wake up from a night of sleep with bug bites and misidentify them, leading to a longer process of pest removal. If you are trying to find out which kind of pest in Central TN is biting you, keep reading for top insight from The Bug Man.

Pests that Bite to Draw Blood

Some pests that draw blood might not look as frightening as other bugs, but are able to pass on dangerous diseases through their bites. This makes it crucial to be able to identify the bug bites on your skin. Some pests that draw blood in Central TN are:

  1. Mosquitoes: After a mosquito bites you, a raised, white welt will form right away. The bite will then spread out into a larger, red, itchy lump. Most mosquitoes in our area do not carry diseases, but in tropical and some subtropical regions, mosquitoes can carry malaria and Zika virus, along with many other serious diseases.
  2. Ticks: Tick bites can look nearly indistinguishable from a mosquito bite, or like much smaller, darker prick marks. If you notice a tick bite shortly after they find you, you will still see it digging into your skin. Ticks can spread Lyme disease, so if you find a tick on your skin, remove it right away to decrease your chances of contracting it.
  3. Fleas: While they prefer to pester our pets, fleas bite humans, too. You might not even be able to notice a tick bite upon impact, but it will be itchy afterward. Ticks do not spread diseases to humans, but their bites can become infected if excessively scratched.
  4. Bed bugs: Bed bug bites appear overnight. If you wake up with zigzag patterns of tiny red bumps on exposed skin, you are in the middle of a bed bug infestation. Although their bites don’t pass on diseases, they can sometimes transfer diseases to humans that they carry on their bodies through their travels.

Other Bug Bites in Central TN

There are plenty of other pests that bite in our area, but the four mentioned earlier are the most likely offenders. Some bugs in Central TN either seldom bite or their bites yield negligible results. Cockroaches, centipedes, and ants fall into this category. These insects rarely bite, and the effects of their bites don’t often extend beyond an annoyance.

Some spiders in the region can dish out painful bites, but again, they are rarely provoked enough to bite. These spiders include wolf spiders, brown recluses, and black widows. The black widow has the most dangerous bite of the three—if you sustain a black widow bite, seek medical attention right away.

How to Stay Safe from Bug Bites

If you are looking to stay safe from bug bites this summer, ask your local pest control company about what they can do to help. Our pest experts at The Bug Man can perform a holistic inspection of your property to locate any biting pests and promptly remove them. We will also follow up as needed with pest prevention advice and return treatments to ensure that any infestations never return. Contact us today for a free quote!

Mosquito Problems? The Bug Man Can Rescue You!

mosquito problems in Central TN

Spring is finally here in Tennessee and with it, the warm sun, rain, and blooming flowers. However, these aren’t the only accompaniments to springtime. Mosquitoes are emerging and are here to stay for the months ahead. It can be very difficult to enjoy spending outdoors this time of year when mosquitoes are so active during much of the day. This makes it important to learn not only how to prevent mosquitoes, but how to get rid of them if you already have an infestation. The mosquito control experts are here to help—read on to learn more!

Mosquito Prevention 101

When it comes to mosquitoes, we recommend that each person take steps to help with the mosquito populations.  Our top tips are to:

  1. Drain all standing water from the yard, including buckets, bird baths, old tires, planters, and toys. Mosquitoes can lay eggs in just a capful of water! 
  2. While outside during mosquito season, it is recommended to use a repellent to help keep the mosquitoes from biting. Just be sure to read the label instructions for proper use.
  3. To prevent bites, wear light or bright colored clothing. If it is cool enough at dawn and dusk, wear pants and long sleeved shirts to limit skin exposure.
  4. For the ultimate protection against mosquitoes, team up with your local mosquito control experts at The Bug Man, who can provide targeted treatments.

Mosquito Management With The Bug Man

If you have a mosquito problem, the team at The Bug Man can come to your rescue. Our mosquito management service consists of the following steps to keep you mosquito-free:

  1. An inspection of your property.
  2. Removal or recommended removal of breeding sites.
  3. Application a larvicide to areas of standing water.
  4. Application of a residual adulticide to the bushes, shrubs, and other resting sites around the perimeter of the outdoor living areas.  

Say Goodbye to Mosquito Problems in Murfreesboro TN

If you want to enjoy your time spent outside this spring and summer, it’s important to team up with your local mosquito control experts. At The Bug Man, we know how to prevent mosquitoes from bothering you or your family. Contact us today to get started!

Mosquito Reduction Tips For Middle Tennessee

Mosquito Reduction Tips For Middle Tennessee

Mosquito Reduction Tips!

