Mosquitoes are known carriers of many diseases globally including West Nile Virus. Currently, West Nile Virus is causing some concerns in the USA.
Because mosquitoes are aquatic in their immature stages, they must have water in which to develop. The larvae cannot develop in tall grass or shrubbery. Although the adults may be found resting in these spots during the day.
Hence, the source reduction is a preferable approach for mosquito control. When water that produces mosquitoes can be removed without causing other problems. Similarly, landscape planning that keeps water from accumulating is always a good bet.
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How to eliminate mosquitoes yourself
Here are several things that you could do to prevent mosquitoes from breeding near your home and also to protect yourself from mosquito bites:
- Eliminate sources of standing water in your yard (for example, flower pots, gardening cans, wheelbarrows, puddles). Store items upside down that must remain in your yard, such as boats and gardening containers.
- Empty tire swings of any water and, if possible, replace the swings with other types.
- Cover any garbage, recycling or composting containers, to prevent water from accumulating in them.
- Drill holes in the bottom of containers that must be left outdoors.
- Replace water in bird baths and outdoor pet dishes at least every week to help eliminate stagnant water in them and also provide fresh water.
- Empty your rain barrel if the water is more than a week old.
How to eliminate mosquitoes yourself
- Keep your swimming pool aerated, cleaned and chlorinated, even if it is not being used.
- Dump any water that collects on your swimming pool cover.
- Turn over plastic when they’re not being used. Change the water in your wading pool at least each week.
- Keep your gutters clean to prevent standing water.
- Check under shrubbery and lawn coverings for hidden containers.
- Use landscaping to eliminate water that collects in low areas on your property. Mosquitos can develop in any puddle that lasts more than 7–10 days during the summer.
- Repair any leaks from outdoor water pipes, joints or hoses. Replace washers on outdoor taps that drip.
Leave it to professionals
It is important to understand that the methods available to non-specialists are different from those commonly used by professional mosquito control personnel. Pesticides are designed to kill the problem organism and they do so by being toxic. Therefore, some pesticides may pose risks to other organisms, including people, especially if not used correctly.
A combination of several factors determines exposure, including how much pesticide a person or animal takes in (the dose), the frequency of dosing and the duration of exposure. Exposure, in combination with innate toxicity (the amount of pesticide per unit of body weight required to cause harm), determines the level of risk to humans and other non-target organisms.
Trained and licensed pesticide applicators are educated to ensure target pests, like mosquitoes, are killed, while reducing the exposure of non-target groups. Trained personnel are also educated about using no more pesticide than what is required, as this reduces the amount of pesticide in the environment. Pesticide application is definitely one of those activities where more is not better.
Hence, effective mosquito control is complex, and technically demanding, and is best left to trained professionals for good lasting results.
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