Spring will be here soon and so will the Mosquitoes. Mosquitoes pose a greater threat to human health and well-being than any other animal. They transmit various deadly diseases such as Malaria, Yellow fever, West Nile, Zika, Eastern Equine Encephalitis Virus or EEE, as well as heartworms to our beloved pets. They kill and debilitate millions of humans worldwide despite modern medical advances.
Mosquitoes undergo complete metamorphosis in four stages – Eggs, Larvae, Pupae and Adult. Eggs need water to hatch into Larvae and Pupae require an aquatic environment. Under optimum temperatures and with ample food supplies, eggs hatch in 1-3 days, Larvae develop in 7-10 days and Pupae require one to three days for adult development. Thus the entire life cycle of the mosquito usually takes about 10-16 days.
An efficient way to control mosquitoes is to find and reduce their Larval habitat. Home owners can take the following steps to prevent mosquito breeding on their own property:
- Destroy or dispose of tin-cans, old tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools, or other containers that collect and hold water. Do not allow water to accumulate in the saucers of flower pots, cemetery urns or pet dishes for more than 2 days.
- Clean Debris from rain gutters and remove any standing water under and around structures or on flat roofs. Check around faucets and air conditioner units and repair leaks or eliminate puddles that remain for several days
- Change the water in bird baths and wading pools at least once per week
- Fill or drain puddles, ditches and swampy areas and either remove, drain or fill tree holes and stumps with mortar.
- Check for trapped water in plastic or canvas tarps used to cover boats, pools, etc. Arrange the tarp to drain the water completely.
- Irrigate lawns and gardens carefully to prevent water from standing for several days.
- Adult mosquitoes prefer to rest on weeds and other vegetation. Homeowners can reduce the number of areas where adult mosquitoes can find shelter by cutting down weeds adjacent to the house foundation and in the yard, as well as lawn mowing regularly.
A micro misting application should be applied to the lower limbs of shaded trees, shrubs, mulch beds, vegetation and high risk areas to avoid Mosquito infestations during the spring, summer and fall months.