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The Comprehensive Guide to Controlling Ticks and Mosquitoes in Your Backyard


When annoying mosquitoes and ticks get in the way of your backyard fun, that bites.

There’s lots of cool stuff on your backyard to-do list:

  • Grill bacon jalapeño burgers
  • Finally beat the kids in a Nerf squirt gun battle
  • Stare at your grass then your neighbor’s grass and decide whose is greener

Even your dog has a list:

  • Roll around in the grass and growl (what’s up with that?)
  • Chase ball.

Backyard life shouldn’t be dangerous. But when disease-carrying mosquitoes and ticks crash the barbecue, it is.

family playing on a nice lawn in summer

What’s the best way to control ticks in your yard?

Is there fast and reliable mosquito and tick control?

Can you be the bug-blasting hero who makes your yard a no-bite zone?

Let’s take a look so you can get back to that fun list. (And if your neighbor’s grass is greener, let’s work on that.)

Table of Contents

Ticks: They're Gross, and Other Facts
Where Do Ticks Hang Out?
Now, Mosquitoes: Why Won’t They Buzz Off?
Mosquito Facts and Myths
Mosquito Control for Your Yard: Where Do They Lurk?
Can You Make Your Own Mosquito Spray?
How to Control Mosquitoes in Your Yard? Professional Spray
How Much Does Yard Mosquito Treatment Cost in Minneapolis?
All About Timing: Does Mosquito Yard Spray Work Right Away?
Is Mosquito Yard Spray Safe for Pets?
11 Other Ways to Control Ticks and Mosquitoes
What to Look for in Mosquito and Tick Control Services?

Ticks: They’re Gross, and Other Facts

Warning: this is a little creepy.

A tick quickly cuts into its host’s skin, then inserts its feeding tube. It sucks the blood slowly for several days.

We’ll pause here so everybody can shudder.


Feeling sort of itchy and gross? Kind of wish we’d move on to a more pleasant subject, like brownie recipes?

Sorry. A few tick myths and facts coming up:

Myth: Ticks Burrow Under Your Skin

Actually, they don’t. Phew, right?

Don’t be too relieved. It’s still kind of bad. A tick will feed until it becomes full and then fall off.

The bad news: This usually takes anywhere from three to six days. Ugh.

The area around the bite might start to swell around the head of the tick, but the tick does not actually burrow below the skin.

Myth: Ticks Are Only in the Woods

Nope. Sure, you’re more likely to run into ticks in woods or fields with tall grass. But ticks hang out anywhere they can find a host to hop aboard. That includes your yard.

Time for mosquito and tick control.

Myth: You Should Remove a Tick with a Flame

Actually, keep a pair of tweezers handy. You don’t want to set yourself on fire.

Grasp the tick with the tweezers as close to the skin as possible. Then, slowly pull it straight out. No twisting. You don’t want any tick parts staying behind. Yuck.

Myth: Only Worry About Ticks in Warm Weather

Yes, ticks love summer. Don’t we all? There’s a way better chance of encountering an ice cream truck.

But ticks can be active as long as the temperature is above 40 degrees.

pest control technician spraying mosquito barrier spray at woodline of lawn

That means cocoa weather. And jumping in piles of leaves. And strolling through pumpkin patches. And tossing around footballs. All fun. But beware of ticks.

Fact: Ticks Are Lazy

We’re not being rude. It’s just a fact.

Instead of walking or jogging or even grabbing a tiny, tick-sized bike to get around, ticks hang around like slackers on the tips of grasses and shrubs, waiting for a host to brush up against their spot. Then, bam, free ride, free food. Rude.

Fact: Ticks Carry Diseases

As ticks feed, small amounts of their saliva may enter the host, and that’s how they transmit diseases like Lyme Disease, the most common disease spread by ticks In Wisconsin.

The average number of reported Lyme Disease cases has more than doubled here over the past 10 years.

Just one of several good reasons to start spraying for ticks and mosquitoes.

Where Do Ticks Hang Out?

Not in the middle of your yard. That would be too easy.

pest control technician spraying mosquito barrier spray at lawn and woodline

Ticks are sneakier than that, hanging out where your yard borders a wooded area, or shady spots where there’s damp leaves and yard debris. That’s why mosquito and tick control services especially targets those shady, leafy areas.

