The news is full of stories about West Nile Virus and everyone should take precautions to prevent mosquito bites. That means personal protection with repellents, proper clothing, emptying containers with water, and staying inside at dawn and dusk. It does not mean blanketing landscapes with pesticides to try and kill adult mosquitoes.
Mosquito management should be left to Escambia County Mosquito Control and those who have special training in Public Health pest control. Before any pesticide application, mosquitoes must be identified and only trained personnel are able to accurately identify mosquito species. Decisions are then made about appropriate pesticide applications.
Pesticide applications made by homeoweners or applicators without knowledge of mosquitoes can lead to significant problems. One of those is resistance to chemicals and the other is possible damage to non target animals and the environment. Sprays by untrained people don’t accomplish mosquito control.
The best practices for homeowners is to follow the ” 5 ‘D’s of Mosquito Control:
- Dusk – avoid outdoor activity when mosquitoes are most actively feeding and flying.
- Dawn – avoid the outdoors when “the light is changing in the sky.”
- DEET– use personal repellents containing this effective, proven ingredient.
- Dress – cover exposed skin to block mosquitoes’ access to your bodies.
- Drain – dump standing water from pails, flowerpot saucers, old tires, toys and other artificial containers.