In light of several recent mosquito related stories in the news, it is important to discuss controlling mosquitoes around your home. If water collects in containers like empty pots, gutters, trash cans, and bird baths, in two to three days you may experience an increase in mosquitoes. There are about 70 species of mosquitoes in Florida. They breed in rain pools, floodwater, roadside puddles, and practically any temporary body of fresh water. Eggs are laid by female mosquitoes in dry areas and when it rains the eggs hatch into mosquito larva in the standing water. It only takes three days for the mosquito to become an adult. As little as a half-cup of water can breed enough mosquitoes to cause a problem. There are some helpful things you can do around your home before and after it rains to prevent mosquitoes from maturing:
- -Remove or empty small containers, examples: paint buckets, toy buckets, aluminum cans.
- -Cover or empty large containers, example: rain barrels, wheel barrels, kiddy pools.
- -Change outside pet water bowls regularly.
- -Flush bird baths every two days.
- -Empty or flush plant saucers and rooting plants in jars.
- -Cover or remove tires.
- -Clean out gutters.
- -Turn canoes and small boats over or cover them.
- -Chlorinate swimming pools.
- -Stock ornamental ponds with fish.
- -Flush water from bromeliads or treat them every 30 days with Bt mosquito granules.
- -Remove debris from ditches so the water can flow.
- -Fill in any low spots in your yard, if possible.
If everyone in our community would do these simple tasks around their homes, we would have fewer mosquitos in the area and a healthier place to live and work.