How You Can Help
The combined efforts of any mosquito abatement program cannot succeed without the assistance of the public. Many potential breeding sites can be found around the home! These include old tires, buckets, wheelbarrows, clogged rain gutters, kiddie pools, etc. Since disease carrying mosquitoes develop in stagnant water, anything that can hold water for more than a week can be a source of mosquitoes!
Disease carrying mosquitoes tend to stay near their breeding sites, meaning that if objects on your property are breeding mosquitoes, then your property is likely to be where they will look for blood meals. Residents should take the following steps where applicable to eliminate potential sources for these mosquitoes:
Residents are encouraged to use a common sense approach in avoiding exposure to adult mosquitoes. Because the common mosquito species in the area that may spread disease are not very aggressive, it is important to protect against mosquitoes during the mosquito season, especially when mosquito annoyance is low.
- Try to avoid outdoor activities around dusk, when mosquito activity is at its highest.
- When outdoors at dusk, it is recommended to wear long sleeves, long pants, socks and light colored, loose-fitting clothes.
- Use of box fans during outdoor gatherings to keep air moving can make it difficult for mosquitoes to fly and land for bites.
- Apply mosquito repellent containing 20-35% DEET primarily to clothing. Concentrations of 10% or less are indicated for children aged 2-12. Use sparingly on exposed skin if label permits. Some other EPA registered repellants are Picaridin and Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE). Always be sure to follow the label directions!
- Window screens or other ways mosquitoes may enter the home should be inspected and repaired if damaged. Any openings around window air conditioners, clothes dryer vents, etc. should be eliminated.
In addition to the repellents described above, a number of mosquito control products are available to the general public. Products that kill mosquito larvae found in standing water. Active ingredients are usually Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti, sold as "mosquito dunks" and "mosquito bits") or the growth regulator methoprene(altosid). These are the two products that we mainly use in our larval control program.
Products that kill mosquito adults may provide short term relief from mosquito annoyance and can be considered useful for backyard cookouts, etc. These take the form of aerosols or special fogger units. Active ingredients are usually synthetic pyrethroids. Use with consideration to beneficial insects.