How to Keep Mosquitoes, Fleas, & Ticks Out of Your Backyard in Virginia

Written By: Todd Thomasson

Who doesn’t want to enjoy warm, inviting summer days and evenings? Grilling out on the patio can build memorable moments with family and friends. Throwing the ball with the kids or the dog gets everyone outside enjoying the fresh air. And sometimes even just sitting outdoors and listening to the birds sing and the wind gently tossle the leaves in the trees can help decrease anxiety and give you a moment to unwind. This is your home landscape, and you want to enjoy it.

What you don’t want during these times outside are unwanted guests … and we’re not talking about nosy neighbors. We’re talking about small, pesky insects that are eyeing you and your family members as meals – not that steak you’re grilling.

Yep, we’re talking about mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks. Whether it’s the itchy welts they cause or their blood-sucking ways, none of these pests are welcome in your yard. They are annoying. They interrupt good times. They are stressful. And they can also carry some pretty nasty diseases with them, and no one wants to deal with those issues.

You could douse yourself with bug spray, sweat while wearing multiple layers of clothing, and light all the citronella candles in the world, and you still might not be able to keep them away.

Let’s learn more about these pests and how to get rid of mosquitoes and ticks in your yard and get rid of fleas in your yard in Virginia.

Table of Contents

What You Need To Know About Mosquitoes
Facts About Fleas
Things You Should Know About Ticks
DIY Mosquito, Flea, and Tick Control Tips For Your Yard
What is Organic Mosquito, Flea, and Tick Control?
Why Professional Mosquito, Flea, and Tick Control Services Are Worth It

What You Need to Know About Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes in Virginia can not only be a major source of frustration, keeping you from being able to spend time in your own yard, but they can also be a pretty serious threat.

In fact, since there is so much information out there about mosquitoes, you might be wondering if everything you hear about them is true.

mosquito on thumb

Let’s look at some facts about mosquitoes to set the record straight.

Fact #1: Mosquitoes Need Water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, which incubates mosquito eggs. The larvae spend their first 10 days in the water feeding on organic matter and breathing oxygen from the surface. Then they develop into pupae and, eventually, become adults. Unfortunately, mosquitoes breed very quickly and very easily, doubling and tripping their numbers in small pools and puddles of water, in addition to swamps, marshes, flooded ditches, ponds, rivers, and lakes. This is why many tips to get rid of mosquitoes in your yard include eliminating standing water, such as puddles that collect in gutters, watering cans, toys, flower pots, and other areas.

Fact #2: Mosquitoes Thrive in Warm, Wet Climates. While mosquitoes can survive in a lot of places, they really like warm, wet weather, which is certainly present in Northern Virginia. Mosquito season here begins in April and extends through late fall. Mosquitoes do not thrive in extreme cold.

Fact #3: Mosquitoes Carry Diseases That Can Impact People’s Health. Mosquitoes carry diseases like malaria, dengue virus, Chikungunya virus, Zika virus, and West Nile virus, which can have disabling and potentially harmful effects. Not only can these diseases impact you and your family and friends, but mosquitoes can also transmit diseases and parasites to your pets, as well as other nearby outdoor animals and wildlife.

mosquito control team spraying bushes

Fact #4: Mosquitoes Cannot Fly Far. While many people think mosquitoes are strong flyers, they actually stay within several hundred feet of where they were hatched as long as they can find food there. They also rest often when they fly – every 5 to 10 yards.

Fact #5: Mosquitoes Are Attracted to Carbon Dioxide. This is the gas that humans and animals exhale. Mosquitoes can sense it from 30 feet away, and they are attracted to it because they know they can find meals nearby. Mosquitoes can also detect chemicals in human sweat.

Fact #6: Mosquitoes Actually Eat More Than Blood. You might be shocked to learn that while mosquitoes enjoy dining on human blood, they also feed on plant nectar for nourishment. But blood is needed for the female mosquitoes to make eggs.

Fact #7: The Majority of Mosquito Activity Peaks During Dusk. When you’re outside during summer evenings, you’re more likely to get bit by mosquitoes. However, some mosquitoes are also active during the morning and late afternoon, such as the Asian Tiger mosquito in Northern Virginia. Mosquitoes like to hide in grassy areas, as well as under leaf piles, near wood piles, under decks, and in other darker, cooler places.

Facts About Fleas

Spotting fleas – or those jumping black bugs that feed on blood – on your dog’s fur or your favorite living room couch is never a welcome site.

While fleas in your yard seem tiny, they actually carry quite a large potential for problems that no one wants to deal with.

flea

Let’s look at some facts about fleas to ensure you have all the information you need about fleas in Virginia.

Fact #1: Fleas Can Consume Quite a Bit of Food. Fleas may seem small, but they can consume 15 times their own body weight in blood.

Fact #2: Fleas Are Hard to See. At 2.5 millimeters in length, fleas are hard to spot, so they can easily hide in pet beds, carpets, furniture, and mattresses.

