The Best Time to Spray for Mosquitoes According to Biology

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Mosquitoes aren’t just irritating insects that bite us, making being outdoors in the summer something you dread. They are actually creatures with quite complex biology. Luckily, this biology plays into choosing the best ways to repel and kill them. That’s why to know when, where, and how to best eliminate mosquitoes, you first need to know a few things about their biology.

The mosquito life cycle: Male versus Female

Male and female mosquitoes are quite different. Male mosquitoes have a very short life span (6-7 days) and don’t feed on blood. Their main source of sustenance is fruit and flower nectar.

It differs from species to species but on average, female mosquitoes live about 3 to 4 weeks (and up to 5 months), which is more than double the lifetime of male mosquitoes. They also are the ones who bite us in order to feast on our blood. They don’t do this for sustenance, though. Much like their male counterparts, female mosquitoes feed on flower nectar and other similar things.

Female mosquitoes need blood to be able to produce eggs and reproduce. They will lay their eggs in any available standing water.

After anywhere from 48 hours to a few months, depending on the temperature conditions, the eggs will have developed into new mosquitoes. Once the eggs are submerged in water, they will hatch. In another 4 to 14 days, those baby mosquitoes will have reached adulthood and will be ready to breed again.

If mosquito eggs are laid out of water, they can remain dormant for over a year before hatching! Mosquito eggs will not hatch without water.

You must keep this short but vicious mosquito life cycle in mind when you are trying to kill them.

How to fog according to the mosquito life cycle

So, when you are mosquito fogging, for the first week you should fog your target area every day or every two days to disrupt their breeding cycle. This will help you to get rid of all the adult mosquitoes and their eggs.

After that, you can decrease the fogging interval to once per week. Don’t wait much longer than that between foggings, though. Fogging once a week will keep the mosquitoes from having time to breed so that they become less and less noticeable in your area.

mosquito life

Stop breeding before it happens

Another thing you should do before you even start fogging is to try getting rid of anything that may hold water.

  • Dump all standing water and ditch the containers.
  • Empty any buckets, wheelbarrows, and old tires of standing water and put them away so that no water can collect in them again.

This will leave the mosquitoes with nowhere to breed so they’ll have to search for a new breeding place – one that hopefully isn’t on your property after you’ve gotten rid of all standing water in your area.

Where can you find mosquitoes?

On average, mosquitoes tend to not go further than 1.24 mi. (2 km) from their original breeding place. Some species remain within a few hundred feet of their breeding site while others can travel 3–10 mi. (5–16 km). The furthest some species will travel is 40 mi. (64 km) from their larval home.

So, try to be observant and pay attention to the areas where the mosquito population is the largest. This will let you know which areas to search for standing water. It’ll also help you find out which areas you need to fog to kill the mosquitoes lurking around there.

What is the best time of day to spray for mosquitoes?

Mosquitoes are the most active at dusk and dawn. That means it’s best to spray, fog, and use any other mosquito killing devices during duck an dawn.

At dawn and dusk, mosquitoes are out looking for food, so it’ll be easier to target them with your mosquito spray. On top of that, spraying at those times will also help keep your insecticide in place. The summer heat can evaporate liquid insecticides. Furthermore, avoiding daylight hours also avoids the activity times of many beneficial insects, such as bees and butterflies.

Weather conditions for mosquito treatment

If it’s raining or if there’s a bit of wind (anything stronger than a light breeze), you should wait until the weather conditions are better. Otherwise, you’ll have to fog the same area repeatedly. Why? It’s simple, really. The rain and wind will dissipate the insecticide-laced fog faster. This means it won’t have the opportunity to settle on the ground or on other surfaces and actually do its job.

The same applies after you have fogged an area. If it starts to rain or the wind picks up shortly after fogging, the insecticide might be blown or washed away. In this case, it’s best to reapply the treatment once the wind dies down or once it stops raining and the area has had a chance to dry.

Keep these mosquito facts in mind and plan your mosquito battle plan accordingly. If you do so, you should succeed in reducing the mosquito population. Then you can finally have with the mosquito-free area of your dreams that is perfect for outdoor relaxation.

10 Comments

Russell Lee Gitlitz

What about the Garlic based Mosquito barrier? Suggest it? Most effective uses? Same times ? Dusk & Dawn . If they only travel a few meters. Where are they feeding? Noone is in the yards around at dusk and dawn(I know they feed on any mammalian) they are SWARMING the second one walks outside. Swarmed. I have a Dog so toxic to animals pesticides is out of the question (I do plan on Mosquito biscuits in the gutters for any standing water. We live in a sub urbanized area of the city, lots of trees, grass,plants in general,1/4 mile from the Elizabeth river. Norfolk Virginia. I will do ANYTHING to make it less annoying and potentially dangerous in my own yard. The neighbors need to do the same yes? Thank you for your time

    InsectCop

    Garlic based barriers are not toxic to pets or humans, so they would be a good fit for you. I suggest you try this Mosquito Barrier repellent. It can be used on both the yard, as well as standing water (mixed with canola oil and water, it will coat the surface of the standing water). It’s suggested to use it about an hour before the sun goes down, also make sure it has 24 to 48 hours to dry before it rains or you water the area.
    As for the neighbors, it wouldn’t hurt to spray a larger area, however, even if your neighbors don’t spray their property, your’s should still be avoided by the mosquitoes.
    Hope this helped, don’t hesitate to ask if you have more questions!

Glenn

I was told that on Paradise Island in The Bahamas we should fog twice a day (dusk & dawn) every day. Is that overkill and really necessary?

    InsectCop

    Depends on the insecticide you’re using since there are ones that last only for a couple of hours (in which case fogging twice a day will be necessary to stay mosquito-free) and ones that last for weeks or even months (in which case you won’t need to fog as often).

    Cheryl

    When should we start spraying??

    InsectCop

    The best time to start spraying would be right before the season starts in your location.

Bill

I live in the New York suburbs of Westchester Insect Cop. What time of year do I start the fogging? Is there an application I can use which I do not have to apply on a daily basis? Maybe once a month or even better once every 2 months?

    InsectCop

    You should read this article to see your options. There you’ll find types of mosquito killers, methods, etc. Good luck finding the best fit for you!

Shima

So do you start spraying in April, May? I’m confused about when to start and stop this process!

    InsectCop

    It depends on where you live. You can also just start when they show up, or pretty much any time when they are already there.

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