Mosquitoes bite

first_imgAgnique has an active ingredient that forms a film onthe water surface, smothering mosquito larvae. You can buy itfrom Adapco by calling 1-800-367-0659.Altosid 30-Day Briquets (on-line) and ZodiacPreventative Mosquito Control (in pet stores) containmethoprene, an insect growth regulator.Bactimos Briquets, Mosquito Dunks andMosquito Bits contain Bti, a bacterium specific tomosquitoes. You can get them on-line or in hardware,feed-and-seed and garden stores. By April ReeseUniversity of GeorgiaAfter five years of drought, Georgia came into this spring with abacklog of unhatched mosquito eggs. Now, suddenly, the state isfacing a mosquito “baby boom.”Mosquito eggs lie dormant until they’re immersed in water, whichsignals them to hatch, said Nancy Hinkle, a University of Georgiascientist. Because Georgia hasn’t had enough rain to flood theirhabitats in years, leftover eggs from years gone by were justwaiting to be soaked and stimulated to hatch.Hinkle, an entomologist with the UGA College of Agricultural andEnvironmental Sciences, said the best way to limit the insects’population explosion is to focus on pools of water left behind byall the rains. These are prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes.Don’t worry about ditches or streams where the water is moving.”Mosquito larvae can’t develop in flowing water,” Hinkle said.Controlling breeding sitesThe cheapest and best way to control mosquitoes, she said, is toget rid of places where they breed.Used tires, for instance, are “significant breeding sites,”Hinkle said. “Tires should be recycled and properly disposed ofto keep them from becoming mosquito sources.”There are more potential mosquito nurseries than you might think,Hinkle said. She suggests these tips: Mosquito Larvicide ProductsHinkle said many over-the-counter products kill mosquito larvae. Around the yard, remove any container that holds water, orturn it upside down.Clean out birdbaths weekly and replenish them with freshwater.Drain or flush the water weekly in wading pools, flowerpotsaucers and other spots where water collects.Clean rain gutters so water doesn’t puddle.Trim shrubbery and eliminate tall grass and weeds where adult mosquitoes hide during the day. Another biological control option is stocking standing water with”mosquito fish,” or gambusia.”These small minnows feed on mosquito larvae and reproduce, sothey maintain themselves and provide ongoing suppression,” Hinklesaid.You can stock lily pools, ponds, ditches and even livestock-watering troughs with these tiny fish. Order them on-line.For severe mosquito infestations, consider hiring a professionalpest-control company with expertise in mosquito control.For personal protectionFor the mosquitoes that have already hatched, repellents can helpprotect you from bites. Hinkle suggests ways to limit yourexposure to mosquitoes. Always follow label instructions to protect you and theenvironment, Hinkle said.But she advises caution about what you buy to control mosquitoes.They’re not always what they claim to be. “Mosquito plants don’trepel mosquitoes,” she said. “Neither do garlic, herbal braceletsor ultrasonic devices.”Traps that use light or carbon dioxide to lure in insects mayattract more mosquitoes than they kill. If you’re considering oneof these bug-busters, “Give the device to a neighbor a blockaway,” Hinkle said.To learn more about controlling mosquitoes, call the Universityof Georgia Extension Service office in your county. Or visit theWest Nile Web site at http://interests.caes.uga.edu/wnv.(April Reese is a student writer with the University of GeorgiaCollege of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.) Wear light-colored clothes outside. Dark colors attractmosquitoes.Stay indoors at dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are usuallymost active.Wear a repellent containing DEET, and treat clothing with aproduct such as Permanone (containing permethrin). Herbalrepellents work for less than an hour.If you use citronella candles, orient them so the breezedirects the candle smoke toward you. The smoke is what repelsmosquitoes.last_img


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