Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A "Good Year" for Mosquitoes

Last week's deluge was just the frosting on the cake for local mosquito populations, which have become increasingly annoying as the summer has progressed. However, reducing those populations to less pesky proportions is something we can all work toward.

UGA's June 25 Georgia FACES newsletter article by William Tyson, "Recent Rains have Increased Mosquito Populations,"  offers some suggestions for reducing mosquito breeding-grounds around our homes, reminding us all that mosquitoes will reproduce quite successfully in very small puddles that are less than an inch deep. He says,
"Look for and empty clogged gutters, leaf-filled drains, drain outlets from air-conditioners, plastic wading pools, dog dishes, soft drink cans, plastic bags, old tires, birdbaths and potted plant saucers. Even tire ruts, rotting stumps, old tree holes and puddles also need to be addressed. The goal is to eliminate as many sources of standing water as possible."
If water is in a place that can't be drained, or that needs to have water  in it (birdath, for example), he suggests using "Mosquito Dunks" to control the insects in their larval stage (when they are little "wigglers" in the water). The dunks are safe for use around birds and mammals, and they can last for several weeks before needing to be replaced.

Cutting back on their breeding grounds around your own home is usually only a partial solution, because the adult mosquitoes can fly in from other yards and will hang out on tall grass and in the shrubbery. Tyson suggests keeping the lawn mowed and shrubs trimmed to reduce the hiding places for these adult mosquitoes. He also offers a list of pesticides that are effective and safe to use around the home, and a detailed list of places to look for small puddles that might need to be drained. For the complete article, follow the link here.

UGA offers an additional publication on Stinging and Biting Pests that might be in or around the yard. The publication includes photos that can help in identification of the pests and information about eliminating them from your yard.