Keep Mosquitoes & Ticks Away: Your Guide to a Mosquito-Free Backyard

When it comes to unwanted visitors to your Pennsylvania yard, we know that mosquitoes and ticks are at the top of your list. These pests are not only a nuisance, but they can also carry and even transmit dangerous diseases to you and your family (including your furry four-legged members).

You just want to be able to enjoy time outside without having to worry about what’s lurking out there.

We completely understand, which is why we’re talking about how to get rid of mosquitoes and ticks in your backyard. We’ll address both of these pests and provide some practical information on how you can reduce your risk and get back to enjoying your property to the fullest.

Table of Contents

Facts About Mosquitoes
How to Identify Mosquitoes in Your Yard
Why Are There Mosquitoes in Your Yard?
How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes in Your Yard
What Are Ticks?
How to Know There Are Ticks in Your Yard
Why Are There Ticks in Your Yard?
How to Get Rid of Ticks in Your Yard
FAQs About Mosquito and Tick Control Services in Pennsylvania
Choosing Mosquito and Tick Services in Lehigh Valley and Buxmont, PA

Facts About Mosquitoes

One of the facts about mosquitoes that we think surprises people most often is that they top the world’s deadliest animal list every year. Because mosquitoes can spread deadly diseases, they are responsible for killing more people than any other creature.


While the problem is more profound in third world countries, mosquitoes in Pennsylvania still pose a threat. There are more than 60 species of mosquitoes found here in PA and they can carry and spread disease like Zika, West Nile, and even Heartworm (a threat to your pets).

Here are some more facts about mosquitoes that you might not know.

  • Only female mosquitoes feed on blood. Males feed on nectar. Females need blood as a source of protein and fat to produce their eggs.

  • Mosquitoes are weak fliers. While people often assume that mosquitoes are flying all over, they do not fly for long periods of time at once and they also rarely fly all that far from where they hatch (particularly if they’re finding what they need).

  • Mosquitoes need water. They spend their first 10 days of life in it, feeding on organic matter. Female mosquitoes will lay their eggs in stagnant water.

How to Identify Mosquitoes in Your Yard

Mosquitoes in your yard will soon make themselves known by feeding. Oftentimes, the first telltale sign of mosquitoes is (in fact) their painful and itchy bites. Sometimes, homeowners also just see them buzzing around.

Of course, there are a few other signs that you have an infestation, even if you haven’t gotten bit yet.

pest control technician sprays shady backyard

  • High-pitched buzzing: Mosquitoes have a distinct high-pitched sound when they are “buzzing” around our face. That’s because mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide, which we breathe out. So, they do tend to linger around the face and you might hear them before you get bit. This sound actually originates from their wings flapping rapidly. It’s said that females make a higher pitched sound than males and that most people do not hear males. Since it’s females that feed on blood, it’s nice to at least have that warning.

  • You live on a shaded property: Mosquitoes love shade and they make their homes in shrubs and wooded areas. So, if you have a shaded property, or one with a lot of plants and landscaping, it’s important to be aware that these are likely the mosquito hot spots around your home.

  • There’s a lot of standing water: As we mentioned in our mosquito facts, mosquitoes need water to live and females will lay their eggs in areas of standing water. If you have clogged gutters, standing water in your lawn, or watering collecting in other spots around your property (tarps, bird baths, buckets, etc.), these are (or may become) mosquito breeding grounds.

Why Are There Mosquitoes in Your Yard?

As we began talking about above, there are going to be a few factors that make your yard more prone to mosquitoes than others. Resting spots and standing water are the two big reasons why mosquitoes might be hanging out in your yard.

There are definitely some steps that you can take to keep mosquitoes away from your yard in the first place (tips which we’ll dive into next) but it’s important to know that these pests are persistent.

man laying on couch with mosquito netting on head

We’ll talk about how important it is to get rid of standing water and to keep shrubs trimmed, and these things really do matter. They WILL reduce your mosquito population.

However, we’ve seen statistics that say mosquitoes only need around a centimeter or a thimble-full of water to lay eggs, which means that there will still be some pests to contend with. That’s why your best approach will ultimately be to use a professional mosquito treatment for your yard.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s talk about a few things you can do first.