How did they get there in the first place? Did they not see the “No Ticks Allowed” signs you posted?

They’re lazy, remember? So, they hitch a ride into your yard, on any unsuspecting creature that happens to be wandering through. Stray cats. A rabbit. A raccoon. A squirrel. Even a cute little mouse.

Now, Mosquitoes: Why Won’t They Buzz Off?

Mosquito bites can be more than just annoying and itchy. They can spread viruses that make you sick or, in rare cases, cause death.

West Nile virus is the most common virus spread by mosquitoes in the continental United States, but people can also get sick from less common viruses spread by mosquitoes.

Even without the threat of disease, mosquitos are a big pain. Their bites are itchy and annoying, sending you inside for cover when you just want to be outside, enjoying your beautiful summer evenings.

Mosquito Facts and Myths

When you’re dealing with a beastie as wily as a mosquito, it helps to know who you’re dealing with, right? Every bit of info helps when your mission is mosquito and tick control.


Do all mosquitoes bite? Can they really sense your breath? If you completely wrap yourself in plastic wrap, can they still bite you? (Actually, you’re on your own for that last one. We have no idea. But at least leave yourself an air hole — we’d worry about you.)

Myth: All mosquitoes bite.

Nope, only female mosquitoes bite. Male mosquitoes prefer beer, er, nectar and plant juices.

Why? Female mosquitoes need the protein from blood to develop their eggs.

Lots of eggs. One mosquito can lay as many as 300 eggs at a time — and three or four times during her life.

Are you spraying for ticks and mosquitoes? Imagine 300 new mosquitoes hatching all at once — in your backyard.

Myth: Mosquitoes die after biting.

Unfortunately, no. They can actually bite several times in one night.

Fact: Mosquitoes are weak fliers.

They’re not super bugs — at least, not when it comes to flying. They have to rest pretty often, which means they’re taking lots of rest stops on the plants in your yard. That means they’re prime targets when your mosquito control technician stops by to spray your yard for ticks and mosquitoes.

Sorry, suckers — you shouldn’t have paused to put your feet up.

Fact: Mosquitoes can detect your breath.

Yup. When you exhale, that’s carbon dioxide coming out. Mosquitoes zero in on that then head your way to feast. They can actually sense it from 30 feet away. Your breath is like a very quiet mosquito dinner bell.

You could try holding your breath. But that’s not really a long-term solution.

Fact: Mosquitoes love the dark.

Darkness isn’t just for vampires. Sunlight kills mosquitoes, so they stay undercover in your damp, shady areas until sunset. Your mosquito control specialist knows to target those areas where they hang out, spraying for ticks and mosquitoes there.

Fact: Mosquitoes need water to survive and breed.

Those hundreds of mosquito eggs we talked about earlier? Mosquitoes lay them on the surface of water.

How to control mosquitoes in your yard? Get rid of any areas where water accumulates in your yard, from clogged gutters to empty buckets or flowerpots.

You’re basically setting up a mosquito baby nursery.

Mosquito Control for Your Yard: Where Do They Lurk?

Mosquitos love the same shady, damp places in your yard that ticks do.

Remember, mosquitoes need water to breed and survive. Some mosquitoes lay eggs in water, while others lay eggs in moist soil.

pest control technician spraying mosquito barrier spray around planting bed

They stay undercover until sunset.

Then, like whiny little vampires, they emerge to feast. On you.

Some Yards Are Havens for Mosquitoes

The same lush, shady, plant-filled landscaping that makes a yard a favorite family hangout is an inviting resort for mosquitoes.

Got shade? It’s great on a hot summer day, right? Mosquitoes love it.

Lots of layers of pretty plants? They’re beautiful, right? Mosquitoes love to hide there.

Surrounded by woods? Lucky you. But mosquitoes love the dense shade.

Water features? That peaceful gurgling is backyard bliss. Mosquitoes crave water.

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Just when you’ve achieved your perfect backyard heaven, you realize it’s mosquito hell. Nothing wrecks a blissful backyard retreat like the persistent biting bugs.

The kids have to abandon the swing set. No garden strolls at dusk. Even the family dog can’t romp in his favorite grassy play space without the threat of biting bugs.

Ugh. You need a solution, fast. So, how to control mosquitoes in your yard.

