Did you know, that mosquitoes belong to the same group as the true flies, Diptera, they have a single pair of wings and many of them have bodies covered in tiny scales?
Maybe you didn’t know that, but it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t know that they have long legs and a head featuring a proboscis used for sucking blood out of their food host.
Many people are familiar with the fact that mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. People know mosquitoes carry dangerous diseases. But did you know the mosquitoes don’t necessarily move those diseases with them, but they contract many of those diseases from their breeding ground of stagnant water.
Malaria and dengue are two dangerous diseases that can grow in stagnant water which is the breeding ground for mosquitoes, which transmit these diseases. Stagnant water can also be dangerous for drinking because it provides a better incubator than running water for many kinds of bacteria and parasites.
So there you have several reasons to eliminate standing water from around your home and outside. Containers should be emptied and turned up-side-down to prevent water from collecting. Bird baths and pet water bowls should be cleaned and water changed regularly to avoid water from growing bacteria and keep mosquitoes from breeding.
But what about reforming puddles which drain slowly after heavy rains? Local hardware stores carry insecticide briquettes that prevents the emergence of adult mosquitoes and is used in potential breeding habitats.
Some people recommend putting a film of cooking oil or mineral oil on the top of outside containers to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs. There is no real scientific research that this works or that the water is safe for animals to drink. Nor does a layer of oil prevent the growth of bacteria and other diseases.
It’s best to control these hazards by regular cleaning and refilling of water sources for animals to drink from. A continuous running water pump for fountains would also help keep mosquitoes and bacteria at bay.
You can’t stop mosquitoes from breeding completely but you can make your yard less hospitable for them.
Mosquitoes love to hide in vegetation lying in wait for a human or animal to walk by so they can make their move. Keeping grass low and bushes pruned will help reduce hiding places. Although with such heavy rain it’s a tall order keeping grass cut. You can help avoid stings by cutting grass during the middle of the day when mosquitoes are out the least.
Try following the shade by mowing the west side of your house in the morning hours and the east side during the afternoon. Wearing clothes that cover as much of your body will help keep bites down but hydration should be carefully monitored so you don’t overheat. Older folks should consider hiring help or calling in a few favors from the grand kids whenever possible.
So what about mosquitoes in the house. Yes occasionally one or two of those pests follow us into the home. Sometimes they get in through cracks in screens or just hitch a ride on our clothes. One way to reduce the risk of bringing mosquitoes in is to brush around feet and socks before entering the home. Mosquitoes often hitch a ride on our pets as well. So brushing them on the way in could help eliminate some.
Mosquitoes that have entered the home will generally hide in dark hidden places until evening when it is time to come out and feed. Check under sinks and in closets for these pests.
Of course there are range of pesticides that can help with mosquito control but we would rather leave that to the experts. When seeking out pesticides for any bug control it is best to consult a professional. Whether you call an exterminator or go to your local hardware store for advice be sure to mention all the pets you have living in your home. Some exotic pets can’t tolerate poisons designed for pest control.
Eliminating standing water is the most effective way to help keep mosquitoes at bay. We can’t stop the rain or the puddles. Mosquitoes can’t breed in moving water so maybe next time the rain stops, instead of complaining about the puddles, maybe it’s time to bring back the days of childhood and go out and splash around in them. When the neighbors look at you funny tell them it’s all about mosquito-control!