How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes in Your Yard

There are a couple of important things that you can do yourself to mosquito-proof your yard. The more effort that you can put forth to reduce mosquito populations, the better. After all, these are dangerous pests so we absolutely advocate for multiple layers of effort.

pest control technician treats pond for mosquitoes

Get Rid of Standing Water

Without a doubt, one of the most important things you can do on your own to prevent mosquitoes in your yard is to get rid of standing water. Since mosquitoes need water for their eggs to hatch, any areas of standing water are at risk of becoming hotspots for these pests.

These include:

  • Children’s pools
  • Tarps
  • Wheelbarrows or buckets in or around the yard
  • Kids’ toys
  • Trash can lids
  • Flower pots
  • Grill covers

Be sure to seek out areas where water is collecting, and dump them. If you can’t dump the water (such as a bird bath), there are products out there (“Dunks”) that can be safely added to the water. Deep water and water that is moving (such as a swimming pool) aren’t going to be breeding sites. It needs to be stagnant, standing water.

lawn care expert aerates lawn

Sometimes, the standing water is actually in the yard itself. If you have poor drainage due to compacted soil, there might be standing water on the turf. Lawn aeration can help reduce this problem.

Clean Your Gutters

When gutters get clogged with debris like leaves and twigs, they can also begin to collect excess water. The rotting leaves and standing water can also serve as a prime breeding site for mosquitoes.

It’s important to periodically clean out your gutters if you want to prevent mosquitoes in your yard.

Keep Your Landscaping Tidy

As we talked about before, adult mosquitoes tend to hang around your plants for both protection (cover) and shade. Mosquitoes are weak fliers and stop frequently for rest. When they do, they want to be hidden.

Keeping shrubs, grasses, etc., neatly trimmed and tidy will limit some of this.

Treat Your Yard for Mosquitoes

Each of the tips that we mentioned above will play some role in helping to reduce the mosquito population on your property. And as we’ve said, the more you can do, the better.

With a pest as dangerous as the mosquito, you SHOULD take all layers of precaution that you can.

pest expert sprays for mosquitoes

That being said, none of these things should be a replacement for professional mosquito treatment for your yard. It’s important that you’re also implementing professional mosquito control in Pennsylvania to fight back against these pests.

A professional product should be applied to areas of your property that have been identified as prime mosquito habitats. Keeping up with regular mosquito treatments will help keep these pests at bay.

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What Are Ticks?

Besides mosquitoes, ticks in Pennsylvania are another big threat that must be on your radar.

Ticks are tiny parasites that range in size from as small as a pinhead to about the size of a pencil eraser. They survive by feeding off of their host (which could be you or a loved one) and in the process can spread disease.

tick on leaf

In fact, they are only second to mosquitoes in terms of spreading diseases to humans.

Ticks can carry and spread Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and other dangerous diseases.

How to Know There Are Ticks in Your Yard

Ticks can be a bit better at hiding in your yard than mosquitoes (that often give away their presence as they fly around). Ticks spend a lot of time hiding and cannot hop or fly.

However, you might suspect that you have ticks if you have a habitat that is favorable for their survival. While a lot of people assume ticks are only found in the woods, they can live and breed in a variety of places.

pest control expert sprays shrubs for ticks

The most likely areas to find ticks in your yard include:

  • Tall brush and grass
  • Around woodpiles or stone walls
  • Under leaves and plants
  • In landscaped areas, particularly those with a lot of shrubs or groundcover
  • Wooded areas or fields that border your property

Why Are There Ticks in Your Yard?

Oftentimes, ticks in Pennsylvania are brought into a yard by other creatures. These ticks end up feeding off of one host and then hitch a ride wherever they go.

If you have mice, rabbits, deer, or even just stray cats passing through (and honestly, the vast majority of people do), these animals might be bringing the ticks into your yard in the first place.

large yard surrounded by trees

That means that even if you don’t have a property that borders the woods or an open field that other animals might simply be bringing the ticks in from these other spots. For these reasons, ticks can really be found throughout Pennsylvania.