Can You Make Your Own Mosquito Spray?

OK, after all this mosquito talk it’s time to take action. Maybe hit the internet.

Hey, look! Instructions on how to mix up homemade mosquito spray!

One suggestion: mix up mint mouthwash, stale beer and  Epsom salt. Then spray it around your yard.

Sound gross? How about apple cider vinegar, water, and an oil made up of citronella, peppermint, lemongrass, cedar wood, and geranium?

That’s a lot of stuff to buy for an experiment that may or may not work.

Also, is it just us or does all this conjure up a wizarding vibe, you hunched over a bubbling cauldron, simmering up your anti-mosquito potion? Who has time for this experimentation? Don’t you have to drive the kids to soccer practice?

Also, does homemade mosquito yard spray work? Maybe. Maybe not.

How to control mosquitoes in your yard? What if you use the store bought stuff and spray your yard yourself? Should you DIY mosquito yard spray?

Again, it’s a gamble. Why would you know exactly where, when, and how to expertly spray your yard for mosquitoes? The pros do.

Will professional barrier spray reduce mosquitoes in your yard? Absolutely. More on this coming right up.

How to Control Mosquitoes in Your Yard? Professional Spray

The best way to control ticks and mosquitoes in your yard is to enlist the help of professionals who spray every shady nook and cranny where the pests hang out.

pest control technician spraying mosquito barrier spray

Ticks and mosquitoes like the same type of habitat — damp, shady areas with access to moisture.

Targeting them where they live and breed is your best defense.

RainMaster’s barrier spray reduces mosquitoes and ticks on your property all season long, with regular visits every three weeks.

That’s a whole summer in your backyard haven or at your lakeside cabin, protecting your kids and pets all season long.

How Much Does Yard Mosquito Treatment Cost in Minneapolis?

In general, mosquito spraying cost ranges from about $500 to $600 per season.

If you’ve been trying to find this information, you’re probably frustrated. Most mosquito and tick control services in Minneapolis don’t advertise their prices on their websites. You have to call to find out. And it’s kind of tricky trying to balance your phone while you’re scratching mosquito bites.

You’ll find RainMaster prices right on our website. No hassle needed.

RainMaster mosquito and tick control service starts at $539 for a season, based on the size of your yard, with six treatments each year, spaced approximately every three weeks from spring to fall.

Bonus: Two Pests, One Price

Many Minneapolis and Eau Claire mosquito control companies charge separate fees for killing mosquitoes and ticks, even though they’re using the same product to kill both.

That doesn’t seem right. At RainMaster, we kill both pests for one price.

Tick and Mosquito Control: What Does it Entail?

We spray the perimeter of your yard, hitting the spots where ticks and mosquitoes lurk and breed:

  • Underneath plant leaves
  • Shady areas
  • Wet areas
  • Under decks
  • Under tree canopies
  • Wood piles

Then, grab your lounge chair, a good book, and a frosty lemonade. No swatting required.

All About Timing: Does Mosquito Yard Spray Work Right Away?

It does. Instant results. They’re dead.

How often do you need your yard treated?

One visit controls mosquitoes and ticks for three weeks. So, you’ll need six visits total throughout the season, one every three weeks for your Eau Claire Wi or Minneapolis yard.

pest control technician and customers reviewing lawn areas for ticks and mosquitoes

Are six visits really needed? Absolutely.

The mosquito repellent you spray on yourself doesn’t last forever, right? Same deal here. You need a few visits for continued protection.

Also, mosquitoes are continually reproducing, so there’s always a fresh annoying batch to kick to the curb. (Actually, they don’t go out to the curb. They’re dead.)

Is Mosquito Yard Spray Safe for Pets?

How to control ticks and mosquitoes in your yard if you have pets? Should you use yard mosquito spray?

Sure, as long as you follow a couple common-sense precautions:

Keep your pets inside when specialists are in your yard spraying for ticks and mosquitoes and while the treatment areas are still wet. (Of course, your dog will consider this high-level torture, being forced to watch through the window while a TOTAL STRANGER is walking all over YOUR YARD with a weird- looking wand and hose. Maybe give Champ an extra dog treat for his pain and suffering.)

