Treat Standing Water to Prevent an Increase in Mosquito Populations

Flooding from recent storms has left plenty of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, and mosquito populations are expected to climb.

Mosquito Dunks

Flooding from Hurricane Florence and other late-summer rainstorms has left plenty of standing water where mosquitoes can breed. According to Summit Responsible Solutions, these wet conditions are likely to contribute to an increase in mosquito populations—just as mosquitoes are testing positive for West Nile virus in many communities across the U.S.

“It’s important to reduce mosquito breeding sites and use safe and effective mosquito control methods to keep mosquito populations down,” said Jonathan Cohen, mosquito control expert and president of Summit Responsible Solutions. “The larger the population of adult mosquitoes, the more mosquitoes there are to spread deadly diseases such West Nile virus.”

Reduce mosquito breeding sites

According to Cohen, an important part of controlling mosquito-borne viruses is reducing places where mosquitoes can breed. Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, so health departments and homeowners alike need to be vigilant in eliminating places where water can collect and stand in streets, gutters, yards and gardens.

To reduce mosquito breeding grounds, dispose of cans, plastic containers, old tires and other items that can collect water. Turn over wheelbarrows and children’s wading pools. Clean clogged roof gutters, which can become prime mosquito-breeding pools. Periodically empty the saucers under ceramic pots to make sure they are not harboring mosquito larvae.

Use BTI to kill mosquito larvae

After female mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, the eggs hatch and the larvae feed in the water before becoming adult mosquitoes. One of the most effective ways to control mosquito populations is to prevent mosquito larvae from becoming flying, biting, disease-spreading adults.

Mother Nature’s natural mosquito control is a bacterium called BTI (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis) that kills mosquito larvae but is harmless to other living things. When mosquito larvae feed on BTI in the water, they quickly die. Even though BTI is deadly to mosquito larvae, it is harmless to people, plants, pets, fish, birds, wildlife and beneficial insects.

BTI is the active ingredient found in chemical-free Mosquito Dunks®. When a donut-shaped Mosquito Dunk® is placed in standing water, the BTI in the Dunk® will continually kill mosquito larvae for 30 days or more. Mosquito Dunks® can be used in ponds, bird baths, animal watering troughs, gutters, rain barrels, neglected swimming pools and anywhere water collects. One Mosquito Dunk® will treat up to 100 square feet of surface water.

In flood-prone areas, a Mosquito Dunk® can be staked or tied to remain in place. When flooding occurs, the Dunk® starts working right away. As flood waters recede, Mosquito Dunks® dry out and the BTI goes dormant until the next flood.

“The BTI in Mosquito Dunks® is deadly to mosquito larvae but harmless to other living things,” said Cohen. “Mosquito Dunks® are a natural and effective way to kill mosquito larvae. That’s why they are approved for use in organic production and can be used in fish habitats and animal watering troughs.”

Use Mosquito Dunks® with Mosquito Bits® for complete control

In areas that may be difficult to treat with Mosquito Dunks®, a BTI product called Mosquito Bits® can be used. The small Mosquito Bits® granules can be sprinkled into virtually any place where water can collect such as low spots in a yard, in tire tracks in turf or unpaved driveways, in plant saucers, on tarps on boats or woodpiles, under decks, in tree holes, and in tropical plants such as bromeliads that can hold small amounts of water. Mosquito Bits® can also be used to kill mosquito larvae in swampy areas and larger areas where water cannot be drained. 

In addition, Mosquito Bits® are highly effective as a “shock treatment” where immediate larval control is needed due to an extremely dense population of mosquito larvae. Mosquito Bits® release their active ingredient (BTI) quickly, which provides a fast kill of mosquito larvae. Mosquito Bits® need to be reapplied every 7 to 10 days or followed by treatment with Mosquito Dunks® for maximum mosquito larvae control.

“Once you’ve reduced mosquito breeding grounds in your backyard and used BTI as an eco-friendly and effective way to kill mosquito larvae, get your neighbors involved in mosquito control, too,” said Cohen. “Mosquitoes in one yard can easily travel into the yards of everyone on the block. It’s important for the entire neighborhood to take mosquito control seriously.”  

Mosquito Dunks® and Mosquito Bits® are available at garden centers, hardware stores, farm stores, home centers, mass merchants and online retailers including Summit Responsible Solutions.

Source: Summit Responsible Solutions


Categories: Gardens and Landscape

Tags: disease, health, Mosquito Bits, mosquito control, Mosquito Dunks, mosquitoes, Summit Chemical, Summit Responsible Solutions, West Nile virus


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