How to Get Rid of Ticks in Your Yard

Since ticks in Pennsylvania are a legitimate threat, you want to do what you can to either keep ticks out of your yard, or kill the ones that have already taken up residence.

Take Steps to Keep Ticks out of Your Yard

As we talked about with mosquitoes, you want to do what you can to keep ticks out of your yard in the first place whenever possible. You can implement some preventative measures that will help.

plant health expert trims shrub

These include:

  • Keep your property clear of debris that can attract rodents and pests that like to hide out.
  • Keep woodpiles covered to prevent rodents from living there.
  • Keep the lawn regularly mowed and keep shrubs neatly trimmed since ticks prefer to hide.
  • If you do have areas on your property that may have ticks hiding, wear protective clothing like long sleeves and pants.

Implementing Tick Control for Your Yard

When it comes to getting rid of ticks, all of the tips we’ve mentioned above are going to help. But one of the best things that you can do is to invest in a professional yard treatment for ticks. An effective, professional-grade product will help stop these pests in their tracks before they have a chance to bite you or your family.

While you might be tempted to use your own tick yard treatment (after all, we know they sell various products in the big box stores), there are a few reasons that this isn’t going to stand up to what professional tick control for your yard can accomplish.

For one, the product effectiveness is simply not equivalent. The effectiveness of store-bought products are going to vary greatly. But they certainly won’t match a commercial-grade product applied by a pro.

pest control expert sprays near trees for mosquitos

Professionals are also trained to know where and how to apply the tick control product and this can make a big difference in the overall success of a treatment plan. They’re going to know exactly where to treat in order to have the best possible results.

On top of that, they’ll also be using professional equipment that is going to deliver the product in a more effective way.

FAQs About Mosquito and Tick Control Services in Pennsylvania

When thinking about mosquito or tick control, you should also consider the company that you’re hiring. Like any professional service, you know that they aren’t all created equally. So, when it comes to getting the best results, you have to choose wisely.

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Here are a few common questions (and answers) about mosquito and tick control.

Do all Mosquito and Tick Control Companies Use the Same Product?

We know that there is a misconception that all mosquito treatment for the yard (or tick treatment) is basically the same. But this isn’t the case at all. Companies might be using very different products which is why their success or effectiveness can vary.

How Else Do Mosquito and Tick Control Companies Differ?

Besides the product being used, another key difference is who the company hires to perform the service.

Some companies are so desperate to hire cheap labor that they’ll take on anyone who is willing to do the work. These types of technicians are going to go out and spray anything and everything. What you really need is a company that takes a customized and targeted approach to your specific property’s needs.

pest technician meets with customers

You want the company that hires people who will go the extra mile.

At Joshua Tree, our pest technicians will also perform regular inspections of your property to seek potential breeding problems and make recommendations to prevent them. This is another task that some companies will completely overlook.

They’ll come out and spray and then move on but if you have standing water on your property that mosquito (or flea or tick) problem is going to just keep occurring.

What Pests Does the Program Cover?

At Joshua Tree, our program includes Mosquito, Flea and Tick Control, covering all three of these unwanted pests.

pest control technician sprays for mosquitoes

We understand that fleas are also a troublesome pest, particularly if you have a dog, so it is an added benefit the professional spray that we use also addresses these other parasites.

Choosing Mosquito and Tick Services in Lehigh Valley and Buxmont

Hopefully, with some of the questions and answers above (as well as some of the additional information we’ve provided), you have a better idea of what to look for as you go to hire a mosquito and tick service.

You want to choose a company that you know will perform everything properly. That means a pro that takes this threat seriously and creates a customized plan of attack.

By making that smart choice you’ll no longer feel like you have to drag the kids inside from playing, stop the party short, or be worrying every time you’re just trying to enjoy some time outside. With mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks out of the way, you can stop stressing and get back to enjoying your beautiful property the way it deserves to be enjoyed.

If you're interested in learning more about pest control services for your Lehigh Valley or Buxmont, PA home, contact us for a free pest control quote or give us a call at 610-365-4858 so that we can answer your questions.

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Image Source: Tick, Mosquito

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