Mosquito Prevention Tips – What You Should Know and Do
The rainy season is underway. The UF/IFAS Palm Beach County Extension encourages you to reduce mosquito habitat around your home and protect yourself and family when exposed to mosquitoes. Daytime feeding mosquitoes that transmit the Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya viruses are “container” mosquitoes with the names of yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti) and the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus). These mosquitoes deposit eggs on the moist inner walls of anything holding water and the eggs hatch as water levels rises. The complete lifecycle from egg to adult in the summer takes about one week.
The best way to prevent these mosquitoes from breeding is to clean up around the home by removing containers that hold even small amounts of water. Conduct weekly yard inspections. Dump bird baths or replace with clear water every 3-4 days; remove water holding saucers under potted plants; remove, cover or recycle old tires; clean accumulated leaves in roof gutters so that they drain completely; modify yard objects so they don’t hold water; and keep water moving in all mechanized water features like small decorative ponds. Bromeliad plants that hold water in their center can also serve as egg laying area. So, flush water out, or maintain with Mosquito Dunks. Mosquito Dunks contain the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), available at most garden centers and hardware stores, and are very effective in controlling mosquito larvae; Mosquito dunks are not harmful to fish, waterfowl, pets or humans when used according to label instructions.
To protect yourself from mosquitoes, if possible wear long sleeves and pants, use effective repellents, check for effective window, porch and pool screening.
For University of Florida UF/IFAS informational website on mosquitoes: http://www.floridamosquito.info/
Pictured above: Avoid Plant Saucers with standing water to prevent breeding mosquitoes