A few days ago we talked about keeping swimming pools properly maintained so that mosquitoes would not decide to turn it into a hatchery for their young. Today we want to talk about water quality in places many people don’t ever think about… because mosquito hatching time has arrived, folks, and even the smallest bodies of stagnant water serve as ideal hatching grounds for the little blood suckers!
Don’t believe us? Take a look at these excerpts from an article posted in the Galveston Daily News on May 21st, 2010:
Get ready for mosquito season — the little critters are about to descend on the unwary living near the county’s beaches and southern bayside areas.
Nurtured by high tides at the beginning of the month that were reinforced by last Friday’s heavy rains, the insects’ larvae are about to hatch for the first serious swarm of salt marsh mosquitoes this year.
Fortunately for humans, salt marsh mosquitoes do not carry the West Nile virus or St. Louis encephalitis, but their bloodsucking still can be a major source of discomfort. ( source )
For all of you thinking, “So what? A Few mosquitoes buzzing around won’t make anyone TOO miserable, right?”
John Marshall, the director of Galveston County’s mosquito control program begs to differ:
He said that expression describes official estimates of the average number of insects landing on the lower half of human bodies in any one minute during the swarm.
“Most people in the affected areas will have six or seven mosquitoes per minute landing between their belt buckle and their ankle from this evening through Monday evening,” he said.
“But some could experience about 15 and, at the upper limit, the number could reach 25.” ( source )
Did you read that? Between 6 and 25 hungry little mosquitoes landing on a person’s leg in a minute’s time. Yuck!
What Does Water Quality Have to Do With Mosquito Control?
Simple: If you have no stagnant water around, the mosquitoes have to find someplace else to lay their eggs. Also, since mosquitoes like to hide out during the day, preferably near water, it reduces the number of mosquito hideouts on your property.
- Get that pool open promptly, or at at the very least make sure it has some sanitizer in it so the mosquitoes will want to hang out and hatch their young’uns elsewhere.
- Go around your yard and make sure no unused pots, water buckets, old tires, children’s play things, etc. have water sitting inside them. even the smallest amount of stagnant water makes for an oasis for mosquitoes.
- Keep grass in the yard trimmed neatly so mosquitoes have one less place to hang out during the day.
As far as avoiding the blood thirsty heathens after they have already hatched, well, experts suggest staying indoors about an hour or so before sundown. For folks who need to venture out at that time, experts suggest wearing long sleeve shirts, wearing long pants, and using a good quality insect repellent on all exposed areas of skin.
What About Mosquito Traps and Mosquito Netting?
Both excellent ideas for outdoor activities in areas where mosquitoes like to hang out. As humans we can spray areas suspected of harboring mosquitoes all we want, but we will never get rid of them all and devices like the SkeeterVac, which users set up away from their outdoor gatherings, and Mosquito Netting, which users drape over their backyard umbrellas to create a ‘safe zone’, make it possible to enjoy the great outdoors anyways.