For those of us lucky enough to have had good Summer rains, for some it has come with the curse of increased mosquito numbers. However, there are a number of ways we can keep mosquito numbers down to prevent them annoying our BBQ or worse still finding their way inside to prevent a good night's sleep.
Although some species of mosquitoes can fly considerable distances, many species do not move far from their breeding sites. By eliminating breeding sites around the home, we can make a significant dent in the mosquito population. Mosquitoes tend to prefer still or slow moving water to lay their eggs, so here are the potential breeding sites around your home that you need to remedy…
- Pot plants: Empty any water from the saucers once a week
- Bromeliads: Empty any water collected in Bromeliad leaves once a week (only really practical if they are in pots)
- Puddles: Fill or level areas where puddles form.
- Ponds: Make sure you have enough fish in the any ponds to keep mosquito larvae in check (the common goldfish is pretty good!) and keep vegetation away from the edge of the water.
- Drains: Ensure drains are flowing freely and water is not pooling.
- Gutters: Ensure there is no pooling water and leaves built up in the gutter
- Rainwater tanks: Rainwater tanks need to have solid, close fitting lids on any access points and mosquito proof meshes on all inlets and overflows (mesh less than 1 mm). This prevents access by adult mosquitoes and also prevents eggs or larvae being washed in from pooled water in the gutter.
- Swimming Pools: Make sure swimming pool chlorine / salt levels are kept up and remove any leaves from the pool.
In conjunction with these preventative measures, targeting mosquito resting places with a long lasting residual spray can reduce mosquito numbers to very low levels. As adult mosquitoes like to rest in dark, sheltered areas, here are the top locations to target;
- Under the eaves
- Around any patio and decking (especially under the roof and under the deck)
- Underneath any outdoor furniture (and BBQ)
- In the garage and shed
- Under the house (if you have a sub-floor)
- On the underside of plants around the immediate house perimeter
Make sure the product you use are labelled for these situations, especially when applying to plants.
These preventative actions and treatments should keep the mosquito population in check so you can enjoy your next BBQ and well-fitting, fly screens will prevent any unwanted visitors inside.