Certain things make a location irresistible to moths, mosquitoes, and other nuisance insects…and sometimes, those attractants happen to be right in your yard or on your property. You might be creating the perfect habitat for these unwanted pests without realizing it. What’s the best way to avoid drawing in insects? The first step is being aware of what things are attracting insects in the first place. Once you’ve figured that out, you can work to eliminate the attractants. Here are 4 things that commonly attract flying insects to your property.
Standing water is one of the biggest attractants for insects – especially for mosquitoes as they use whatever water is available for their breeding grounds. Mosquitoes don’t need much water to breed – they can lay their eggs in the small amount of water that fills up a bottle cap! Although mosquitoes prefer standing water in shade, they’ll use any water source available if there aren’t other more desirable options.
If you have water in the gutters of your house, in the decor in your yard (like birdbaths), standing puddles in your yard, or any other objects that retain and collect water outside, you are essentially creating a breeding ground. Common sources that collect water can also be:
- Trashcan lids
- Discarded cups
- Grill covers
Mosquitoes aren’t the only insects that are drawn to standing water. Sandflies are also attracted to standing water that may be lying around your yard.
Standing water isn’t the only source that you should be on the lookout for, however. Running water is a huge attractant to black flies. Unlike mosquitoes, black flies lay eggs in moving water. This means that water fountains or another moving water décor can be potential breeding grounds for these biting insects.
Pools often attract hornets and yellow jackets. Hornets have a hypersensitive sense of smell and are attracted to larger bodies of water that have strong odors. The shiny surface of the water or movement by people inside a pool may also attract additional insects like the horse and deer flies. These flies like shiny surfaces, like the sun reflecting off the water, and movement.
Insects need water for their basic survival. Even if they aren’t using water as a breeding ground or have a specific reason to be attracted to it, their basic instincts will lead them to water for drinking.
2. Trash & Debris
Trash laying around your yard or overflowing from your trashcans can pose multiple problems. Bags, cups, or other items that can hold liquid can collect water provide breeding habitats for insects that need water. Plus, the trashcan itself can become filled with water if the lid is left open. Garbage cans often become an attractant for not only flying pests like mosquitoes but also other crawling insects. When the trash becomes piled up, it can create the perfect hiding spots for small insects looking for a warm, dark place to inhabit.
All the leftover food and garage can provide a meal for these scavengers too! Sometimes even the smell itself can be strong enough to lure pesky insects. Open trash cans with plenty of food provides a whole dinner for a lot of insects – especially the dreaded yellow jackets. They can often be found swarming trash cans in search of food.
3. Outdoor Lighting
Insects like moths, flies, mayflies, beetles, mosquitoes, and other flying pests are nocturnal insects that are attracted to light. There are many theories as to why these bugs are often swarming your outdoor lights (like navigation and helping them fly). It’s even speculated that they might be in search of warmth when the sun goes down and it’s cooler out at night.
Keeping porch lights or outdoor lights on when not needed at night can draw these flying insects to your house. Occasionally you can see them fluttering against your window if you leave an indoor light on that is close to a window. Floodlights, decorative lights, or any other source of light that may be UV-based are common sources.
Keeping lights on not only attracts them to your yard but also inside of your house! Flying insects can easily make their way into your house through broken or loose screens, open doors, or other small cracks that allow them to slip into your home. Once inside, they can often be spotted fluttering near the lights on the ceiling.
4. Poor Landscaping
Believe it or not, the way that you landscape your yard could be contributing to the flying insect population. For example, mosquitoes aren’t skillful flyers when there is wind. If your yard has trees, fencing, or other objects that could block wind from flowing through your yard, you’re helping mosquitoes get around your yard! Mosquitoes also like to hide in tall grass or weeds, so if you keep your lawn mowed and trim your weeds, you limit their hiding spots from the hot sun during the day. Learn more about landscaping specifically against mosquitoes here.
It’s not only good to keep your lawn trimmed for mosquitoes, but it also prevents other bugs from trying to find their next breeding spot. Be sure to trim along the harder-to-reach spots like ditches, sidewalks, and other places that might be great hiding spots for these insects. While you’re mowing, it’s a good idea to avoid letting piles of debris build-up. Whether it be sticks, leaves, or weeds, be sure to remove them from your yard space before insects can make it their shelter.
Nectar, fruits, and other sweet fluids that can come from the result of your garden can end up attracting insects. June bugs like to feed on raspberries, grapes, beans, and roses in your gardens. June Bugs also like big, leafy foliage to feed on.
When you tend your garden or grass, make sure that you aren’t overwatering. Let the soil at the surface of the area dry before watering again to avoid puddles.
Defending Your Yard Against Flying Pests
Sometimes, there is nothing you can do to make your yard less attractive to these flying insects. If you are in a prime location, these bugs can be very active during a particular season no matter how hard you seem to landscape. Nature CAN be against you, but you don’t have to be defenseless! Build a top-tier yard defense with our DynaTrap® products. Drop a comment on our Facebook Page to let us know what insects are attracted to in your yard – and learn how to prevent those pests by subscribing to our E-Newsletter to get the latest on products, deals, and tips!