It’s Mosquito Season Again!

— Written By Bill Hanlin and last updated by JoAnne Gryder

MosquitoControl-SIGNI saw my first mosquitoes of the season this weekend while sitting on my front porch. Mosquitoes are not only a nuisance they can also spread serious diseases like West Nile Virus and Encephalitis. Mosquito control can be very difficult and usually has to be community wide in order to be effective.

All mosquitoes require water to complete their life cycle. Eggs, which can remain dormant for several years, hatch in freestanding water. In a few weeks, the larvae or wrigglers will become adults. Most mosquitoes only fly in the evening or at night, but we do have the Asian tiger mosquito that flies during the day.

The problem with controlling mosquitoes is they can breed in very small amounts of water. Anything that holds water is a potential breeding site including cans, old tires and even tree holes. So eliminating potential breeding sites can be a daunting task.

If you want to reduce your mosquito population then you, and hopefully your neighbors, need to remove anything that can hold water. Debris from roof gutters should be removed so that they drain correctly. Fill in areas in the yard where water can sit for extended periods.

Change the water in birdbaths at least once a week and add aeration to ornamental ponds. Mosquito eating fish, like Koi, can also be added to ponds to control larvae. Mosquito dunks are made up of naturally occurring soil bacteria and are a safe way to kill larvae in birdbaths and ponds.

If all else fails, then applying repellents to skin and clothing may be your only option. Products containing DEET have been shown to be the most effective repellents. Repeated applications of repellents to children and pregnant women are not recommended and the repellents should be washed off as soon as you come back inside.