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Mosquitos: An Earth-Wise Guide

MOSQUITO engorged with blood

Description

Adult mosquitos are small, long- legged flies; they have two wings with scales and long segmented antenae. Mosquitos have long piercing/sucking mouthparts; they lay their eggs in still water

Problem

Mosquitos can carry West Nile Virus and trasmit the disease to humans and animals. Infected humans may develop severe symptoms such as high fever, headaches, coma and paralysis

Infestation

Found in Texas year round, but become more prevalent in the spring and summer; more active between dusk and dawn

Least Toxic Solutions…

  • Reduce Mosquitos

  • Eliminate breeding sites by reducing standing water (includes old tires, bottles, buckets, and clogged gutters)

  • Replace water at least once a week in pet dishes, bird baths and watering troughs

  • Repair leaky outside faucets and pipes

  •  Consider mowing or pruning dense vegetation to reduce mosquito habitat

  • Keep window and door screens in good repair

  • Fill in tree holes with sand and low spots in lawn with soil

  • Stock permanent water areas with mosquito-feeding fish (Gambusia affinis can be bought in pet stores and bait shops)

  • Carefully screen rainwater harvesting cisterns to exclude mosquitos

  • Consider installing nesting boxes to attract bats and birds that feed on mosquitos

Prevent Bites

  • Avoid being outside at the peak mosquito hours of dusk and dawn

  • Wear light colored, loose fitting clothing when outside; mosquito repellent clothing is also available

Least Toxic Products…

  • Use Bacillus thuringiensis israeliensis“mosquito dunks” to reduce mosquitos in rain barrels and permanent bodies of water. These products slowly release a biological larvicide that kills the pest

  • Light citronella candles to provide short-term relief on areas such as patios

  • Use mosquito repellents when outside. Apply to clothing and exposed skin according to label instructions. Once indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water

  • Use topical, spot treatments for pets to help repel mosquitos and use in conjunction with heartworm medication because heartworms are transmitted by mosquitos

  • Avoid mosquito foggers, misters and electric zappers – they kill beneficial insects as well as pests

Use the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations for application when using products with DEET on children.

If you must use a pesticide…

  • Use the least toxic pesticide first

  • Read and follow label directions

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Source:
http://www.austintexas.gov/sites/default/files/files/Watershed/growgreen/mosquitos.pdf
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Content and copyright permission generously granted by:
Austin Grow Green: www.growgreen.org, who works in close association with:
Texas AgriLife Extension Service:  http://agrilifeextension.tamu.edu                
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This post was written by Marjory

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