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Mosquito Control DIY Methods

Bug Lady posted this on Oct 18, 2016

Mosquito Overview

Mosquito

 

When you think of the term pest control, possibly the first thing that comes to your mind besides roaches is this pesky little bugger, the mosquito. Aside from being annoying with their affinity for sucking blood, mosquitoes have the potential to become incredibly dangerous because of how easily they can spread disease to other animals and to humans. The average person can never truly know if a mosquito that bit them was carrying West Nile virus, malaria or some other serious disease that could cause severe health complications. That is why it is so important to protect yourself and your family from these pests.

 

Mosquito Control can be frustrating and dealing with mosquitos often doesn’t cross our minds until we decide to enjoy the outdoors and have to turn and run back inside to survive the invasion of these blood sucking insects.

 

We at Solutions Pest & Lawn want to help you make it possible to savor those warm days, and cool nights, take back your backyard, and start enjoying fresh air without having to worry about these nuisances ruining your fun.

 

We carry a multitude of mosquito control products that would be well within your budget and we can also help you identify and deal with mosquito breeding grounds and receptacles with our helpful guides.

 

Mosquito Characteristics

 

Mosquitos are part of the diptera order, just like flies because they are distinguished from having only two wings. The word mosquito actually originates from Spanish with the name meaning “little fly”. Mosquitoes have long, thin legs and a head featuring a long and well pronounced proboscis which is used to inject into victims and suck blood.. Mosquito bodies and wings most often are covered in tiny scales.

 

There are at least 3,500 species of mosquito that have been discovered and described in all parts of the world and about 170 of them are found in the United States. Despite the large number of different species, all mosquitoes undergo four life stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. It should be also noted that only the female species of mosquito drinks blood; the male species doesn’t bite and actually gains nutrients from the nectar of flowers and other sources. Females require a blood meal in order to lay eggs. While a mosquito bite is just minimally irritating to the skin, its the transmission of the mosquito’s saliva during the bite that causes the real irritation and at worst case, transmits disease.

 

Identification

 

Of the 170 species that are in the United States there are four that are most common and those are the house mosquito, the southern house mosquito, the Asian tiger mosquito and the yellow fever mosquito. Knowing what type of mosquito you are dealing with is important to know before getting control products. We’ll cover these miserable critters below:

 

House Mosquito

House mosquito

 

Aptly named, the house mosquito is the most common mosquito in the United States. Within the house mosquito group are two common species known as the Northern House Mosquito and the white-dotted mosquito

 

The Northern house mosquito as the name suggests is more common to the Northern part of the United States. They are pale brown in color with white stripes and are often found in polluted water. A few popular breeding grounds where these mosquitoes might be found are storm drains, birdbaths, pet dishes and old tires. The female mosquito of this species can lay between 50 to 400 eggs in one sitting. These eggs typically take around two weeks to hatch depending on the climate. The white-dotted mosquito shares a similar look and similar tendencies, but is more common in the Eastern and Central regions of the US. Both of these species can serve as vectors to various viruses and parasites.

Southern Mosquito

Southern Mosquito

 

Commonly found in more tropical regions, the southern mosquito shares similar traits of the house mosquito, but is found in Southern areas of the United States particularly throughout Florida. This mosquito primarily feeds at night and is known to be a vector of St. Louis encephalitis virus and has been known to also transmit West Nile virus (WNV).

Asian Tiger Mosquito

Asian Tiger Mosquito

 

First discovered in the United States in 1985, this species of mosquito is distinguished by its bright white or silver stripes on the abdomen, thorax and legs. The female Asian tiger mosquito is a primarily a daytime blood-feeder and can be an aggressive biter. Females often lay eggs in clean, standing water. They are drawn to containers with water like flowering pots. The Asian tiger mosquito is a common carrier of more than 30 viruses, but thankfully only a few are known to affect humans.

Yellow Fever Mosquito

Yellow fever

 

The yellow fever mosquito has a storied history in the United States as it was this type of mosquito that resulted in more U.S. troop casualties during the Spanish-American war than the war itself, due to the mosquito transmitting yellow fever from which it derived its name.

 

The yellow fever mosquito shares similar feeding and breeding habits to the Asian tiger however since the arrival of the asian tiger to the States,  the yellow fever mosquito population has dropped considerably. The yellow fever mosquito is more commonly found in highly populated areas of Southern Florida, also the coastal areas of Texas and Louisiana.

 

Inspection

 

If you’re dealing with a mosquito problem, chances are there isn’t much inspection needing to be done because if you’re getting bit, they’ve found you before you’ve found them.  But what is more important in this phase is being able to pinpoint where the mosquitos are hiding and where their breeding grounds are and finding their eggs and larvae.

