Mosquito Control

Written by Linda Alexander
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Aside from their itchy bites, mosquitoes carry diseases that can be dangerous to people. While they may never be eliminated completely, there are effective methods for mosquito control. Here you can read the most complete information about mosquito control and prevention.

Ways to Reduce Mosquitoes

Reduce standing water. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. The eggs hatch into larvae, which are visible to the naked eye. Within 10 days to two weeks, the larvae turn into flying adults.

In many bodies of water, natural predators like fish and other insects feed on the larvae and keep mosquito populations to a minimum. Around your home and garden, even the smallest puddle of water can be a serious breeding ground for mosquitoes. You should do everything you can to empty them. Dump water from old tires, toys, tarps, rain gutters, and trays under potted plants. Where you can, rearrange or move these items so water won't recollect, or check again after it rains. Fill low spots and ground or driveway holes with soil. Change water in birdbaths or fountains at least weekly.

It's essential that you know how to control larvae. There are several ways to control mosquito larvae in small ponds, water gardens and other places where the water can't be emptied regularly. They include introducing mosquito fish, which feed on larvae, or a nontoxic form of Bt (a bacteria), which also kills the larvae.

Adult Mosquito Control

Use mosquito repellents or protective clothing when necessary. Be sure to read and follow label directions. Citronella oil is somewhat less effective against bites than products you spray on your skin or clothing.

It's also important to double-check your screens. Make sure all doors and windows are sealed tightly so mosquitoes can't get into your home. Mosquitoes can fit through the tiniest holes in screens or cracks under your doors.

You can also treat lawns and gardens to ensure they are free from mosquitoes. In addition to natural mosquito repellants, there are many effective mosquito control products on the market. These include mosquito insecticide, insect abatement, and automatic insect control systems.

If mosquitoes continue to be a problem, you can always contact your local mosquito control district or health department.

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