Mosquitoes are not only annoying, but they can be dangerous. Depending on where you live, mosquitoes in your area can harbor dangerous diseases such as West Nile virus and Lyme disease. However, they can be controlled. Any management program should take into consideration mosquitoes’ breeding habits in order to most successfully reduce populations.
Mosquito Life Cycle
Mosquitoes go through four stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. The adult mosquito, specifically the female, is the one that bites and carries diseases. Therefore, it is important to reduce breeding so fewer young mosquitoes grow into adults.
The key thing to keep in mind about when mosquitoes breed is that these insects need water to mate. All mosquitoes begin life in the water. In fact, the larva and pupa both continue living in the water. Once they become an adult, mosquitoes take to the air and go in search of food — and that could be you.
The other ingredient to breeding is a warm temperature. Some mosquitoes die in the fall and others hibernate over winter. Breeding takes place in warmer months, so this is the time to carry out your pest control program.
Reducing Mosquito Populations
The most important step to take in reducing mosquito populations is to eliminate potential breeding sites – sources of standing water. This means getting rid of old tires, buckets, birdbaths, lawn equipment, pet dishes and anything else that could hold water on your property. Clean the debris from your gutters and fill in ditches or areas of your yard where water tends to accumulate. By eliminating these sources of stagnant water, you will reduce the number of new mosquitoes on your property and lower the risk of becoming infected through a bite.
“Mosquito Management: Mosquito FAQs.” CT.gov Portal. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Aug. 2012. http://www.ct.gov/mosquito/cwp/view.asp?a=3486&q=415106 .
Potter, M. F., Lee Townsend, F. W. Knapp, and Entomologists. “Mosquitoes: Practical Advice for Homeowners | University of Kentucky Entomology.” Learning, Discovery, Service | in the College of Agriculture. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Aug. 2012. http://www.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef005.asp