NewsFlorida News


The Do-It-Yourself Mosquito Prevention Essentials

Mosquito Prevention
Posted at 1:20 AM, Jul 29, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-30 20:54:32-04

  Recently the Florida Department of Health warned Florida residents of 24 dengue fever confirmed cases and 18 chikungunya confirmed cases.

  To avoid the spread of these two mosquito-borne diseases, the department is encouraging homeowners to take simple measures to implement a mosquito control plan that eliminates standing water, where mosquitoes can go from egg to adult in as quickly as four days.

  Getting rid of any standing water can prevent hundreds of mosquitoes from infesting a radius of up to 7-mile that mosquitoes are known to fly for their blood meal.

  They only need a tablespoon of standing water can become a breeding ground more than 300 eggs per mosquito.

  In a course offered to mosquito control pest management professionals, advice presented included drilling holes in the bottom of garbage cans and lawn debris containers so any water collected can easily drain out.

  Other suspect places included old tires, tarps covering firewood or boats, wheelbarrows, drain dishes under potted plants, or empty bottles and cans.

  One of the often overlooked breeding grounds are rain gutters.

  They collect leaves, clog up the system and become perfect breeding grounds.

  Gutters should be regularly cleaned or screens added on top that would prevent them from clogging.

  Screening can also be used to cover rain barrels or water tanks.

  You should also consider spaces under the house where standing water might collect.

  Another interesting way to control the spread of the mosquitos is to re-use old coffee grounds.

  São Paulo State University Biologist Alessandra Laranja found placing used coffee grounds inside bromeliads, in drip plates or on the dirt in potted plants can keep mosquitoes from breeding in these places.

  The grounds reportedly intoxicate and kill the larvae.

  Around the house even children's wading pools, ornamental bird baths and dog bowls left unattended for a few days can be home to mother mosquito's 100-300 hatchlings.

  Make sure they are dumped and refilled frequently.

  Aside from man-made features, the natural landscape mosquito attractors include holes in tree stumps, cracks in the driveway and foot prints made by people or animals.

  Those can be filled with gravel, sand or dirt to be level.Additionally, consider changing the color light bulbs used outdoors.

  White lights attract more mosquitoes than yellow bulbs.