Reducing breeding sites through elimination of standing water around the home is the best way to control the mosquito population. Examples of common things that hold water are children's toys, tarps, tires, clogged gutters, buckets, and non-function decorative ponds. However, there are times that these efforts are not enough and there is need to "knock down" the adult population. This is accomplished with fogging.
Fogging is accomplished with a fogging machine that is driven slowly on the streets at night to release a cloud of dilute mild insecticide, usually permethrin. Fogging will not work during the day as the cloud will dissipate. Because of atmosphere temperature inversion at night, the fog will remain fairly close to the ground long enough to kill flying insects and most mosquitos are more active at night. The dilute fog will not harm people nor will it remain on plants and objects.
We all know the annoying buzz of a mosquito in our ears when we’re trying to enjoy a lovely day outside. But what happens when these blood-sucking insects invade the home? The risk to your family suddenly jumps: loved ones are in close proximity to disease-transmitting pests.
Dealing with mosquitoes involves both removing their habitat sites and preventing exposure. Avoid mosquito bites, West Nile Virus and equine encephalitis in your home by following these steps:
- Eliminate sites of standing water in/around old tires, plastic coverings, toys or other types of containers
- Empty and change the water in bird baths, fountains, wading pools, rain barrels and potted plant trays at least once a week if not more often
- Keep swimming pools treated and circulating and rain gutters unclogged
- Make sure window and door screens are "bug tight"
- Use EPA-registered mosquito repellents when necessary and follow label directions/precautions closely.
- Use head nets, long sleeves and long pants if you venture into areas with high mosquito populations, such as salt marshes.
- If there is a mosquito-borne disease warning in effect, stay inside during the evening when mosquitoes are active.
- Replace your outdoor lights with yellow "bug" lights which tend to attract less mosquitoes than ordinary lights (note: this does not repel mosquitoes)
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has more to say on the issue of mosquito control. Further facts and suggestions for keeping you and your family safe can be found on the EPA webpage.