|Mosquito photo cdc.gov|
We have had a lot of rain over the past several weeks. While the rain is welcomed, the fallout can be an abundance of mosquitoes. The best time to manage mosquitoes is when they are in the larval stage. This stage, called wrigglers, lives in shallow water and feeds on microorganisms. They can be found in used tires, wheelbarrows, birdbaths, saucers under pots, ornamental pools and other places that hold standing water. Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Fight the Bite website recommends the following steps for reducing the mosquito population.
Mosquitoes lay eggs in still water, which hatch in 7 to 10 days. If standing water is eliminated weekly around the property, many mosquitoes will be kept from breeding in the first place. Here are some things you can do:
- Remove standing water in ponds, ditches, clogged rain gutters, flower pots, plant saucers, puddles, buckets, equipment and cans. Empty or flush out containers weekly to reduce or eliminate the larvae.
- Check for items that might hold water including wheelbarrows, leaky air conditioner hoses, pool covers, tarps, plastic garden sheeting, and trash.
- Change the water in birdbaths weekly.
- Use mosquitofish (mosquito-eating fish Gambusia can be released in ponds) or mosquito dunks to prevent mosquito larvae from growing in small areas of standing water.
- Avoid mosquitoes at dawn and dusk when the bugs are most active.
- Wear socks, long-sleeved shirts and long pants while outdoors.
- Apply insect repellent with DEET. Follow directions carefully.
For more information about complete mosquito management, check these fact sheets: