With all pests, prevention is much easier than establishing initial control, mosquitoes included. If your yard is littered with empty tires and bird baths holding water, you certainly be accustomed to mosquito bites. By focusing on eliminating the breeding source of mosquitoes on your property, you can definitely minimize the amount of mosquito control spray needed to enjoy the outdoors again.
Mosquito Bite Prevention
- People who are spending long amounts of time outdoors should consider wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts and closed-toe shoes to limit exposure to mosquitoes.
- Anyone traveling outside of the United States should be aware of travel advisories currently in effect. Pack plenty of insect repellent and protective clothing. If a person falls ill, seek prompt medical attention.
- Mosquitoes need only about a half an inch of water to breed, so homeowners should eliminate areas of standing water such as flowerpots, birdbaths, baby pools, grill covers and other objects where water collects.
- Even children’s toys like buckets and sandboxes can collect water and become a breeding ground for mosquitoes right in the backyard, so be sure to keep these objects water-free.
- Screen all windows and doors, and patch up even the smallest tear or hole on screens.
- If there are concerns about mosquito activity on the property, contact a licensed pest control company or the local mosquito abatement district.
Mosquito Control Spray
If you have areas of standing water surrounding your property that can’t be eliminated or treated, you will likely have to rely on some form of mosquito control spray. For our clients, we recommend a monthly application of micro-encapsulated insecticide and insect growth regulator be applied to potential mosquito harborage locations on the property.
Every month we rotate the products used to treat mosquito harborage areas to help prevent resistance. We also inspect for standing water and treat any found with mosquito bits (a biological larvicide that is safe for pets) to prevent the ability of mosquitoes to breed on your property.
Generally we do not recommend mosquito misting systems for two reasons. First, they provide a false sense that nothing more needs to be done to prevent mosquitoes since these systems do nothing to stop mosquito breeding in standing water on the property. Second, by applying the same active ingredient insecticide in the same areas multiple times a day, there is a strong possibility of resistance developing via natural selection.
If you are traveling in an area that is not regularly treated for mosquitoes, you likely will want to apply an insect repellent to your skin and/or clothing. We recommend insect repellents containing at least 20% DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon-eucalyptus. The main type of mosquito that carries Zika is a daytime biter, so taking preventive measures at all times of the day is crucial.
Indoor Mosquito Control
Ever notice when you walk into a supermarket that you are hit with a blast of air rushing out? That is actually done on purpose for insect control and the same can be done at your home.
If there are a large amout of flying insects on your property, they will be clustered around doors, especially at night when they are attracted to exterior and interior lighting. If you lower the AC enough, it will create positive air pressure and air will flow out of your home when a door or window is opened instead of in.
This rush of air is too much for insects like mosquitoes and gnats to overcome, so they will be prevented from getting into your home.
A cheaper method that works in a similar way is to use strategically placed fans pointed at doors to keep mosquitoes out when the doors are opened. Floor fans can also be put in place on your back patio to minimize the ability of mosquitoes to cluster near your back doors.