 

  • Check places where there is standing water. Mosquitoes require water to lay eggs and breed. Interestingly enough, the reproductive cycle for a mosquito is primarily aquatic as they eggs in the water hatch and move into the larvae and adult stage while in water.

  • Check where there has been watered gathered from rainfall or water left in pet dishes, bird baths, puddles etc.

 

Control

 

There is a variety of options we have available at Solutions for controlling mosquitos. Options include installing a Mosquito Misting System in your backyard, foggers and perimeter spray. How you decide to handle your mosquito problems will depend on how much you to spend and your particular property.

 

The recommended process to get rid of mosquitoes from your property effectively is 1) Sanitation 2)Removing areas where there is standing water to discourage breeding areas and 3) using insecticide products. Following the control plan we have laid out is guaranteed to significantly reduce mosquitoes on your property and will allow you to enjoy the outdoors and evenings without the constant threat of mosquitoes. Just to note: There is no guaranteed method to completely eradicate mosquitoes and in fact it is not realistic to believe that treatment products will 100% control the mosquito population on your property completely, but our program can bring mosquitos down to a manageable level by creating deterrences and making it unsavory for mosquitos to hang around your home.

 

Step 1: Sanitation

  • Before getting into chemical usage, you can take practical steps to eliminate the appeal of your property to mosquitos as a breeding ground.

  • Remove weeds and tall grassy areas around your home to help reduce mosquitoes harborage areas.

  • Clean and pick up any unnecessary clutter and yard debris around your home that may pick up water when it rains.

  • Leave yard lights off when possible to avoid attracting mosquitos unnecessarily. You can even try to use less attractive lights such as sodium lights in your yard at night.

  • Ensure that window and door screens fit properly. Repair or replace any screens with holes or tears.

Remember:  It is not always your yard that is the issue.

 

Step 2: Eliminate Potential Breeding Areas (Standing Water)

  • Get rid of old tires, buckets, aluminum cans, or any kind of item that can serve as a container for holding water. Dump out accumulated water from trash cans, boats, wheelbarrows, pet dishes, and flowering pots.

  • Remove any standing water on flat roofs or any part of your home that can create puddles.

  • Replace water in birdbaths and wading pools at least once a week and keep swimming pools properly cleaned and chlorinated. Mosquitoes prefer quiet, non-flowing water for egg-laying and development so for things like fountains, you can add mosquito eating fish to the water to deter mosquitos and create movement in the water.

  • Irrigate lawns and gardens carefully to prevent water from standing for several days.

 

Step 3: Apply Larvacide

Areas where you cannot control standing water, you can apply larvicide. Larvicide is a sort of growth control that prevents larvae from maturing into adult mosquitoes. Common places to apply larvicide are places where water doesn’t freely flow like containerized ponds, animal watering troughs, flowering pots etc.

Step 4: Apply Insecticide to your Yard

  • One option is to apply a residual insecticide and Insect Growth Regulator in a hose end sprayer or backpack sprayer. This would be a product that you mix with water and offers a safe product to use on your lawn and plantings.

  • When controlling mosquitos in this method you will want to really get good coverage and spray the underneath of the leaves of the plants, this is where some of the species of biting mosquitos will rest during the day. This is a very inexpensive control method that will get you quite a bit of mosquito relief but will require constant applications and retreats about every 14 days or once a month.

  • Using a mosquito fogger is a great option if you are willing to spend a little more cash. Foggers are available in backpack blowers, electrical handheld units and then upwards of the larger truck mounted commercial units.Foggers can be used in conjunction with perimeter spraying

  • If you live in a high mosquito breeding zone, like the south, spraying all the foliage and then fogging the open areas every couple weeks or when you know you will be having an outdoor event is recommended. This combination of mosquito control will really amaze you as to how effective these two technique are to control mosquitos.

 

Prevention

 

You can help prevent pesky and potentially dangerous disease-carrying mosquitoes from infesting on your property through preventative measures which includes sanitation and preventative insecticide treatments.

 

Sanitation:

  • Keep your grass short  by mowing regularly

  • Prune trees and bushes to reduce shade and allow more sunlight in the yard

  • Empty containers that fill with rainwater

  • Remove yard clutter

 

Insecticide applications:

  • Regular perimeter sprayings as noted in the control section is recommended to keep mosquitos away and reduce their population and makes your property less appealing for them to gather at.

  • Places where rainwater gathers and you are unable to dump it out should be treated with a larvicide as noted in the Control section as well.


We offer a variety of solutions for everyone's budget, from residual spraying to a Mosquito Misting System. 
Contact one of our knowledgeable staff for more recommendations and product application.

Categories: Mosquitoes
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