Oklahoma- While rain is a good thing for most landscapes, it also often invites unwanted guests around the home in the form of pesky, blood-sucking mosquitoes.

More than 60 mosquito species appear seasonally in Oklahoma from March through November, but most adult mosquitoes are pests in the May through June timeframe, particularly after heavy rains.

According to David HillockOklahoma State University Extension consumer horticulturist, mosquitoes breed in open water sources, so the best way to eliminate these pests is to get rid of their breeding grounds.

“Look around your landscape at anything that collects water. Flower pots, rain gutters, watering cans, old tires or birdbaths are prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes,” Hillock said. “Through some landscape design, we unintentionally create an atmosphere pleasing to mosquitoes. Fortunately, just dumping out the water is an easy fix.”

Hillock said people should be aware of the life cycle of mosquitoes, so they can take steps to avoid the growth of mosquito larvae in standing water on their property.

What to do:

Hillock said residents should do their research before trying pesticide products other than DEET. Citronella products are popular but are only effective in small, tight spaces with no wind or breeze. Foggers are effective only temporarily and have the potential to kill beneficial insects.

Any container that holds water for five to seven days is a potential breeding site for mosquito larvae, Hillock said. If it is not possible to drain areas, then treating them with larvicides is an alternative. Many mosquito larvicides on the market are very host specific and only disrupt the larval stages of mosquitoes and do not harm non-target species.

“The best control is just eliminating those breeding sites, such as standing water, so anything you can do around your home to eliminate that is good,” Hillock said.

For more information on mosquito management, visit OSU Extension and entomology resources. Visit Oklahoma Gardening to learn more about common garden pests.


Media Contact: Alisa Boswell-Gore | Agricultural Communications Services | 405-744-7115 | alisa.gore@okstate.edu