Fact #3: Cat Fleas Top the List of Most Common Fleas In Northern Virginia. When it comes to the most common fleas you’ll find in your house, cat fleas top the list, followed by dog fleas. Fleas also travel on most of the wild animals that roam your landscape.

Fact #4: Fleas Are Great Jumpers. Cat fleas can jump 3 inches horizontally and 5 inches vertically.

Fact #5: Fleas Have Short Life Cycles. While fleas only live about 3 months long, females can actually produce 500 new fleas during this time.

Fact #6: Fleas Like Cool, Shady Spots. Fleas in your yard enjoy moist air where it’s a bit cool, such as wood and leaf piles, and under grasses, shrubs, and plants.

Fact #7: Fleas Carry Diseases. Flea-borne typhus can be spread to people if they contact infected fleas. Fleas become infected when they bite animals with the disease. Fleas can also transmit plague and tularemia.

Things You Should Know About Ticks

You’re not alone if you worry about ticks in Virginia. Northern Virginia particularly has a high density of ticks.

And the Virginia Department of Health says tick-borne illnesses are rising.

tick

But you might search the internet and find some conflicting facts about ticks. Let’s talk about some tick truths so you can better prevent ticks in your yard.

Fact #1: There Are Four Common Ticks in Northern Virginia. In this area, there are some specific tick species you’ll find most often, including the lone star tick, the American dog tick, the brown tick, and the deer or blacklegged tick. The blacklegged tick is most worrisome here because it carries lyme disease. Dog ticks and Lone star ticks can spread Rocky Mountain spotted fever and ehrlichiosis.

Fact #2: Ticks Need Blood. Ticks feed on human and animal blood, and they need this blood to grow through their four life stages (egg, larva, nymph, and adult). If they don’t get blood, they die.

Fact #3: Ticks Can’t Jump or Fly. You might wonder how ticks find their hosts if they don’t jump or fly. They actually crawl up on tall weeds and grasses and use their third and fourth pairs of legs to hold on and reach out their front legs to wait for hosts to pass by so they can latch on.

Fact #4: Tick Bites Don’t Hurt. This is true. You might not even feel a tick when it’s on you or under your skin. This is why it’s important to check your kids and pets for ticks if you suspect them.

Fact #5: Ticks Can Transmit More Diseases Than Any Other Blood-Sucking Pest. Lyme disease is the most concerning disease that can be transmitted by ticks. While a person’s chances of contracting lyme disease from a tick can range from 0% to 50%, limiting tick exposure by preventing ticks in your yard is a good idea.

Fact #6: The Best Way to Remove a Tick is by Removing the Head. If you find a tick under your skin, you want to use tweezers to slowly grab hold of a tick and remove the head along with the body. You never want to leave the head in your skin. Look for common signs and symptoms of tick-borne illnesses after removing the pest to ensure you catch any issues early. Fevers, chills, aches, headaches, fatigue, and rashes can be some side effects to watch for.

DIY Mosquito, Flea, and Tick Control Tips For Your Yard

We know how frustrating it can be when insects so small can be so annoying and threaten your outside time in your own yard. Mosquitoes buzz about your ears and cause horrible, itchy welts; ticks aren’t as loud, but they can show up under your skin and carry some nasty diseases with them; and fleas – the smallest of the three – can just almost invisibly infest your pets and homes and cause some serious stress and headaches.

As a result, you might be searching for some ways you can take some control of the situation and do a little DIY mosquito and tick control, as well as DIY flea prevention for your yard.

family plays in yard

But in your hurry to stop the madness, you might be grabbing random products off of the shelves, attempting anything that promises solutions. That’s not the best way to tackle this issue, unfortunately, because there are quite a few ideas out there that really aren’t promising.

Since you don’t want to waste time on methods that don’t work, let’s take a look at some ways that actually work to help you limit these pest populations in your landscape.

DIY Tip #1: Limit Bug Hangouts. Mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks share one thing in common: they all like similar hangouts. This means near wood piles, under decks, in tall grasses, and other cooler, damp places. So to reduce these bugs in your yard make sure to rake up leaf piles, trim overgrown grasses and plants, and keep wood piles at least 20 feet from your home, patio, and children’s play areas.

DIY Tip #2: Reduce Standing Water. It’s no secret that bugs, particularly mosquitoes, enjoy any kind of water puddles. Mosquitoes need them to breed. So keep them to a minimum by getting rid of stagnant standing water in your yard sitting in plant pots or garbage can lids. And replenish water in bird baths and pet bowls regularly to prevent them becoming stagnant.

DIY Tip #3: Protect Yourself. When you’re out during peak evening hours while pests like mosquitoes tend to strike more often, make sure to wear long pants and sleeves, as well as bug spray to help with DIY mosquito and tick control.

What is Organic Mosquito, Flea, and Tick Control?

