What Every Washington, D.C. Resident Should Know About Mosquitoes

It should come as no shock to you that mosquitoes aren't just annoying pests; they can make you very sick. While U.S. residents are somewhat shielded from the dangers mosquitoes present in other areas of the world, such as in underdeveloped countries where hundreds of thousands die each year, we're not risk-free. It is important to appropriately evaluate this risk for you and your family, and do what you can to keep mosquitoes away.

As you consider natural ways to get rid of mosquitoes in your yard, preventative products to keep mosquitoes from biting you, and what role pest control in Washington, D.C. plays, there are some facts you should know. Let's take a look at them.

a mosquito biting a persons arm

What Is The Purpose Of Mosquitoes In Washington, D.C.?

Many insects in our area offer benefits to the environment and, in some cases, to residents as well. The general goal of pest control is to manage these insects so they don't become a problem. Mosquitoes provide only minor benefits in nature, such as helping with pollination.

Unfortunately, the risk they present to the health of humans, pets, and wildlife far outweighs their benefit. This has led government health officials and licensed pest professionals to target mosquito reproduction and development with the goal of removing mosquitoes entirely from urban areas. But, of course, it isn't easy to get rid of all the mosquitoes in Washington, D.C.

A Brief History Of Mosquito Control In Washington, D.C.

In the 1950s, Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) was widely used for the control of mosquitoes in the U.S. and in D.C., but the government banned its use due to health concerns. While considered harmful, DDT is still used in other areas of the world to help control the spread of malaria and safeguard human life because the benefits outweigh the risks.

In Washington, D.C., health officials, entomologists, and pest industry experts shifted their focus from DDT to environmentally friendly mosquito control options at the end of the 1900s, and these are what are used today. They are a mixture of stagnant water management, moisture control, applications of naturally-derived products, applications of synthetic products, and the use of larvicides. These work to get rid of mosquitoes by preventing mosquitoes from developing into adults.

The Diseases Mosquitoes In Washington, D.C. Can Transmit

Before we discuss mosquito-borne diseases, it is important to point out that not every mosquito that bites you is infected with a disease - in fact, few are. It is also important to take note that malaria, dengue fever, Zika virus, yellow fever, and many other deadly mosquito viruses are not endemic to the United States. While these are diseases you can get from mosquitoes, they only spread during outbreaks.

The mosquito-borne disease that presents the greatest risk in D.C., and throughout the country, is the West Nile virus. It claims lives every year. In Maryland, annual West Nile virus deaths reported are less than 100, and in many years, less than 20. But, it is important to be aware of the diseases you can get from mosquitoes and what symptoms are associated with these diseases.

Natural Ways To Keep Mosquitoes Away From Your Washington, D.C. Yard

The best way to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes in Washington, D.C. is to not have mosquitoes in your yard, and you can use natural ways to get rid of mosquitoes to get the job done.

Arrest Reproduction

We recommend inspecting your yard for standing water resources and addressing conditions that allow mosquitoes to breed. These insects need a little over a week to breed in stagnant water. Here are a few trouble spots to consider:

  • Drainage ditches

  • Gutter blockages

  • Tarps

  • Kidde pools

  • Puddles

  • Buckets

  • Cups

  • Old tires

Stop Development

Mosquitoes need moisture or they will dry out and die. You can make your yard very uncomfortable for mosquitoes by keeping your landscaping as dry as possible.

  • Water your landscaping in the early morning.

  • Remove weeds and other unnecessary vegetation from your landscaping.

  • Remove broadleaf plants that capture and hold water.

  • Trim bushes and other plants to allow the wind to move through your vegetation.

Washington, D.C. Mosquito Control

It should come as no surprise that spraying for mosquitoes in your yard is the best way to reduce mosquitoes. This is the method recommended by the U.S. government. What you might not know is that the sprays used are designed to target mosquitoes and prevent them from maturing into adults. These products can be used in landscaping and other key areas without concern for kids, pets, or wildlife.

Along with spraying for mosquitoes in your yard, a licensed professional may also use larvicides in stagnant water that can't be removed from your yard, such as ponds and birdbaths. Together, these can reduce mosquito activity to near zero. We know of no better way to get rid of mosquitoes. If you need assistance with mosquito control, reach out to Capitol Pest for assistance.


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