Steps need to be taken to control mosquito populations and reduce this vector for the The West Nile Virus.
Understanding the life cycle of the mosquito helps to approach control in a preventative manner.
Mosquitoes need standing water to breed
The first and most effective control measure is to eliminate harborage sites. (standing water). Those that cannot be eliminated should be treated with an agent to prevent larval development, mosquitos can live a year or more, needing only some water and the right temperature to trigger development. Any standing water will do, clogged gutters, a small puddle in an overturned lawn chair, flower pots, the water collected in your pool cover and even your bird bath or pet’s watering dish. As snow melts it can create small pockets of water in surprising places.
Check your property carefully. Manage your space with mechanical intervention (physical changes) whenever possible, and encourage your neighbors to do the same. Visit our Helpful Hints page for a more comprehensive checklist.
Adult mosquitoes are another story, as the season progresses they can travel great distances searching for a blood meal. Lawn sprays are effective for the short term reduction of flying insects, we have always recommended them for parties and other outdoor events but discouraged their use for general control on a regular basis. With this new threat to public health we have had to re-evaluate this policy.
The Bug Runner can provide periodic sprays to reduce the adult mosquito population and treat harborage sites with larvicidal agents.
Personal behavior can reduce exposure. Avoid outdoor activities in the early morning and at dusk, these are peak times for mosquitoes. When outdoors use repellants and appropriate clothing to further reduce the chance of being bitten. Make sure all windows/doors have screens in place, mend or replace any that are damaged.
In the past few years local authorities performed aerial sprays in some areas, they may choose to do the same this year. Watch your local news and check with your local Health Dept. or Cornell Cooperative Extension for updates.
Cool IPM Hint for mosquito control on your patio or deck : Did you ever notice you never get mosquito bites when there is a nice breeze? Take advantage of this bit of info by creating your own breeze when nature does not oblige – bring a fan or two outside with you – keeps you cool and refreshed while discouraging those mosquitoes!
Note: Changes in pesticide regulations occur constantly therefore no chemical products are listed here . Questions as to specifics can be answered at or near the time of treatment. All products used by the Bug Runner are registered with the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and labels for such are provided to the customer.
West Nile Disease
Around the world and throughout history mosquitoes have been responsible for the transmission of disease. Their impact on society cannot be understated. Here in the NY metropolitan area our complacency about this problem has been challenged since the 1999 discovery of West Nile Encephalitis in our midst. The CDC reports as of 3/11/09 the 2008 count of reported and confirmed human cases in the U.S. is 1338, with 43 fatalities. (N.Y.S. 46 confirmed cases with 6 deaths).
Note the actual risk factor: Less than 1% of those bitten by mosquitoes develop any symptoms of the disease and relatively few mosquitoes actually carry the West Nile Virus. Of that less than 1% infected, the percentage at risk of becoming seriously ill is reduced further when considering people with healthy immune systems, other than the elderly and infants, are not considered a risk in the first place. Since the first case found in Manhattan, the disease has spread each year, down the eastern seaboard, then to the Midwestern states and is predicted to continue on out to the west coast. CDC official recommendations remain the same – preventative measures are the best defense.