Concerned about mosquitoes? No one likes the nasty red welts that the little insects leave after they bite you. But depending on where you live in the United States, mosquitoes may do more than just take a little bit of your blood.
One variety of mosquito, called the Aedes aegypti, is known to spread diseases like dengue, chikungunya and the Zika virus—and it lives in some areas of the United States. While these illnesses are still uncommon in the States, they could begin to spread if the mosquito population is not well controlled. The problem, according to some experts, is that the Aedes aegypti aren't killed through spraying and other chemical controls.
That means that you will need to prevent the mosquito from reproducing at all by getting rid of the areas where it can lay eggs. One way is through keeping your gutters clean and free of standing water.
Why Mosquitoes Need Water to Reproduce
Standing water is vital for mosquitoes to develop. Females lay their eggs in small, stagnant pools or plants right by the water, and when the larvae hatch, they spend their first few days in water. As they grow, they feed on organic material in the water.
Without sources of still water, mosquito eggs will not hatch at all, or if they do, the larvae will die. And, if water is left for less than a week, it won't provide enough time for mosquitoes to develop.
Why Gutters Provide a Ripe Environment for Mosquitoes
Traditional gutters get clogged with leaves, dirt and other organic matter. Inside this mess of yucky stuff, water can pool -- and it doesn't take much for mosquitoes to hatch.
Another reason why the standing water in gutters, which is rich with decaying leaves and micro-organisms, can be so attractive is that it provides a source of food for the developing larvae.
How Gutter Guards Can Help
Protecting your gutters from accumulating debris is a necessary step to prevent mosquitoes from breeding by your home. A mesh cover over the gutter that is properly designed will prevent leaves and other organic material from gathering and making a place for water to pool or moisture to collect. Instead, rain water will run through the gutters freely, without pooling up.
Some gutter guard systems do have to be flushed out or checked and cleaned occasionally. Talk to a company like Conifer Gutter Service about the different types of guards that are available and what type of maintenance is needed to prevent any standing water.