Mosquitoes are much more than annoying and itch-inducing pests that make picnics, camp fires and other outdoor activities uncomfortable. They can carry diseases that are harmful to children, adults, pets and livestock. Just a few diseases that can be contracted through a mosquito bite include yellow fever, encephalitis, malaria and the Zika virus. There are more than 3,000 species of mosquitoes worldwide, and there are more than 80 different species of mosquito living in the Houston, Texas area. While mosquitoes are generally thought of as a dusk or evening nuisance, there are several types that are active during the daylight hours. Here are a few common breeding grounds for mosquitos and what to do to help avoid infestation.
Start With Standing Water
Mosquitoes need just a small amount of water to lay thousands of eggs. If you have any discarded tires on your property, remove them. If you have tire swings or playground equipment made out of tires, drill a hole in them so that the water drains out. Any containers should be turned over. Likewise, wading pools and wheelbarrows should be flipped over whenever they are not in use.
Rethink Your Birdbaths
While you may love having an ornamental birdbath, it can attract mosquitoes. You should change the water in your birdbath and clean it at least once a week. Changing the water will help to remove any mosquito eggs or larvae that may have built up over the week.
Examine Your Yard
Mosquitoes love to sleep and hide in dense brush, so remove any weeds or dense brush in your yard. Low depression areas and holes should be filled in so that they do not collect water. Likewise, you should regularly throw away any decaying items like leaves or fallen apples. If you are using a compost pile, make sure that it is turned over regularly.
Maintain Your Swimming Pool
If you maintain your swimming pool with chlorine and a filter system, it is a very poor site for mosquitoes to breed. Most pools are too deep and have too much chlorine for mosquitoes to use. If you do not clean and maintain your pool, it can become a breeding area. Whenever the pool is not used for an extended amount of time, drain it or leave a pool cover over it.
Be Especially Cautious During Warm Weather
Mosquitoes do not like cold weather, and most species die out or hibernate in the winter. Once the temperature warms up, mosquitoes will come out to feed. While many species bite primarily in the evening and early morning hours, the mosquito known for causing the Zika virus is aggressive during the daytime. Because of this, it is important to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to prevent mosquito bites.
While removing standing water and preventing debris can prevent mosquitoes from breeding, it is not always enough. If you have developed a mosquito infestation in your yard, you need professional help. Contact Mosquitonix Houston for all of your mosquito control needs.