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To Screen OR Not To Screen

screened in porch

Now that you have purchased your perfect home, whether it be on the water, golf course or in a community with lush vegetation – it’s time to enjoy your new oasis, especially your backyard.

If your new residence does not have a lanai or a pool screen, you will need to decide whether to screen your patio / pool or not to screen. Many homes in Florida have these “cages”.

Certainly, there are some advantages to screen enclosures (i.e. they keep debris from falling into your pool / patio, they prevent larger rodents from gaining access and secure your space). However, there are some down-sides that you should consider before you install such a structure.


  • Cost – The cost to install the structure and screens can be costly depending on the fsize and design, upwards in the thousands.
  • Design – You will need to consider the design carefully. Screens, even panoramic ones will impact / obstruct your view in same way, so you will want to minimize the obstruction. You also want an enclosure that will meet your immediate needs but allow for future changes to your yard.
  • Sun Light – If you enjoy the bright sunshine, keep in mind that screen enclosures will darken your outdoor living space / pool and the water may not be as warm as one that is not enclosed. If you like the feeling of open space, you may feel that you are “caged in”, especially in smaller enclosures.
  • No-See-Ums – If you have issues with no-see-ums, you will need to consider 20x20 screen mesh designed for small insects and no-see-ums. Keep in mind, given the gauge of this mesh, it may darken your outdoor space even more.
  • Effectiveness – While enclosures prevent larger insects and rodents from gaining entry, they are not 100% simply because if you have pets and children they may go in and out and the opening the doors can invite and let insects, rodents and debris in.
  • Rodent Playground – While rodents may be prevented from gaining entry to your enclosed area, it creates a playground for them. Squirrels can climb the screens and may even gain access to your roof or worse your attic. These rodents can potentially cause damage in tearing screens or worse yet, gaining entry into your attic and build their new home.
  • Installation – This is not simply a one-day install. It will require you to contract a licensed installer and ensure all County permits are filed and required approvals obtained from any HOA’s.
  • Maintenance – Once installed, enclosures will need to be maintained and this is an ongoing, added expense. Mold, mildew, midges and love bugs, along with other debris, will need to be cleaned-up and removed from the screens. Most owners have their cages lightly pressure-washed to keep them clean.
  • Mother Nature – While the structure and screens are designed to be sturdy, excessive winds, tornados and a hurricane may damage your enclosure and/or screens. Consider what impacts these storms may have from falling trees, limbs, blowing debris, etc. all of which may tear screens and may even impact the beams and structural integrity of the cage.

Next Steps

Before making a final decision to screen or cage yourself in, consider other alternatives. If your main concern is to keep biting insects and rodents away, contact Mosquito Squad of Tampa Bay.

Mosquito Squad of Tampa Bay can discuss alternative solutions to an enclosure that include routine Barrier Service, Automatic Misting Systems and Rodent Control.

Some of our customers have even taken down their enclosures after they signed-up with Mosquito Squad so they can enjoy their outdoors in full-sun free from any obstruction of their view.

Contact Mosquito Squad of Tampa Bay at 813-502-0505 or tampabay@mosquitosquad.com – Your professional mosquito, biting insect and rodent control service provider to help you FIGHT THE BITE.