How Rain Affects Mosquitoes

8/29/2015


mosquito in puddle

The summer season is noted for many things, not the least of which includes your outdoor activities being interrupted by those pesky mosquitoes. And a summer season with lots of rain means an even heavier population of mosquitoes. Here in Kansas, the theme of this summer has been rain, and lots of it. Unfortunately, as we all know, this means mosquitoes and lots of them.

Not only are they a nuisance, mosquitoes have been labeled as one of the most dangerous creatures on earth because of the deadly diseases for which they have the ability to spread. Among many others, the West Nile virus is one of the more dreaded mosquito-borne diseases transmitted to humans. To protect the health and safety of your family, it is a must to make every effort to reduce the mosquito population around your home.

The primary control measure for reducing mosquito populations is to reduce or eliminate standing water. A mosquito will look for standing water that is stagnant and high in organic substance. This is the perfect scenario for her to lay her eggs. This is a must because the first three stages of a mosquito’s life cycle must be completed in standing water. These three stages—egg, larva and pupa—will take only 4 to 14 days for a hungry adult mosquito to emerge.

Rainfall accumulates in many locations, all of which creates those perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Used, discarded tires collect standing water and, overnight, become an ideal breeding site for mosquitoes. Birdbaths stay full of water just long enough for mosquitoes to deposit eggs. Because of the excessive rainfall, low spots in the yard become saturated and collect standing water. Ditches with even a small amount of standing water become suitable locations to harvest a newly hatched batch of mosquitoes. Small ponds are a haven to mosquitoes searching for a place to deposit eggs.

There are some standing water sources that cannot be moved or drained. For example, ditches, small ponds and natural wetlands are not able to be altered or removed. However, many other locations where water has accumulated due to high volume rainfall can be corrected. The potted plants on your deck will become saturated and have standing water in the tray under the plant container. This small amount of water is more than enough to harvest mosquitoes.

You cannot control the heavy rainfall that has caused such ideal growth opportunities for mosquitoes but you can reduce the standing water on your property. Every three days, go around and empty trays under plants and drain the water from birdbaths. This will destroy any eggs or larva before they mature into biting mosquitoes. Look for low spots in the yard that consistently has standing water from all the rainfall. Fill this in with fresh dirt to eliminate standing water. Another often-overlooked area is the gutters around your house. Clean all leaves and debris out of the gutters that may prevent total drainage. Clogged gutters with decaying leaves are ideal for mosquito growth.

Understanding the breeding and growth patterns of mosquitoes will help in the maintenance and control of these pesky insects. Even with a Kansas summer of excessive rainfall like this summer has been, making a few of these adjustments will greatly help in reducing your mosquito population.

If you really want to reduce the number of mosquitoes on your property, give us a call. Our mosquito service will clear up so many of these viscous biters that you will wonder why you didn't call us sooner.




 

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