Simple steps can help control mosquitoes

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Mosquitoes can cause more harm to humans than any other group of insects.

They not only inflict a painful bite, but they can transmit organisms which cause diseases such as West Nile virus, eastern equine encephalitis virus or triple E and Zika virus for US citizens who have traveled to Central or South America or the Caribbean.

Mosquitoes are a midge-like fly with tube-like mouth parts used to pierce a hosts’ skin to consume blood. Mosquito saliva often causes an irritating rash.

However, the real danger posed by mosquitoes is the transmission of diseases such as Zika. It is important to take some precautions to insure you are controlling mosquitoes and not attracting them to your yard.

Life cycle

All mosquitoes need water to complete their life cycle which is four stages: Egg, larva, pupa, and adult.

Eggs are laid on or around water, including wet soil or leaf litter in wet areas. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as a half inch of standing water. It only takes about 10 days for mosquitoes to breed.

Control in the yard

Since mosquitoes breed in standing water, removing standing water around your home will help reduce the number of new mosquitoes.

Check your gutters and remove any debris and leaves to insure they drain properly.

Twice a week, check and remove water that may be standing in trash and recycling cans, flowerpot saucers, children’s, and pet’s toys, wading pools, tires, tarps, and/or plastic sheeting.

Clean and add fresh water every three days to bird baths, pet dishes and pollinator water dishes.

Corrugated drainpipe attached to downspouts hold water and are a prime breeding spot. Use a smooth drainpipe or cover the open end of a corrugated drainpipe with material such as a piece of pantyhose secured with a rubber band.

Be kind to wildlife

Fish, spiders, beneficial insects, bats, and birds all feed on mosquitoes and provide some natural control.

More suggestions

Controlling mosquitoes involves killing larvae as well as adult mosquitoes. Larvicides are available to treat ornamental water gardens or bird baths. These products target the larvae before they can become biting adults. They are safe for birds and aquatic life.

There are insecticides available to treat lawn and garden; however, be sure to read the label in its entirety before you use them.

Mosquitoes cannot bite through clothing; you can reduce the chance of getting bit by wearing long pants and long sleeves. When outdoors, consider using a mosquito repellent product to protect you from biting adults. Use insect repellents properly, especially on children. Be sure to read all product labels and directions before use. Even though mosquitoes can be active day and night, their activity peaks during the twilight hours; try to avoid major activities outdoors at peak mosquito times.

Due to the way mosquitoes can breed as well as their ability to fly long distances, mosquito control at the individual level can be difficult. It is never a “one-and-done” approach. However, taking some precautions around your property such as removing breeding spots can go a long way to keeping populations down.

For more information on how to keep safe this mosquito season, visit the New York State Dept. of Health website: https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2731

Upcoming event

Join us on the grounds at CCE July 22 at 4:30 p.m. for the Free Hugs Project under the big tent.

Hear uplifting stories from local people and our guest speaker, Ken E. Nwadike, Jr., “The Hugs Guy.” 

To view his video and to register for this event go online to: http://cceoneida.com/events/2021/07/22/-free-hugs-project-live-event-july-22nd

For more information visit our website cceoneida.comor phone 315-736-3394, Ext 100. Be sure to like us on Facebook (and check out our YouTube channel) for great garden sessions. Just click the Youtube Icon at the bottom of our webpage.

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