Mosquitoes are one of the most well-known (and most hated) backyard pests known to man. They’re the bane of many a summer barbecue, and they can even just ruin a night inside your home. But even though they’re so common, many people don’t understand much about mosquitoes – which is why they can be so prevalent around the home.

Learn what you don’t know about mosquitoes to discover how you can give yourself a “skeeter-free” summer.

Every Mosquito is the Same

There are actually more than 3,000 varieties of mosquito around the world, and about 36 species in Florida. Only a handful of varieties can carry disease and will bite humans, but most prefer to bite amphibians and reptiles. But even though most mosquitoes may not bite you, they are still a nuisance.

No Water, No Mosquitoes

Standing water is the most common breeding place for mosquitoes, and most people know enough to remove things like tires, birdbaths, rain barrels and empty children’s pools from their yard, but that’s only part of the battle. Many people are often stumped that they continue to be attacked by mosquitoes even after removing water sources from their yards. While standing water is the most common culprit, your yard probably offers many potential homes to a mosquito.

Yard trimmings create a perfect place for mosquitoes to breed and hide in plain sight. Trimmed grass, fallen leaves and shrubs provide the cool, dark and damp environments that mosquitoes love, so it’s important that you actively manage your yard maintenance to avoid mosquito infestations. In Florida, fallen pine needles in your backyard or on your roof are a common breeding ground for mosquitoes, so make sure you don’t fall behind on raking them up.

While trimmings and shrubs may not immediately cause more mosquitoes to appear, mosquito eggs can survive in a safe place for months, waiting until there is enough water to feed the larvae. This means that if you don’t regularly clean your yard, the next big Florida rain storm can create a whole crop of new mosquitoes.

In addition to your trimmings, it’s not uncommon for your gutters to fill up with debris that can quickly become home to a number of pests, including mosquitoes. Florida Pest Control offers the Clear Gutter Pest Defense gutter cleaning service, which ensures that your gutters don’t become a home for annoying pests.

All Mosquitoes Bite

Though it’s natural to want to get away from any mosquito around you, female mosquitoes are actually the only ones that bite. They need protein from blood to help develop eggs and continue the mosquito cycle, while males generally feed on plant nectar or sugar. It can be hard to identify a male mosquito on the fly, obviously, but they’ll generally tend to avoid people – since they aren’t a food source – while females will be attracted to people and pets. Of course, while male mosquitoes don’t bite, they do make more biting mosquitoes.

Natural Remedies Can Drive Them Away

We like to try home remedies as much as anyone, but unfortunately, there is no evidence that most home remedies have any effect on driving mosquitoes away or keeping them from biting. Mosquito repellants like citronella can make an outdoor barbecue more pleasant, but the best way to ensure your summer stays mosquito-free is to have your home and yard professionally treated to combat mosquitoes. Contact a Florida Pest Control representative today to see how we can help you stay unbitten with our Pro-Star Mosquito program.