Mosquitos not only irritate and annoy people, but they also can transmit many disease-causing organisms to humans and animals. They spread such diseases as encephalitis, West Nile virus, malaria and yellow fever. Mosquitoes are also responsible for transmitting heartworm in dogs. Will all of the recent rainfall that we have been receiving mosquitos are out with a vengeance throughout Central Texas from Waco to Austin to San Marcos and all points in between?
There are many ways that you can reduce mosquito populations around your home and workplace. By following a few simple steps you can at least reduce the number of mosquitos and sometimes eliminate them from your living environment. The first step is to perform a careful inspection of the property and sometimes the neighboring properties. You will want to look for any standing water or potential for future standing water. Think about clogged gutters, children’s toys, yard tools, lawn decorations, wheelbarrows, etc. Make sure that the grass is kept trimmed. Birdbaths must be kept clean and fresh. Remember any water that is allowed to stand this time of year will become a breeding site for mosquitos. Watch the drainage for your property the next time it rains to see if water pools in any specific area. Some mosquito’s eggs and larvae can lay dormant even after the water had dried up in areas like this and wait for the next rain to allow them to emerge.
Check your window screens for holes and tears and check for gaps around the edges. Inspect door seals and keep exterior doors closed. This is especially true on shady sides of the structure. Mosquitos tend to spend most of the day at rest. They love to take advantage of shady walls and the vegetation on the shady side of the structure. The structure gives them relief from both the hot summer sun as well as provides a wind block.
Reduce Adult Mosquito Populations
- Mow tall grass or reduce the amount of brush and other foliage in your area to reduce the resting sites for adult mosquitoes.
- Clear clogged gutters and downspouts.
- Repair or replace damaged window screens.
- For temporary relief in yards or high traffic areas, use fog treatments or surface treatments of insecticides that are labeled for that use and apply them following directions on the product label.
In Travis County, there was a total of 153 human WNV cases and six deaths reported from Jan. 1 to Dec. 18, 2012. SOURCE (CDC)
Mosquitos Fun Facts
- An adult female mosquito weighs only about 1/15,000 ounce
- The female mosquito consumes about 5-millionths of a liter in a single blood meal.
- A mosquito wing beats from 300 to 600 times per second
- Male mosquitoes find female mosquitoes by listening to the sound of their wings.
- A mosquito can smell the carbon dioxide you exhale from about 60 to 75 feet away.