Then, feel free to send your pets back outside once the spray has fully dried. That takes about 30 minutes.

child with dog on nice green lawn

One thing to note: While RainMaster’s mosquito treatment also kills ticks, it doesn’t take the place of whatever tick treatments your veterinarian recommends for your dog. Keep using your tick prevention.

But the pet safe yard mosquito spray will definitely reduce the number of ticks in your yard that could hop aboard your precious pet.

11 Other Ways to Control Ticks and Mosquitoes

How to control mosquitoes in your yard? There are actually quite a few things you can do to prepare for mosquito and tick season:

  1. Get rid of areas where water accumulates. One mosquito lays 300 eggs, remember? In water. Lots of these spots could be lurking in your yard, creating the perfect mosquito breeding grounds: old tires; clogged gutters; buckets; wheelbarrows; empty flowerpots.
  2. Remove leaf litter. Ticks and mosquitoes love the damp, dark stuff.
  3. Clear tall grasses and brush around your house and at the edge of your lawn. Remember, it’s like a bus stop for those lazy ticks.
  4. Keep your lawn mowed. You should do this anyway — you know how the neighbors talk. But mosquitoes and ticks prefer tall grass.
  5. Stack any wood neatly and in a dry area.
  6. Keep playground equipment, decks, and patios away from yard edges and trees.
  7. Discourage unwelcome animals (such as deer, raccoons, rodents, and stray dogs) from entering your yard by constructing fences.
  8. Remove old furniture, mattresses, or trash from the yard that may give ticks a place to hide.
  9. Grow plants mosquitoes hate. Some of the plants we love to sniff actually help keep mosquitoes away. They think they stink. 
    Plant lavender, lemon balm, basil, marigolds and catnip close to your patio or deck to help keep mosquitoes away while sitting outside or when you’re having a party.
  10. Invite birds and bats. These flying friends love mosquitoes — to eat. So, encourage them to hang out at your place by providing houses for them.
  11. Turn on fans. Mosquitoes are weak fliers, so electric fans strategically placed around your patio or deck make it harder for them to get to you and bite. Fans also help blow away the carbon dioxide you exhale, so the mosquitoes can’t find you as easily.

What to Look for in Mosquito and Tick Control Services?

When you start comparing mosquito control services in Minneapolis and Eau Claire, WI, they look pretty much the same — on the surface.

They’ll show up at your house and spray areas on your property with a mosquito control product that will kill mosquitoes for about three weeks.

They should come back and repeat the service every three weeks to keep zapping those annoying mosquitoes throughout the season.

But there are some differences you should look for as you decide who to hire.

Like what? We’re glad you asked:

Gimmicks? No, Thanks

Don’t be captivated by gimmicks like automatic misters and “tick tubes” to get mice in on the tick-killing action.

You don’t need that extra stuff. All you need is RainMaster’s dependable barrier spray to kill mosquitoes and ticks. It really works. We guarantee it.

Will They Let You Know When They’re Coming?

This is just courteous customer service, and you should expect it.

family hanging out in nice backyard with dog on nice grass

At RainMaster, you get automatic scheduling, so you don’t have to worry about calling us to set up your mosquito spray visits.

Then, you’ll get an email or text reminder that we’ll be there the next day. You don’t have to worry about coming home to find a sign in the yard that your mosquito control service was there — and realize your dogs were out running around.

Then, we show up. You can count on it.

More Courteous Customer Service

How about a few extra tips for little things you can do to reduce mosquitoes even more? You’ll get those after we perform a treatment.

Do They Believe in Long-Term Customer Relationships?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions like this. It matters.

Most of our mosquito control specialists have been with our company for years and have actually developed friendships with their customers.

That’s what happens when a company invests in team members so they want to stick around. Everybody’s happy.

Need Tick and Mosquito Control for Your Yard in Minneapolis or Eau Claire? Trust RainMaster

It’s time to take your yard back.

No more retreating inside from the pesky invaders who took over.

Why should you have to avoid your own backyard? You shouldn’t.

Get back in the garden, out to the grill, and on the swing set again.

Doesn’t that sound better than swatting mosquitoes and worrying about ticks?

Are you ready to stop stressing about mosquitoes and ticks? Request a quote today! Then, you can get back to enjoying your yard, without all the swatting and scratching.

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Image Source | Tick, Mosquito

Topics: Pest Control, Guide

Ready to rediscover and enjoy your yard?

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