Learn to keep summer's annoying flying pests at bay
Have you heard the story about D.C. being built on a swamp? Well, it’s mostly a myth, but you’ll have a harder time proving it now that the city ranks high for its number of mosquitoes.
Yep, with summer just around the corner, Orkin has thrown what appears to be a wet picnic blanket on your outdoor plans.
The pest control company puts the nation's capital in the No. 3 spot among the top U.S. cities with the worst mosquito problems. Atlanta and Chicago took the top honors, respectively.
Luckily, local pest control companies are at the ready to do battle for you.
"If you can't walk from your front door to your car without being eaten alive, that's when they call us," Damien Sanchez, owner of D.C. Mosquito Squad, tells WJLA.
Mosquitoes are best known for the habits of the adult females, which according to Orkin, often feed on blood to help generate their eggs. Mosquito adults of both sexes also feed on nectar from flowers.
Some even consume other mosquitoes. How great is that?
Adult mosquitoes prefer to be most active from dusk until dawn but can become active when there's a lot of cloud cover or in shady areas. They do not like the sunshine.
Consider spraying your yard for bug control
When it comes to the cost of having your yard professionally sprayed for mosquitoes, it all comes down to size, frequency and whether you're willing to sign a contract for continued service.
In general, spraying for mosquitoes can cost about $100 for a quarter-acre lot, and the mosquito control price goes up depending on your yard's features, such as wooded areas or ponds, according to the Wall Street Journal.
If you choose to treat your yard with natural sprays, then the cost could be up to 30 percent more at the Sterling, Virginia-based D.C. Mosquito Squad.
"Your yard smells like a pizzeria for a little while," says Sanchez, who admits his garlic-based natural option isn't as effective as insecticide, but hundreds of homeowners prefer it.
You can go on the offensive and do a few things to make your lawn unattractive to these pesky insects. The American Mosquito Control Association suggests:
Destroy or dispose of tin cans, old tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools or other containers that collect and hold water.
Do not allow water to accumulate in the saucers of flowerpots, urns or in pet dishes for more than two days.
Clean debris from rain gutters, and remove any standing water under or around structures or on flat roofs.
Check around faucets and air conditioner units, and repair leaks or eliminate puddles that remain for days.
Change the water in bird baths and wading pools at least once a week.