Your Questions Answered
Q: Are mosquitoes anything more than a nuisance?
A: While mosquitoes are a well known outdoor pest during the summer months, many people don’t realize the health risks they’re taking every time they allow a mosquito to bite them or their children. Mosquitoes are known to carry at least three known diseases in the US, all of which can be fatal without serious and immediate medical attention. These diseases are Dengue Fever, West Nile Virus, and Malaria.
Q: What can I do on my own property to reduce the number of mosquitoes?
A: The most effective way to get rid of mosquitoes is to stop them from being able to breed. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in sources of standing water, so reducing the amount of standing water on your property can dramatically bring down the number of these dangerous pests. Make sure that any tires, buckets, or other objects that could collect water are emptied and stored somewhere under cover. Replace the water in your swimming pools or ponds on a regular basis.
If you have a pond, you can introduce irrigation, and add fish to the pond that are known insect egg eaters. Gambusia, green sunfish, bluegills, and minnows are all great choices.
Q: If I’ve taken preventative measures and continue to have high mosquito levels, what do I do?
A: You’re going to want to take additional measures to keep your family safe from mosquitoes, particularly when you’re inside. Put screens in all of your windows, and repair any holes in the screens as soon as they develop. Never leave doors or windows open, as mosquitoes will smell mammals inside your home and fly right in. Don’t spend time outside during dawn or dusk, when the mosquitoes are most active. When you do go outside, wear mosquito repellent and long sleeves if it isn’t too hot.
Q: Which states have the most mosquitoes?
A: Texas has the highest number of mosquito species, while Virginia has the least, however these numbers don’t tell you how many actual mosquitoes are present in each state. That’s a very challenging number to determine. In general, drier areas have fewer mosquito issues, and places that get more rain and have more standing water will attract more mosquitoes. Running water prevents them from being able to breed, so you’ll have many fewer mosquitoes if you live by a river than if you live by a pond.
Q: Is a backyard misting system the right mosquito control measure for my home?
A: Backyard misters periodically spray mosquito repellent chemicals into your backyard. While they’re cheap and low maintenance, these systems are ineffective and unhealthy. They broadcast chemicals in a general area, which can be harmful to you when you’re walking in your yard, or to your children as they play. Using a professional who can properly evaluate your pest control needs and apply pesticides only where they’re essential is the most effective and safe approach for controlling mosquitoes.