This year the State of Washington plans to take no chances when it comes to getting the jump on a potentially deadly disease known as the West Nile Virus, a disease that made 38 people ill last year in the state… and one of those made sick by West Nile lost their life.
Testing began June 1st, 2010 in Washington and thus far no cases of West Nile have surfaced, but officials indicate that due diligence when it comes to eliminating potential mosquito larvae habitat in the State will definitely help keep the number of biting mosquitoes lower, and thus lowering the risk of a person getting bit by an infected mosquito. ( source )
What does this have to do with water quality?!?!?
So glad you asked. Female mosquitoes require a body of stagnant, untreated water in which to deposit their eggs. In that water mosquito larvae will hatch from the eggs in a matter days, and sometimes in less time, depending on the type of mosquito. Those larvae will then become full-grown bloodsuckers… and they will have a heck of an appetite!
- Therefore, all you pool, pond, birdbath, and fountain owners need to make sure your water features stay properly treated and never sit stagnant long enough for mosquitoes to use as insect delivery rooms.
- If you’ve got buckets, pails, old car parts, tires, flipped over lawn furniture, or other yard stuff/junk that can collect water when it rains… knock the water out of as many as possible after each rainstorm. Otherwise each body of water, no matter how small, could serve as a mosquito breeding ground.
- Keep old wells or any other ‘holes’ that could collect water drained and/or covered — or risk creating the perfect mosquito maternity ward.
- Keep all gutters and drainpipes free of obstructions so water flows freely from your roof, into the gutters, down the drainpipes, and onto the ground where it (hopefully) gets absorbed quickly.
While not a complete list of ways to keep those pesky mosquitoes under control, following that advice ought to help reduce the number of mosquito larvae in your immediate area… and if nothing else, that’s a great start.
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.
Moral of the story?
Stagnant water in your yard could lead to having more mosquitoes in your immediate area and it only takes ONE mosquito carrying West Nile to ‘bite’ a human… and make that person very ill.
( Fewer Mosquitoes Overall ) = ( Fewer Infected Mosquitoes )