You want to stop the onslaught of mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks. We understand that goal completely. But you also want to use products that are safe and effective in your backyard so you don’t have to worry about them.

This is where organic mosquito and tick control can be a great solution for you.

Let’s learn more about a natural product that is safe for you and your family and pets, but is also great at actually banishing these bugs in your yard.

What is Cedar Oil?

Cedar oil is a great natural mosquito and tick control that works uniquely to combat pests.

The product blocks the bugs’ scent receptors, disrupting its internal systems. This means it dries up the pests or deters them.

mosquito control team spraying landscape beds

Products like this have organic ingredients that are able to battle bugs but are harmless to humans at the same time, making them a safe choice for control.

Comparing them to synthetic products, cedar oil can be more adaptable to your entire landscape, such as near sensitive areas like children’s swing sets, making them a bit more user-friendly.

How Do You Use Organic Mosquito and Tick Spray?

When you use natural products, frequent applications during the pests’ primary season of activity are essential.

In Northern Virginia, applications typically begin in April and then are best applied every three weeks until November to keep bugs at bay.

How Do Cedar Oil Applications Work?

To start, cedar oil sprays are usually applied to your entire property to start the control process and reduce pest populations. Subsequent visits may use less products as you have fewer pests to deal with, targets prime mosquito, flea, and tick hangouts.

What Other Knowledge is Essential When Using Cedar Oil?

When you are using organic backyard flea control and natural mosquito and tick control, the product alone isn’t what you need for optimum pest reduction.

You also need knowledge of how pests act, where they hang out, and how and where to properly apply products to ensure control.

Why Professional Mosquito, Flea, and Tick Control Services Are Worth It

While you might be trying to combat mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks on your own, the process can feel like it takes over your summer. And your time is limited. In addition to work and family responsibilities, you’d like to have a little fun in the summer sun. Who wouldn’t?

mosquito control technician spraying landscape beds

An option you might want to consider is hiring a professional who has experience spraying yards for mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas. They can save you time, money, and energy in the bug battling process, saving you some days and evenings for enjoyment while eliminating your problem pests.

As you’re exploring your options for outdoor pest control services, there are some important factors you’ll need to consider.

Number of Visits

Most professional mosquito, flea, and tick control services don’t last more than 30 days by their very nature.

And since these pests can breed quickly once control wears off, the number of visits you receive is important to ensure season-long control. If a company is offering just a couple of visits, then you’re not getting what you need.

Look for a business that offers you a consistent amount of control through the entire pest season – from April through November. It’s not unreasonable to receive 12 applications for maximum protection.

Mosquito, Flea, and Tick Control Knowledge

These pests can really wreak havoc in home landscapes in Loudoun County and Prince William County, Virginia.

So when you hire a pro to help you take care of the problem, you certainly don’t want to waste your money on someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing.

A high-end, professional outdoor pest control service will treat your entire yard so no key areas are missed. By using an organic product that is safe for people and pets, a company can do this. If they can’t apply the product everywhere, that might be a red flag that they are using a more synthetic product that can’t be used in certain areas.

Professional companies also bring their own high-end products and equipment with them, so you don’t have to worry about the purchasing, storing, cleaning, or mixing of application-related accessories and chemicals.

The end result is a much higher level of effectiveness that comes with expert knowledge; top-of-the-line equipment; and a scheduled, targeted service schedule.

Can The Company Do More Than Just Pest Control?

No one has time to deal with multiple service providers today. While you’re looking for an expert who knows about spraying yards for mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas, you may want to also make sure the company can do other things you might need.

lawn care team unloads fertilizer from van

These additional services include lawn care and aeration, so while they are battling bugs on your property, they can also ensure your lawn looks great. You solve more than one issue in your yard at a time.

Another perk of this is that when you buy more than one service from one company, you usually benefit from some savings that can help keep your costs down.

Get Rid of Mosquitoes and Ticks In Your Yard & Banish Fleas With a Northern Virginia Expert

We know you have choices in Loudoun County and Prince William County, Virginia when you’re searching for professional mosquito, flea, and tick control.

We hope as you explore your options, you consider Turf’s Up. We provide a proprietary mix of cedar oil and organic ingredients in our applications that we apply every three weeks for the best control to ensure you don’t have break-through pest populations. This not only keeps bugs down in your yard, but it also ensures you can have a blast in your own yard all summer long – without having to run indoors or hide from nasty insects.

Spend less time worrying and more time enjoying your landscape with some safe outdoor pest control services in Northern Virginia.

Ready to learn why Turf’s Up could be your totally awesome choice for flea treatments and getting rid of mosquitos and ticks in your yard in Northern Virginia? We’re stoked to learn more about you and help you eliminate your mosquito problem once and for all. Get started today with a free quote. Together, we can prepare a customized plan that is perfect for you and your yard.

lawn care service comparison

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