Mosquitoes Still Buzzing Around DC Homes and Lawns
We've been getting a lot of rainfall in our extensive service area lately. It has led to flooding up and down the east coast, and DC is no exception. The biggest concern with flooding is that it can lead to catastrophic property damage and a loss of human life, but there is a secondary threat that is sometimes overlooked; all that water helps mosquitoes reproduce faster, specifically, mosquitoes in the genus known as Aedes.
Two mosquitoes that are a particular threat in the United States are the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. This is because they are most responsible for the spread of harmful arboviruses like dengue fever, West Nile virus, chikungunya, yellow fever, Zika virus, and several forms of encephalitis. The last thing we need in DC are more of these mosquitoes buzzing around. Yet, it is unavoidable.
When flood waters recede, they leave behind stagnant water for mosquitoes to breed in. A single female mosquito can lay 100 eggs every third night after she has had a blood meal, and she will usually lay eggs three times before dying. So, an individual female can produce 300 more mosquitoes with one blood meal. All she needs is a suitable breeding site. That is why breeding-site control is key to mosquito reduction.
Here are a few ways you can control breeding sites on your property:
Remove any resource of standing water in your yard. Inspect exterior spigots and hoses for leaks. Clean leaves and other debris out of gutters. Loosen any compacted soil and create gradients for water to channel away from your foundation. Turn kiddie pools over when they're not being used. Empty containers. Poke a hole in a tire swing to allow drainage. And implement other, similar strategies to prevent still stagnant water.
- If you have ornamental ponds, make sure the water circulates and consider introducing fish to prevent the development of mosquitoes from egg to adult.
- Insert mosquito dunks in locations of standing water. This will introduce a natural bacterium into the water and arrest the development of mosquitoes, blackflies, and fungus gnats.
- If you have areas around your home that get extensive shade, consider trimming tree branches to allow the sunlight to dry things out.
The second piece to the puzzle of mosquito control is targeted treatments. These are best performed by a pest-control professional. A professional will:
- Do a thorough inspection of your yard and guide you in addressing mosquito breeding sites.
- Apply a mosquito spray treatment to mosquito resting sites. This acts as a repellent for mosquitoes but is also able to eliminate mosquitoes that are determined to rest in your landscaping.
- Treat mosquito breeding areas with a biological mosquito larvicide that stops developing mosquitoes in their tracks.
When routine mosquito control is applied by a certified pest professional, something pretty amazing happens; not only does it work to stop mosquitoes from reproducing in your yard, it will reduce mosquitoes in your neighbor's yard as well.
You might not think that you have all that much control over what your neighbor does about mosquitoes, and you would be right. But what you are able to do is prevent mosquitoes that come into your yard from returning to your neighbor's yard to reproduce in the breedings sites your neighbor hasn't addressed.
When mosquitoes hide from the midday sun--and they will--they will be exposed to the residual left in your landscaping by your pest control professional, during your scheduled visit. This residual isn't strong enough to harm your children, your pets, or wildlife that come into your yard. It is only strong enough to eliminate bugs.
An additional benefit to mosquito control is the control of ticks. Ticks and mosquitoes share common hiding spots and the misting treatment used to knock down mosquitoes works to eliminate ticks as well.
It's Not Too Late
If you've considered investing in mosquito control, it isn't too late. As long as the temperatures in DC stay above 50 degrees, mosquito eggs can continue to hatch, and those mosquitoes can continue to plague us. As we continue to experience higher-than-expected rainfall, mosquito populations are going to continue to increase at a frustrating rate.
Find out more about mosquito control in our service area of D.C., MD, and VA by going to our mosquito control page or take the next step and request a free estimate. We look forward to helping you protect your property from irritating and harmful mosquitoes and ticks.
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