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How to: Helping customers avoid mosquitoes this summer
Beth Hyatt | May 24, 2017
A Mosquito on Someone's Hand

Photo: Oregon State University/Flickr

Summer is a time your customers look forward to because it gives them the chance to venture outside and enjoy the landscape you’ve worked so hard on. But one thing can stand in the way of your customers maximizing their outdoor fun: mosquitoes.

These little guys can suck the fun, and blood, out of everything, so here’s what you can do to help your customers enjoy a bite-free summer.

Eliminate standing water around your home

Eliminating standing water is one of the most important steps when it comes to warding off mosquitoes, as they are drawn to it. It doesn’t take much standing water to allow mosquitoes to lay their eggs – it only takes as little as a thimble full – and soon your customer’s yard will be filled with them.

Yards can accumulate a fair amount of still, stagnant water from irrigating your customer’s plants to sporadic summer rains, which makes it the perfect environment for insects.

It’s important to remind your customers that their gutters need to be clear of debris, that they need to check regularly to ensure that toys, buckets and pots are not collecting water, trash containers are covered and outside pet water dishes and bird baths are changed several times throughout the week.

Have customers move potted plants indoors

Potted plants are notorious for collecting excess water, which can turn into the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. During the muggy summer months, tell your customers the potential breeding grounds potted plants pose, and recommend that they move them indoors temporarily.

Install a drain in planter boxes

For customers who would prefer not to keep their potted plants indoors, suggest a simple alternative. Planter boxes that have a drainage solution like a catch basin connected to a drain pipe are a good suggestion because they still let your customers keep their potted plants potted, while not forcing them to bring them inside to avoid standing water.

Excess water will enter the basin through a raised atrium grate, which will prevent mulch, leaves and other debris from entering the system, and will connect to a drain pipe where the water can drain into a safe location.

Install a French drain

Another suggestion you can offer your customer is the installation of a French drain system if you offer that service, which will also help eliminate standing water around the home. French drains are very popular and consist of a slightly sloped trench filled with gravel that surrounds a perforated pipe. They collect water over the entire length of drain, as opposed to one spot in particular, provide an easy channel for water to flow through and redirects the surface and ground water away from the home.

For more drainage tips from NDS, click here.

Install insect-repelling lights around the landscape

Talk to your customers about having you, or other trained professionals if that’s not a service you offer, install lights that can repel the mosquitoes, such as yellow bug lights, sodium lamps or LED lights. Mosquito repellent fixtures and all-in-one outdoor lighting can not only deter these pests, they can also add a pop of flare to your customer’s yard.

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