Question: How can I manage mosquitoes around my landscape?
Answer: As temperatures increase along with outdoor activities, so does the annoyance of mosquitoes. They have the potential to transmit disease organisms to humans and animals.
Typically mosquitoes are active at night. Mosquitoes breed in open water sources because they require water to complete their life cycle. They lay eggs in areas where water will collect. People often create the breeding sites for mosquitoes without even realizing it. Man-made objects such as birdbaths, boats, canoes, discarded tires, and many others that hold water is a perfect breeding site for mosquitoes. Below is a list of problems that, if corrected, can help reduce mosquito populations.
• Empty or (preferably) discard containers, old tires, etc. that can hold stagnating water.
• If you use barrels/containers to collect rainwater for watering gardens, cover them with screening to keep out mosquitoes. Keep the screens clear of debris.
• Treat decorative ponds/pools with products containing the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis.
• Dump excess water from saucers under outdoor flower pots.
• Flush the water out of birdbaths at least twice a week.
• Store boats, canoes and other objects so that they do not collect rainwater. Remove water that collects in depressions in tarpaulins covering boats and other equipment or objects.
• Cover or drain unused swimming pools.
• Keep rain gutters free of leaves and other debris that prevent water from draining.
• Correct drainage problems in your yard that allow rainwater to pool in low lying areas.
• Fill tree holes to keep them from being used as breeding sites by mosquitoes.
• Remove debris (or report drainage problems) in ditches and culverts along private or public roadways.
Protecting yourself from mosquitoes can be quite challenging. Insect repellents are one way of providing protection. Citronella oil products such as candles and tiki torches can be used around decks and patios. They tend to work better when there is very little or no air movement. Non-chemical control measures involve wildlife that has an appetite for mosquitoes such as bats and birds. For more information about managing mosquitoes in your yard, please visit the following website. http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/Urban/mosquito.htm
Reminder: A growing program this year is the “Sampson County Friends of Horticulture”. This program offers monthly “How To” Horticultural Seminars. Please call (910) 592-7161 for more information. Please call the Sampson County Cooperative Extension Center at (910) 592-7161 with your horticultural questions and to register for any upcoming events. Be sure to check out the Ask An Expert Widget at sampson.ces.ncsu.edu for any questions you may have.