Posted March 24, 2017 | 11:18 AM
Six Tips to Stem the Spring Mosquito Invasion
Help reduce mosquito populations in your neighborhood
The easiest way to prevent mosquito bites is to stop them from breeding in the first place. Mosquito larvae need water to grow, so the most effective method to keep them from reproducing is to deprive them of water.
Of the more than 40 species of mosquitoes that live in Hillsborough County, the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) and the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) have become significant pests because they closely associate with humans. In addition to being active at dusk and dawn, they typically fly and feed in the daytime. These mosquitoes can spread dengue fever, chikungunya, Zika, yellow fever viruses, and other illnesses.
The Asian tiger and yellow fever mosquitoes breed only in containers of water, not in puddles, ponds, or ditches, and the best way to control them is by eliminating their breeding places.
Reduce mosquito breeding with these simple steps:
- Drain water from garbage cans, gutters, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots, or any other containers where water has collected.
- Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances, and other items that aren't being used.
- Empty and clean birdbaths and pet bowls.
- Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps so they don't accumulate water.
- Maintain the water balance (pool chemistry) of swimming pools. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.
- Repair leaky pipes, outdoor faucets, and faulty septic systems. Don't let runoff water from air conditioners collect in shady areas.
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Common Backyard Mosquito Sources image as courtesy of the Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District.