It’s that time of year – the buzzing of hungry mosquitoes as they seek out an exposed patch of your skin to land on and bite – while the real pesky one’s find a way to get you right through your clothes…
To control mosquitoes, you must control their WATER. Mosquitoes lay their eggs either on or next to standing water, or on damp soil. Once the eggs have hatched they go from larvae to pupa to adult mosquito in as little as 4 days!
Here are some tips to control mosquitoes…
Check the yard for things that allow the pooling of water. Water is the chief attractant for mosquitoes whose larvae develop in stagnant water. Water that has been allowed to stand for as little as four days can be attractive to mosquitoes.
Remove, turn over, or regularly clean objects that allow water pooling. Bird baths – clean them regularly. Don’t leave buckets, toy pools, toys, pots, gardening items that collect water, or any other container to sit outside where they can collect water.
Keep your gutters clean. This is important. If they are clogged up, they can accumulate water and provide ideal breeding grounds.
Stop leaks and drips of water. If you have leaking outdoor taps, get these fixed. The leak will be pooling somewhere, creating a moist habitat for breeding mosquitoes.
If there are parts of the yard that can fill with water, and it doesn’t drain quickly, fill it in or improve the drainage.
Check your air conditioner. Make sure that water is not pooling at the bottom of the unit and that it is draining properly. Make sure that window mounted A/C units are slightly pitched so that water drains off and out.
If you have one, your swimming pool or spa could be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Be sure to treat the water properly to maintain safe clean water, and run the pump enough to circulate the water. Unattended swimming pools will quickly turn dark green with algae and become filled with millions of mosquitoes (and frogs and other such creatures).
If you have a pond on your property, stock it with fish. Active ponds will provide the right ecosystem to self-regulate mosquitoes. If a pond is very stagnant and without fish or other predators that will eat mosquito larvae, watch out – get ready to be eaten alive. Keep the pond clean of excess vegetation and weeds. You need direct sunlight into that water.
Keep grass mowed short and shrubs trimmed. Trim back overhanging vegetation. Mosquitoes like damp places and will thrive on damp ground beneath vegetation.
Bats eat mosquitoes. The Purple Martin eats mosquitoes. Muscovy Ducks eat mosquitoes.
Mosquito Dunks: These are little doughnut shaped rings of wood pulp impregnated with something that kills larvae, but is harmless to other forms of life. Place a dunk in standing water once a month to kill larvae.
by Ken Jorgustin
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