Four Expert Tips For Summertime Mosquito Prevention
Summer in Florida means day trips to the beach, afternoon rain showers, and, of course, an onslaught of bugs and pests. Mosquitoes in particular can seem impossible to avoid, and without effective mosquito prevention, you could find yourself trapped inside instead of enjoying a summertime sanctuary.
Because we here at Sun Power Lawn Care want your yard to be at its best all year, we asked the pest control experts at McCall Service to offer some pointers for outdoor mosquito prevention. With these mosquito prevention tips, you will be able to take back the summer from the bugs and enjoy a stress-free, bite-free yard.
Guest Expert: Cory Goeltzenleuchter, Gainesville Branch Technical Training Director/Entomologist, McCall Service
1. Eliminate Standing Water
The first and biggest step for preventing mosquitoes is to eliminate harborage areas where they breed. We refer to this as source reduction.
The best thing to do is eliminate these breeding areas by dumping out any water [from containers], cleaning the inside with a brush or towel, and turning them over. Many mosquitoes, including the main species that carries the Zika virus, like to breed in containers that could hold water, from as small as a bottle cap to something as big as a tire. The female adult mosquito will find these containers and deposit her eggs. When the container fills up with water the eggs can hatch.
Typical containers where mosquitoes will find water for breeding include old tires, potted plants, grill covers, bird baths, etc. You should also be sure to keep pools chlorinated and clean rain gutters from excess debris. Small ponds can be stocked with fish that will help consume the mosquito larvae in the water.
Throwing away any trash that could accumulate water in the yard will also help keep the populations down.
2. Keep Vegetation Trimmed
Another great step to reducing populations is to trim back overgrown vegetation. This will eliminate areas where adult mosquitoes are resting.
The main places mosquitoes will collect are shaded areas that are overgrown. These can be especially prevalent right up next to the home as well as in any wooded areas. Make sure to prune your plants, garden, and yard vegetation regularly to reduce this risk.
When you bring new plants in, be sure to space them out adequately throughout your outdoor space. You may also want to avoid bromeliad plants – which have flowers and stiff, sometimes spiky leaves – because their shape allows them to hold water, making them especially attractive to mosquitoes.
3. Follow Up With Mosquito Treatments
Prevention is definitely the key but to help continue to reduce the mosquito population, residual yard treatments should be made during the peak times of year (March through November).
These treatments focus on the use of larvicides to stop the growth of the mosquitoes and prevent adult mosquitoes from emerging. Larvicides are used in areas of standing water such as ditches, bromeliad plants, ponds, etc. Residual adulticides are used in a mist blower to apply the product on the underside of ornamental leaves, the main resting area for adult mosquitoes.
4. Don’t Forget To Protect Yourself And Your House
When you’ve done all you can to reduce the mosquito population outdoors, don’t forget to shield your indoor space and yourself from any lingering bugs.
One of the best ways to prevent mosquitoes from coming inside is by making sure all doors and windows have screens, and that there are no rips or tears in those screens.
And of course, the tried-and-true method to protecting yourself from mosquito bites is wearing long sleeves and pants, as recommended by the CDC, and using Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered mosquito repellants.
For further inquiries, McCall Service can be reached online here.