Keller: Mosquito Abatement
Mosquito control is everyone’s responsibility, and effective mosquito control starts with proactive measures at home. The most effective way to control mosquito populations is to find and eliminate their breeding sites.
Tips to prevent mosquito breeding on your property:
• Destroy or dispose of tin cans, old tires, buckets, unused plastic swimming pools or other containers that collect and hold water.
• Do not allow water to accumulate for more than two days at the base of flowerpots or in pet dishes.
• Clean debris from rain gutters and remove any standing water under or around structures, or on flat roofs.
• Check around faucets and air conditioner units and repair leaks.
• Change water in birdbaths and wading pools at least once a week.
• Stock ornamental pools with top feeding predacious Gambusia minnows. Known as “mosquito fish,” these minnows are about 1 to 1.5 inches in length and feed on mosquito larvae.
• Fill or drain puddles, ditches and swampy areas, and either remove, drain or fill tree holes and stumps with mortar.
• Eliminate seepage from cisterns, cesspools and septic tanks.
• Eliminate standing water around animal watering troughs.
• Irrigate lawns and gardens carefully to prevent water from standing for several days.
• Consider use of “mosquito dunks,” a biological treatment to be used in water sources that may foster the breeding of mosquitos. Dunks prevent larvae from hatching, and each dunk effectively treats up to 100 square feet of surface water for one month, regardless of depth.Tips to control adult mosquito populations on your property:• Cut down weeds adjacent to the house foundation and in yards, and mow the lawn regularly to eliminate the places adult mosquitos prefer to rest.
• Apply insecticides to the lower limbs of shade trees, shrubs and other vegetation, paying particular attention to shaded areas. Always read and follow label directions before using any pesticide.
• Keep windows, doors and porches tightly screened to keep mosquitos out.
• Eliminate mosquitos inside with a fly swatter or an aerosol spray.
• Citronella products have been reported to combat mosquitos in confined areas.Suggested Additional Resource:Mosquito Safari, an interactive backyard hunt for mosquitos courtesy of Texas A&M Agrilife Extension