Mosquitos may be the most hated pest in America due to their ability to completely ruin our enjoyment of the outdoors. Beyond the fact that they are a horrible nuisance they have, throughout history transmitted diseases such as malaria, yellow fever and encephalitis. In more recent times they have been conclusively linked to the transmission of West Nile and Zinka Virus’s.
In order to manage mosquito populations around our homes and yards it is important to understand just a little bit about how these pests reproduce. The adult female mosquito lays her eggs on the surface of standing water. These eggs hatch into tiny larvae (“worms”) which live just below the surface of the water and eventually advance to the pupal (“cocoon”) stage. The winged adults emerge from the pupal stage and after mating the female looks for a blood meal so that she can lay her eggs and continue the life cycle.
Elimination of standing water around the exterior of the home will limit the number of breeding sites and reduce adult population. Areas where standing water gathers and creates breeding sites may include (but are certainly not limited to): Clogged gutters, bird baths, ornamental pools, discarded tires, wheelbarrows, tarps covering stored items or firewood, flower pots, cans, etc.
While moisture reduction is quite helpful for controlling insect numbers it is typically not relied upon as a “stand alone” measure. Regular residual insecticide treatments to key areas around the home are strongly recommended since adult mosquitos are airborne and migrate from adjacent woodlots and other neighboring properties. These key areas are basically resting sites and include vegetation, weeds, shrubbery, tall grass, flower beds and heavily shaded areas.
Residual insecticide applications have little value until good numbers of mosquitos have emerged which varies year to year based on environmental conditions. We consider June through September the best times to treat the resting sites for mosquitos but it may begin sooner and end later.
For more information on our mosquito management program or to schedule and estimate please contact our office staff.