Friday, August 15, 2008

Summertime rain and pesky mosquitoes

By Cindy Peacock Pinellas County Extension Horticulturist

It is nice that we are getting so much rain. But, everyday rain can cause mosquito problems. When water collects around the house in containers like tires, gutters, and bird baths, you will experience an increase in mosquitoes in two to three days. There are about 70 species of mosquitoes in Florida. They breed in rain pools, floodwater, roadside puddles, and practically at 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. 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 and empty kiddy pools.
Stock ornamental ponds with fish, example: minnows, gold 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 your neighborhood will do these simple tasks around their homes, you will have less domestic mosquitoes in the area.

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