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Managing mosquitos this summer
Last Updated: 7/1/2016
The mosquito is an insect that can ruin a meal on the patio or make an evening walk unbearable or even dangerous. This bug is probably the most dangerous insect on the planet. It transmits disease, breeds rapidly in very little water, lives in many different climates around the world, and is enemy number one for many countries that are trying to control serious diseases.
Although mosquitoes are mostly an annoyance to us in California because very few people get seriously sick from mosquito bites, we still have some dangerous diseases that can be transmitted by mosquitoes.
How to reduce the exposure of mosquitos
- Eliminate breeding sites by fixing leaky faucets, treating or draining standing water in plant containers, old tires, pools, ponds, wading pools, watering troughs and cleaning roof gutters
- Circulate water in fountains and ponds regularly to prevent stagnation. Any vessel that contains as little as ¼ inch of standing water can be a place for a female mosquito to lay her eggs and allow the larvae to turn into adult mosquitoes. It only takes about seven days in warm weather to complete the life cycle.
- Exclude insects and reduce exposure by fixing window and patio screens
- Wear long sleeves and long pants if mosquitoes are present, especially in the morning and evening
- Use insect repellants
Safe chemical treatments around your home
Use only less toxic pesticide treatments and materials to avoid harming the wildlife that helps us naturally control mosquitoes. Remember that birds, bats, fish, frogs and other aquatic life feed on mosquitoes and mosquito larvae and probably do more to control the mosquito population than all chemical treatments combined.
- Place mosquito dunks and mosquito bits safely in water fountains, ponds, troughs (this will not harm fish, animals or wildlife)
- Add Pre-Strike (insect growth regulator) in standing water
For additional information about managing mosquitoes, visit the University of California Integrated Pest Management website or to report a mosquito infestation, visit Placer County Mosquito & Vector Control District.