Surefire Ways To Keep Pesky Mosquitoes Out Of Your Bird Bath

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There's a beautiful, even touching quality about birds choosing to land on your birdbath to take minuscule drinks, joyfully splash around, then flit into the air. Your garden can become a social hub for all types of birds — it's a refreshment station, public bathhouse, drink dispenser, and birdy dating app all rolled into one. But if it's improperly maintained or otherwise ignored, your birdbath can instead become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and their disease-carrying, blood-sucking ways.

Mosquitoes are problematic for many reasons. Their bites are annoying because we're allergic to their saliva. They bring malaria, dengue, West Nile, and Zika viruses. In worst-case scenarios, those viruses can lead to encephalitis and meningitis in humans, as well as diseases and parasites in dogs and horses. 

Being smart by choosing plant colors that repel them from your backyard can help. But mosquitoes are specifically attracted to still water so they can lay their eggs and multiply. That means they're keeping an eye on your birdbath for baby-hatching purposes. The great news is we've got several surefire ways to eliminate mosquitoes from your birdbath.

How to keep mosquitoes out of your birdbath

To prevent mosquitoes from hijacking your bird bath, it's incredibly important to eliminate stagnant water. You can do that in two ways, and you really need to employ both of them.

One of the most crucial things to rig up right away is a fountain, waterfall, or other source of movement in your birdbath. This eliminates mosquitoes' attraction to still water. Look for an agitator or an aerator — the birds will love it because it's like hanging out in a little stream.

Second, change the water frequently; while you're waiting to receive or rig up an aerator, we'd suggest changing it daily. Mosquito facts: it takes a week to ten days for larvae to hatch, so making it a habit to drain and replace the water every three to five days or so will disrupt and eliminate that cycle. Throughout the week, make sure to also remove fallen leaves because they provide shade for mosquitoes to hide underneath.

Keep it clean and unattractive to mosquitoes

Take the opportunity when replacing the water to clean the bird bath with all-natural ingredients — please don't use chemicals or soaps. Clean it with a brush, water, baking soda, and lemon juice (or swap white vinegar for the juice). Pro tip: the use of vinegar here will help prevent algae from growing. This is excellent because an overgrowth of algae attracts insects. There's also an easy way of cleaning your bird bath using bleach — but rinse thoroughly before adding fresh, clean water, to ensure there's no bleach smell left. 

You'll also want to occasionally give your birdbath a little help by using what's called a mosquito dunk, which kills mosquito larvae. Again, it's important to be mindful not to use chemicals that harm birds, so use a bacterial insecticide containing Bacillus thurnigiensis israelensis. The most important thing is to change the water frequently or get some type of agitator, and your mosquito problems will be a thing of the past.