West Nile Virus in Sacramento: Landscaping for Safety

Mosquitos in Sacramento

Right now the Central Valley is under alert. The West Nile Virus has been spotted in several mosquitos around the region, and that means that more and more people may be getting sick – especially in areas of Sacramento, Roseville, Folsom, and other cities with a lot of mosquitos and biting insects.

As a homeowner, there is only so much you can do. Mosquitos are everywhere, and those that spend any time outdoors are, in theory, putting themselves at risk for West Nile.

But if you have already thought about redoing your outdoor landscape, you may want to consider it sooner rather than later – including the landscaping options that may help keep your Sacramento home safe.

Landscaping to Reduce Pests

Any type of greenery has the potential to attract insects, and insects do fly in from other areas even if they are not living directly on your property. That’s why there is no such thing as a 100% safe landscape. But there are ways to improve your landscape in a way that will deter mosquitos.

  • Better Irrigation

It actually starts with irrigation. Mosquitos are not necessarily attracted to grass, so much as they are attracted to water. If your lawn isn’t draining well, more mosquitos will live there. Improving irrigation – along with core aeration and other tools to improve drainage – will reduce the amount of sitting water, and thus deter mosquitos from living on your property.

  • Artificial Turf

Because of the drought, and because of advancements in “turf technology,” now more than ever homeowners are choosing to landscape with artificial turf. Artificial turf requires no upkeep, so your “grass” is never long enough to hide insects, and the inorganic material is not as hospitable to mosquitos. Since this type of grass also requires no water, it is better for the environment as well.

  • Mosquito Eating Fish Ponds

You may be someone that has always wanted a pond in your backyard. You may want to consider a pond with fish that eat mosquito larvae. In general, standing water attracts mosquitos and should be avoided. Koi ponds are very popular choices for Sacramento landscapes, but koi don’t eat mosquitos, so koi alone may not be the best idea. The solution is to add fish that get along well with Koi, like goldfish. Goldfish do eat mosquitos, do not take up much space, and will eat mosquito larva. You’ll be able to have your pond, but not the mosquitos that often come with it.

Other Mosquito Control Landscaping Tips

  • Consider avoiding any landscape designs that create more water.
  • Look at Xeriscaping – drought resistant landscaping – that requires less water.
  • Maintain your landscape. If you have turf that grows tall, you may attract bugs.
  • Plant Citronella. It’s a natural plant that repels mosquitos.
  • Increase hardscaping. Less grass means less bugs.

There is sometimes a tradeoff between having an amazing landscape and repelling mosquitos. That’s okay. Mosquitos really are everywhere, and there are other ways to stay safe from these bugs besides your landscape. If you want a custom landscape with a lot of foliage, ponds, etc., go for it. You should always be willing to see your dreams turn into reality.

But if you’re someone that genuinely wants to try to cut down on mosquitos in order to stay safe from West Nile Virus and you have been considering a new landscape design anyway, the above tips could help you create a brand new, amazing landscape and potentially decrease the number of mosquitos in your area. Contact Capital Landscape today to find out more about mosquito landscaping options in Sacramento, Roseville, El Dorado Hills, Folsom, Granite Bay, Lincoln, and more.

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