Mosquito Problem? Prevention is the Best StrategyApril 27, 2013
If you enjoy outdoor activities, it is likely that you have a plan of action to repel uninvited guests such as mosquitoes. Maybe you light a few citronella candles to keep the pests at bay and you probably apply insect repellant to avoid getting bitten. Of course, methods such as bug zappers and other mosquito traps might lure and kill large quantities of bugs, but prevention is the best strategy to prevent a mosquito problem in the first place. If you find that you experience more than your fair share of these pesky insects, perhaps it is time to identify and eradicate their breeding sites around your home. Fortunately, you have some powerful mosquito control techniques available and most of them won’t cost you a cent.
Eradicate breeding sites to avoid a mosquito infestation
Start with a tour around your home and yard. Standing water is prime mosquito breeding habitat, so look for places where water collects and can’t evaporate. If you eradicate their breeding sites, you can prevent a mosquito infestation. Improperly installed or clogged gutters and downspouts are ideal situations for female mosquitoes to lay eggs. So are birdbaths, outdoor plant pot saucers, pet dishes and wading pools. Keep swimming pools and hot tubs clean and chlorinated. Remove leaf piles and lawn debris from your yard’s perimeter; the ground beneath can remain damp for days. Refuse containers, recycling bins and garbage dumpsters can be significant breeding sites, so be sure you have a look in yours after it rains.
Mosquito larvae only need about 48 hours to hatch, so you need to be alert. If you have a non-aerated pond or ornamental water feature in your garden, you need to be especially vigilant. Since ornamental fish, which would happily consume mosquito larvae, are illegal in Maine, another strategy is necessary. Larvicides can be used in ponds to prevent mosquito larvae from hatching, or aerate your pond with a pump. Always get professional advice when applying chemicals in or around water.
If you live near the woods or a lake, river or stream, you will not be able to entirely eliminate mosquito breeding habitat. To ensure that your home is a pest-free haven, check door and window screens to see that they fit tightly and are in good repair. Keep your lawn clipped short to create a barrier zone between your house and the woods and limit proximity of vegetation next to your home’s foundation to ensure good air circulation. When they’re not actively searching for their next evening meal, mosquitoes can rest during daylight hours on tall grass and leaves, waiting for a convenient blood meal to pass by.
Mosquito pest control takes more than merely using repellant
Unfortunately, mosquitoes are not just a nuisance. With just a one bite, they can transmit a serious and severely debilitating disease to an animal or human. New England sees increasing incidences of mosquito-borne diseases each year, such as West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis. Mosquito pest control is essential to avoid exposure for your family, pets and livestock. Globally, there are approximately 2,500 mosquito species. Maine is home to about 40 species and the varieties we have here are most typically active in the hours between dusk and dawn.
Mosquitoes detect body heat, exhaled carbon dioxide and are lured by the scent of perspiration and fragranced products such as shampoos and fabric softeners. If you must be outdoors after dark, wear long sleeves and long pants and apply a good insect repellant which contains DEET, (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide), a chemical known to repel mosquitoes, biting flies and ticks. Some people are sensitive to DEET, so test yourself and your family before applying a generous dose directly on the skin. If you’re sensitive to DEET, try one of the plant based, natural repellants on the market. The whole idea behind insect repellant is to mask your scent so they can’t identify you as a meal in the first place, along with the addition of substances known to repel mosquitoes.
Professional mosquito control is safe and effective
Be wary of products you see in the pesticide aisle of your garden center that promise to instantly rid your yard of insects. If you do choose to apply one of the many pesticides available for your lawn and shrubs, be absolutely certain to follow directions meticulously so you don’t inadvertently cause yourself, your family‚ or the environment‚ a worse problem. Don’t make the trade off of a mosquito free environment for one poisoned with chemicals. Call for professional mosquito control, which is available from Lucas Tree Experts. It is safe and effective because their team of pesticide applicators is trained and licensed by the state of Maine.
Does your mosquito problem call for a professional solution?
Your outdoor time can be kept pleasant and hazard-free with an effective mosquito control plan. If, after your best efforts, you still experience swarms of mosquitoes, get professional advice from the specialists at Lucas Tree Experts. They have experience with identifying breeding habitat and will offer an individualized solution to your mosquito problem. For more information about controlling your mosquito problem, talk with a Lucas Tree Expert today and find out how Lucas’ Residential Services can help you.