Mosquito control 6.30.2010

Written by David Green.

The recent rainfall has lead to ideal conditions for mosquitoes to flourish. There are over 60 different species of mosquitoes in Ohio, but they all have a common life cycle—from egg, to larvae, to pupa to adult. Depending on the species and temperature, the insect can produce a new adult population in less than seven days. Adult mosquitoes can be active for 30 days.

Mosquitoes require standing water to complete the larvae and pupa life cycle stages. Reducing the presence of standing water can be helpful in reducing insect numbers and is a good form of control.

When it is not practical to eliminate standing water, larvicides can be used in the water to control early development.

There are two types of larvicides. An insect growth regulator called methoprene kills the larvae or wriggler stage. A homeowner version of this product is sold under the label of PreStrike.

The second type is a Bti product which is a bacterial product. Homeowner versions of this are sold under the label Mosquito Dunks or Quick Kill. These products are sold in solid forms of either briquettes or granules with the treatment amount based on the size of area treated.

During the day adult mosquitoes will rest in protected areas such as trees, shrubs and other dense vegetation. Removal of this vegetation or treatment with insecticides can reduce numbers. Products containing cyfluthrin, lambda-cyhalothrin or permethrin are labeled for this purpose. Aerosols or foggers can be effective for short periods of time, and professional applicators can be contracted when homeowners do not want to make applications themselves.

Personal protection from bites can be accomplished by wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants and applying DEET. Young children should be protected with lower percentage DEET products.

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