Mosquitoes – during this time of year, they’re seemingly everywhere. How can you keep the problem to a minimum? Keep reading to find out.
Know Your Enemy
Mosquito season starts in the spring when the warmer weather starts to bring them out. It peaks in the summer and begins to taper off in the fall. During those times mosquitoes can be a pest and in fact dangerous since they can carry diseases such as West Nile, the Zika virus, Dengue fever and other harmful diseases.
Dump the Water!
Mosquitoes need water to breed and the more water that is around, the more chances there are for them to breed. In fact, mosquitoes can breed by the thousands in just a small amount of water, so it’s very important for people to eliminate their breeding sources during mosquito season.
Mosquitoes prefer to breed in stagnant pools of water. While wetlands and vernal ponds can be breeding areas for mosquitoes it’s important to keep in mind that these areas normally have quite a few natural predators for the mosquito that consume mosquito larva before they can become adults and fly away. The water source that you need to be mostly concerned about is stagnant water that can pool in plastic containers, wheel barrows, abandoned tires, plugged gutters, empty flower pots, buckets and other containers that can hold water. These sources of stagnant water have no predators to keep their numbers down and they can breed by the thousands.
It can take as little as four days for mosquitoes to complete the three stages of their life cycle. So it’s important to keep a constant look out for sources of stagnant water. The steps that a person can take around their home to protect themselves from mosquitoes is:
- Remove any objects that can collect water since mosquitoes only need a small amount of water to deposit their eggs.
- Keep your gutters un-clogged since mosquitoes can deposit their eggs in water left standing in a clogged gutter.
- Fill in ditches and other areas on your property that can collect standing water.
- Keep an eye for hollow logs on your property and fill them in so water cannot accumulate in them.
There’s a Time for Everything
Keep in mind that the most active time for mosquitoes is dawn, dusk and at night and you will want to cover yourself up during those times by wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants. Also make certain that you use insect repellent that contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus when going outside and make certain that you keep mosquitoes outside by using and repairing damaged window and door screens and by using air conditioning.