Warmer weather is here and with that will also be mosquitoes! Our Mosquito Reduction Service is designed to reduce the mosquito population in your yard. Our technicians will treat the foliage of trees and shrubs where mosquitoes rest during the day. When they come into contact with the treated surface, they will die.

But, you may still see some mosquitoes from time to time. Especially after a good rain! So, we wanted to equip you with some extra tips to help keep down the mosquito population and protect you and your family.

• Dispose of old tires, tin cans, buckets, drums, bottles, plastic sheeting, or any water-holding containers
• Clean debris from rain gutters to allow proper drainage
• Fill in or drain low places (puddles & ruts) in the yard.
• Keep drains, ditches, and culverts clean of weeds and trash so water can flow properly
• Cover trash containers to keep out rainwater.
• Check around outdoor faucets and air conditioner units and repair leaks or puddles.
• Empty plastic wading pools at least once per week and store indoors when not in use.
• Make sure your backyard pool is cared for while away from the home.
• Fill in tree holes and stumps that hold water with sand or cement.
• Change the water in bird baths, plant pots, and drip trays at least once per week.
• Keep the grass cut short and shrubbery well trimmed around the house where the adult mosquito may rest.
• Irrigate lawns and gardens carefully to prevent water from standing. If it squishes when you walk on the lawn, it is being over-watered.
• Eliminate seepage from cisterns, cesspools, and septic tanks.
• Stock ornamental pools with top feeding predacious minnows.
• Check window and door screens on the home. Be sure they are in good condition to keep out mosquitoes.
• Wear light-colored clothing, plus long-sleeve shirts and long pants for extra protection.
• Use repellants on your skin and clothing while you are outdoors.

Control the Standing Water For Best Results!

As you can see, many of our recommendations concern water. Why? Water is the breeding ground for new mosquitoes. Here is a great video on the mosquito life cycle.  The more we can eliminate standing water the better result you will have in reducing the mosquito population in addition to the service we provide.

Our technicians will apply a larvicide to any areas of standing water they notice while they are treating your yard for mosquitoes with an adulticide. Please help your technician know of any known areas that hold water that may go unnoticed when it is dry. We can preventatively treat those areas, too.

Chikungunya Fever and Mosquito Reduction

Chikungunya Fever and Mosquito Reduction

Chicken who?? Chikungunya.

The Chikungunya virus has been limited to Africa and Asia for a very long time. In fact, it was first recorded in a human in Tanzania in 1953. So, this is not a new virus. But, it’s quickly becoming a hot topic in the media since it was discovered in the caribbean in December 2013. The concern is that this could soon spread to the United States in the coming year from travelers.

According to the Centers For Disease Control (CDC), the Chikunguyna virus can cause high fever, severe pain, nausea, vomiting, and headache. The disease is spread by being bitten by a mosquito that has previously bitten an infected person. It is not transmitted person to person.

The Bug Man is in the business of controlling pests and we are not medical professionals. But, because pests can spread disease and cause a variety of illnesses we are often caught in the middle of addressing the medical concerns caused by the pests. If you have any of the symptoms listed above we will always tell you to discuss them with your physician. What we CAN help with is education on what you can do to reduce your risk of being bitten by mosquitoes, in general.

The mosquitoes that carry the chikungunya virus (as well as other viruses) are the Yellow-Fever Mosquito (aedes aegypti) and the Asian Tiger Mosquito (aedes albopictus).

As of this writing, no infected mosquitoes have been found in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, or anywhere in the United States. So far the CDC is reporting that all of the documented cases of chikunguyna in the US have been in people who have recently traveled outside of the United States to a country with the infected mosquitoes.

Recommendations to reduce the mosquito population in Murfreesboro, middle Tennessee, and beyond:

To reduce your risk of being bitten by mosquitoes we have a long list of recommendations that we give to every customer on our Mosquito Management Program. Almost every item in our list involves getting rid of anything that holds standing water and/or making sure to empty and scrub items that hold water, frequently. Also, contact your City and/or County and make sure that they are treating water retention areas with a larvicide on a regular basis.

