It’s October, a time when many Texans wish for cool, crisp air and pumpkin flavored everything. The reality is that we are usually still sweltering in the heat and sipping our pumpkin lattes in the AC.
There are several things you can count on in Texas in October: pumpkins will immediately begin disintegrating once placed on your patio, the leaves will fall while the trees will seemingly continue to produce more leaves to fall, and mosquitoes will bite you.
There are several things to be aware of this time of year to help your little trick and treaters from getting bitten. Firstly, your Halloween decorations can hold a lot of water, particularly items like plastic pumpkins, which can sneakily fill up with water after rain or running your sprinklers. The same goes for plastic signage in the yard. Any open top items will also gather water of course. The use of hay bales in your yard décor will encourage biting midges and gnats, particularly fungus gnats, to gather in droves as the hay gets wet and warm. The same is true for those decomposing pumpkins, so keep an eye on them and get rid of them once they start the dreaded pumpkin slump (which for some reason always seems to happen on the side not facing you.)
Now to the impact of falling leaves in your yard. Firstly, they fill up your gutters at an alarming rate, clogging up the works and causing pockets of water in the gutters after rain. Combine this standing water with the resulting decomposition of the leaves and you end up with a mosquito breeding ground that you neither see nor often consider. With one teaspoon breeding 300 mosquitoes every couple of days, these gutters will really contribute to your population. On the ground the fallen leaves provide shade and dampness mosquitoes love. Once you decide to rake the ground you will see the mosquitoes rise up as they fly off to find shade elsewhere. It’s another job no one enjoys, but it is so important to keep your yard devoid of as much of this ground cover as you can this time of year. Mosquitoes are active until temperatures fall under 55 degrees and remain there for at least a week. That never happens in Texas in the fall, and for that matter very rarely in the winter either.
So, the takeaway is: manage the water both in your décor and in your gutters. Keep the leaves and pine needles picked up from the ground and keep those gutters clean. Be aware of the impact of decomposing vegetation in the yard – keep an eye on those pumpkins. Let’s see those trick and treaters leave your yard with candy and not bites!
If you need help controlling the population of mosquitoes in your yard, give us a call. We will provide a quote over the phone at no charge, and we are always happy to offer advice and suggestions for you to help. The mosquito is the world’s most dangerous creature, and we want to help spread the word on how to reduce the population so we can all benefit from the results. Give us a call at 979-859-5998 for more information!