How to Combat Mosquito Problems

The mosquitoes are bad lately, with all our standing water. Ponds with fish in them are not the problem as fish will eat the immature mosquitoes. It’s the small wet weather water holding areas and old dog bowls and even bottle caps in and around our yards that cause a lot of the problems. A good search of your property to empty all water holding stuff will help a lot, as the daytime biting mosquitoes don’t usually travel very far from their homes. The Bt insecticide, little donuts or granules are very effective in small wet weather ponds and even small water holding areas. They can be purchased at local stores. Spraying the bushes in your yard with an insecticide in a regular  pump up sprayer will help too; they hide during the day in these areas.

Here’s some good info from Elmer Gray, UGA Entomologist. “The small, hand held fogging devices are effective at killing mosquitoes. No matter how it’s done, adulticiding (killing the adult flying mosquitoes) will only provide temporary relief, as there are surely more mosquitoes to come.

It’s important that adulticiding be done at dawn or dusk and not during the heat of the day. Home owners can also make residual applications of Bifenthrin insecticide to the vegetation around their homes and bordering their yards. Applications can be made with a wide variety of sprayers, but special effort should be made to wet the underside of leaves. Mosquitoes will rest in the shade in the vegetation during the heat of the day, so treating these harborages has proven effective in some cases.

Localized areas of standing water that have mosquito larvae developing in them can be treated with a larvicide. There are many good choices, with the biological control agent, Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis (Bti) being very effective and safe. However, fish are very effective predators, so areas with extensive fish populations don’t usually produce extensive mosquito populations. Lastly residents should always use an EPA approved repellent when outside and exposed to significant mosquito populations. DEET is still the product of choice, being approved for children as young as 2 months. Adults should always apply the repellent to their hands and then rub the repellent onto any exposed skin of the child. For those not interested in using repellents, lose fitting, light color clothing is recommended.

Here’s a good UGA publication concerning mosquito control. http://www.ent.uga.edu/pubs/mosquitos.htm

The Georgia Mosquito Control Association (www.gamosquito.org) is an excellent resource, as is the American Mosquito Control Association site (www.mosquito.org) are two of the best sites for endless amounts of mosquito information.”