  • Dispose of old tires, tin cans, buckets, drums, bottles, plastic sheeting, or any water-holding containers.
  • Clean debris from rain gutters to allow proper drainage.
  • Fill in or drain low places (puddles, ruts, etc) in your yard.
  • Keep drains, ditches, and culverts clean of weeds and trash so water can flow properly.
  • Cover trash containers to keep out rain water
  • Check around outdoor faucets and air conditioner units and repair leaks or other causes for water puddles.
  • Empty plastic wading pools at least once per week and store indoors when not in use.
  • Make sure your backyard pool is cared for while away from the home.
  • Fill in tree holes and stumps that hold water with sand or cement.
  • Change the water in bird baths, plant pots, and drip trays at least once per week.
  • Keep the grass cut short and shrubbery well trimmed around the house where adult mosquitoes may rest.
  • Irrigate lawns and gardens carefully to prevent water from standing.
  • Eliminate seepage from cisterns, cesspools, and septic tanks.
  • Stock ornamental pools with top feeding predacious minnows.
  • Check window and door screens on the home. Be sure they are in good condition to seal out mosquitoes.
  • Wear light-colored clothing, plus long sleeve shirts and long pants for extra protection.
  • Use repellants on skin and clothing while outdoors.

In addition to these steps, The Bug Man also offers a Mosquito Reduction Program.

Tips for Mosquito Control This Summer

Tips for Mosquito Control This Summer

The Bug Man offers tips to help reduce the mosquito populations around your home.

There are a lot of different ways to approach mosquito control. You could dance if you want to. You could leave your friends behind.

A graduate student from the University of Florida Entomology program prefers the dance method. We found a video that features a ‘skeeter slap dance.’ Check it out below:

Not only is that video amusing, but it also offers a closer look at mosquitoes. Most of us slap them away too quickly to actually see what they look like.  Below we list steps you can take to help reduce the mosquito populations around your home.  While you may not achieve complete mosquito control, this will help.

Steps to help mosquito reduction and control.

  • As you saw in that video, the student was wearing long pants and a long-sleeve t-shirt. When you’re out and about with mosquitoes out, it helps if you wear clothing that covers up your arms and legs.
  • Emptying out areas of standing water is also really helpful for mosquito control. This includes kiddie pools, unused bird baths, tins in the yard, and even inside old tires.
  • Change the water in birdbaths, plant pots, and drip trays at least once a week.
  • Clean the debris out of your rain gutters to allow proper drainage.
  • Use a mosquito repellent with deet when you’re outside.
  • Check around outdoor faucets and air conditioning units and repair leaks or puddles.
  • Cover trash containers to keep out rain water.
The Bug Man also offers a seasonal mosquito reduction program. Please call our office at 615.217.7284 for more information on how we can reduce the mosquito population in your yard.

Tips for Reducing Mosquitoes

Tips for Reducing Mosquitoes

Here are a few tips to help ward off the mosquitoes in your area.

To aid in the effort to keep your home bite-free, check for mosquito motels around your property. It doesn’t take long to scope out your property to look for potential mosquito hangouts.

If it’s not one thing, it’s another!

That short, yet succinct statement is true right now in Middle Tennessee. Especially in the area of cicadas vs. mosquitoes.

Since they only come around every 13 years, it seems like cicadas would be the biggest news in the bug world. However, due to a lot of rain and hot weather in April, those pesky pests called mosquitoes are making quite a big bite in the pest popularity contest. Literally!

To fight the bite, The Bug Man offers a mosquito management program during the summer months that is intended to help reduce the breeding and resting areas of mosquitoes around your property. Call (615.217.7284) or email (service@thebugman.us) our office for more information.

To aid in the effort to keep your home bite-free, check for mosquito motels around your property. It doesn’t take long to scope out your property to look for potential mosquito hangouts. Here are a few tips to help ward off the mosquitoes in your area.

  • Dispose of old tires, tin cans, buckets, drums, bottles, plastic sheeting, or any water-holding containers.
  • Clean debris from rain gutters to allow proper drainage.
  • Fill in or drain low places (puddles, ruts) in yard.
  • Keep drains, ditches, and culverts clean of weeds and trash so water can flow properly.
  • Cover trash containers to keep out rain water.
  • Check around outdoor faucets and air conditioner units and repair leaks or puddles.
  • Empty plastic wading pools at least once per week and store indoors when not in use.
  • Make sure your backyard pool is cared for while away from the home.
  • Fill in tree holes and stumps that hold water with sand or cement
  • Change the water in bird baths, plant pots, and drip trays at least once per week.
  • Keep the grass cut short and shrubbery well trimmed around the house where adult mosquitoes may rest.
  • Irrigate lawns and gardens carefully to prevent water from standing.
  • Eliminate seepage from cisterns, cesspools, and septic tanks.
  • Stock ornamental pools with top feeding predacious minnows.
  • Check window and door screens on the home.  Be sure they are in good condition to seal out mosquitoes.
  • Wear light colored clothing, plus long sleeve shirts and long pants for extra protection.
  • Use repellants on skin and clothing while outdoors.