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Coastal 101 | Home & Garden

Controlling Mosquitos Before They Control You

June 2, 2017

We’ve all been bitten by a mosquito. It’s an unpleasant experience that causes an itchy red bump formed from the mosquito’s saliva. Beyond the irritation, mosquitos can spread some nasty viruses including West Nile, dengue, malaria, and Zika. Worse yet, mosquitos can affect the health of dogs and horses too, spreading eastern equine encephalitis and West Nile virus in horses, as well as heart worms in dogs.

Some Northwest cities and communities do spray for mosquitos on a regular basis, but those measures can only do so much. Eliminating those blood-sucker’s habitats are a good way to control their populations in your vicinity.

Where to Find Mosquito Eggs

Mosquitoes have four life cycles: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. Curbing swarms of those bugs starts with the eggs. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water. That doesn’t mean you need to live near a lake or marsh to have a swarm invading your space. Mosquitoes can lay eggs in tree holes, rain gutters, bird baths, buckets, toys, plant trays, tarps, inside old tires, and even in bottles and bottle caps.

Controlling Their Numbers

When you remove their habitat, you discourage those buzzing vultures from laying their eggs. But no matter how many possible breeding grounds you remove, they’ll always find another. Especially if you have livestock and a few acres of land. When they do, a liquid larvicide can help. Larvicides come in tablets, pellets, and granules. Just apply directly to the water you want to treat, paying close attention to any warnings for pets, livestock, and people.

Other control methods include bacterial insecticides that affect larva. Many bacterial insecticides are approved by the EPA for use by consumers as well as for commercial and agricultural applications.

Controlling Their Growth

Before larva grow into adults, an insect growth inhibitor can be used. While there are options on the market, many have shown signs of harming livestock, pets, and people. Some experts propose the use of mineral oils and monomolecular films in water to drown larva and pupa instead.

Controlling Adult Mosquitoes

Once those bloodsuckers are in the air, your best offense is a good defense.

  • Avoid peak mosquito feeding times at dusk and dawn and when the wind has died down.
  • Avoid alcohol and spicy foods that can ramp up the carbon dioxide in your breath. Mosquitoes are attracted        to carbon dioxide. The more you give off, the more they will attack you.
  • Wear tight weave clothing such as athletic apparel. The bugs will have a hard time getting through the fabric.
  • Wear light colored clothing. Research has shown that mosquitoes see dark colors much easier.
  • Use a repellant. Sure, DEET has a bad rap but it works. Always use repellant sparingly.
  • Put up barriers such as mosquito nets. If you’re inside your home, be sure there are no holes in your                      window screens or screen door.

Fight Your Mosquito Invasion at Coastal

You’ll find sprays, larvicide, coils, and other mosquito eliminating options at your nearby Coastal Farm & Ranch. While you’re at the store, check out our full line of camping gear, including tents with built-in mosquito nets, and citronella candles to place around your yard and campsite.

Coastal Extra: Mosquito Factoids

  • Mosquitoes have been on Earth for at least 400 million years.
  • A single mosquito weighs just 2.5 milligrams.
  • Mosquitoes locate a host by detecting movement, infra-red radiation, carbon dioxide (exhale), and lactic acid.
  • A mosquito can fly 1.5 miles per hour and migrate up to 40 miles to find a host.
  • Studies show that darker clothing attracts mosquitoes more than lighter colored clothing.