Fight local mosquito populations – eliminate their breeding grounds
It looks like Florida will have a rainy summer. That’s good news for lawns, lakes, crops… and also bugs, especially container-inhabiting mosquitoes.
These mosquito species lay eggs just above the water line on the interior surfaces of items that hold water. It only takes about one week for the eggs to develop through their aquatic stages and become adult mosquitoes.
You can reduce mosquito populations in your neighborhood by eliminating sources of standing water on your property.
Below, we’ve put together a fairly exhaustive list of the places where container-inhabiting mosquitoes might lay eggs. Depending on the item, you may need to move it, dispose of it, modify it so that it will drain, empty the water out of it, or just keep an eye on it – we’ll let you decide which options to take.
Items to store in a dry place
Buckets, barrels and tubs
Building materials such as pipe, lumber, sheet metal, etc.
Cans, bottles and jars
Coolers and ice chests
Flower pots and bases, plastic plant containers
Gardening supplies such as bags of soil
Hubcaps and other auto parts
Lidless garbage cans
Pet food and water dishes
Visqueen and other plastic sheeting
Wagons, carts and wheelbarrows
Outdoor items and features that can trap rainwater
Bamboo, if cut below a node
Boats or boat covers
Cars that are seldom/never moved
Children’s play equipment
Garbage can lids
Low spots in the landscape
Plants with cup-shaped leaves, such as bromeliads
Roofs of porches, carports, sheds
Tarps used to cover woodpiles, etc.
Outdoor items meant to hold water
Tip: Anytime you rake leaves or clear away brush on your property, keep an eye out for any manmade items buried under the thatch — trash, long-forgotten toys, old flower pots, etc. Some items withstand the elements well and can hold rainwater for years.
Tip: Make sure to keep your recycling bins in a dry area. If they’re exposed to rain, the cans and bottles inside can accumulate enough water to become mosquito breeding sites. And it’s a huge chore to empty the rainwater out of an entire bin’s worth of cans and bottles.
Tip: If you rent a home or apartment, chances are the landlord will expect you to handle some or all of the mosquito-scouting tasks.
Tip: To remove old, standing water from tree hollows and plants with cup-shaped leaves, you can flush the area with a hose. This will wash away mosquito larvae and leave fresh water behind.