Paul Bello: Mosquitoes can be a real pain in the neck these days, so you want to do everything you can to keep them away from your outdoor activities. Hi! I am Paul Bello, Consulting Entomologist, and today, I am here to talk to you about mosquito prevention.
Mosquitoes need water to breed. Only female mosquitoes bite and feed on blood. They can lay hundreds of eggs which will produce lots of biting adult females. They need blood in order to produce viable eggs. Female mosquitoes lay eggs on, in or near water where the larva hatch out and develop.
And since they need water to breed, one of the most effective prevention methodologies is to reduce or eliminate breeding sites. Female mosquitoes are adapted to finding small pockets of standing water in which to lay their eggs, and believe it or not hundreds to thousands of mosquito larva can be produced from small accumulations of standing water.
Here we have an example of a mosquito breeding area that's only five days old, and as you can see they are quite a lot of them here already. This shows us that we really want to reduce or eliminate any standing water that we can. Tires, buckets, cans, bottles, clogged gutters; anything that can hold water should be removed or remedied as needed.
In addition to removing standing water, also be sure that doors and windows are closed to keep mosquitoes out. Make sure that window screens are in good repair and fit properly.
As adults mosquitoes are not strong fliers. A breeze of about three to five miles an hour will prevent them from being able to fly effectively. So when possible, consider having a fan circulating air around you in your outdoor activity. When outdoors in mosquito areas, use recommended repellants and wear long pants and sleeves and light colored clothing. Mosquitoes use heat to help them find you. So when wearing light colored clothing you are reflecting the heat away from your body.
Adult mosquitoes need shaded areas where they can rest to keep them out of the sun. So it's a good idea to stay away from these areas and trim excess of foliage as possible to avoid providing mosquitoes with suitable resting areas.
If mosquitoes are a problem and a concern for you, call your local pest professional and take your yard back.