By Beverly Adams, Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Assistant
I am sure some of you have noticed when you go outside around dusk those pesky mosquitoes buzzing around and biting your legs. With our current weather pattern of thunderstorms and warm nights, it is excellent conditions for mosquito development.
As summer begins, start thinking about what you can do to reduce mosquitoes in your neighborhood. All mosquitoes require standing water to complete their life cycle.
Residents should be diligent about dumping out anything that can hold water. The more stuff you have in yards and on porches the better chance you are helping mosquitoes to grow.
The University of Georgia Extension uses IPM (Integrated Pest Management) to provide step by step methods of control anyone can use. The first step is education. It’s important to know about mosquito biology and where they develop. Residents must do their part to eliminate potential larval habitats of standing water.
The second step is reduction. Use a “tip or toss” approach by tipping out standing water from flowerpots, planters, children’s toys or anything around your yard that can hold water and tossing out anything you do not need that can hold water. By eliminating standing water and improving drainage this helps to limit mosquito populations.
The third step is surveillance. This means surveying your yard, finding hidden larval habitats and collecting and identifying the mosquitoes being a nuisance in your yard. Identifying the species will help to give a better idea of where to look for the larval habitat.
The fourth step, if deemed necessary is using a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved larvicide.
Homeowners can apply larvicide using the mosquito dunks that you can find in garden and hardware stores to treat small areas of standing water where mosquito larvae, or wigglers are seen. Make sure to read the pesticide label and follow instructions for application.
The fifth and final stage is used when you cannot find the larval mosquito habitats, that is an application of an adulticide.
These applications are very effective at reducing the number of mosquitoes present at a given time, if properly conducted. However, it is only effective on mosquitoes that are present at the time of application.
During adulticide applications avoid applying around vegetation and make applications as late in the day as possible to allow pollinators to return to their nests.
If you need any assistance with any pest, plant or garden issues, questions about 4-H, or Food and Consumer Science, call us at 770-887-2418 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.