If you are new to central Missouri, you may discover that home pest control is, well, different.
Missourians don’t just have to deal with the occasional (or not so occasional) roaches, fleas, mice, and silverfish. They also have to deal with bats, rats, raccoons, attic-invading squirrels, opossums, and squirrels that prefer to live indoors with you. Many species of birds can become pests, too, but in Columbia, MO, as well as in the rest of the state, they are protected by state and federal law.
The #1 pest that can ruin your enjoyment of your lawn and garden through the summer months, however, is mosquitoes. It is never too early, the pest control pros will tell you, to start mosquito control.
Most mosquitoes die or go dormant when temperatures fall below 50° F. The snow mosquito reproduces in swarms whenever the winter weather is warm enough for snow to melt — and if you get a bad reaction to bee stings, scientists tell us, you will also have a bad reaction to snow mosquito bites. You don’t have to wait for summer for mosquito bites to make you miserable.
Mosquito Control You Can Do On Your Own
When you are thinking in terms of pest control near me for controlling mosquitoes near me any time of year, the most important thing you can do is to get rid of standing water.
In the winter and early spring, that means making sure water does not accumulate in a number of common places:
- In the rims of flower pots.
- On the tarp protecting your swimming pool, outdoor lawn furniture, or grill.
- In birdbaths, drainage ditches, tire swings, and playground equipment.
In the summer and fall, you will need to make sure you don’t create puddles by watering your lawn too often or too much. You should make sure gutters are not clogged, and you should make sure any leaky faucets or lawn irrigation features are repaired. Make sure water in fishponds is kept oxygenated and moving. Keep trash cans tightly sealed.
Times You Need a Pest Control Professional
Sometimes there are so many mosquitoes that you hear them buzzing around all the time. You may start noticing dead mosquitoes in window sills, on your patio, and in your garage.
In these situations, mosquito repellents like DEET don’t prevent bites. There are years that summer mosquitoes transmit multiple cases of West Nile Virus or encephalitis. Or maybe you want to protect your outdoor pets from the mosquito bites that transmit heartworms.
Experts in mosquito control in Columbia tell us that these situations require expert intervention. The first thing pest control professionals will do to control mosquitoes is to make sure there aren’t any places they can get into your house.
The next step in mosquito control is to eliminate the nesting sites in shrubs and bushes where mosquitoes hide during the day, preferably without eliminating birds and beneficial insects that spend their days in the shade with them. Pest control experts may also apply larvicides to kill mosquitoes in standing water that you cannot drain.
How Do You Select a Pest Control Company?
The University of Missouri Extension Service has some recommendations for choosing the right company.
- Anyone in Missouri who puts out poisons must have a license. Don’t hesitate to ask the pest control company’s license number.
- Pest control is done by the job, not by the hour. You can get a bid for the whole cost of pest control before you start.
- Professionals in pest control are happy to answer any reasonable question. Don’t hesitate to ask the pros what you want to know.