West Nile Virus Outbreak and Mosquito Control

The Center for Disease Control sent out this report:

“As of August 28th, 2012, a total of 48 states have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds or mosquitoes. Only Alaska and Hawaii have reported no West Nile virus activity. Forty-three states have reported at least one human case of West Nile virus disease. CDC received reports of 1,590 cases of West Nile virus disease in people, including 66 deaths. Of these, 889 (56 percent) were classified as neuroinvasive disease, such as meningitis or encephalitis; and 701 (or 44 percent) were classified as non-neuroinvasive disease. ..More than 70 percent of the cases have been reported from 6 states, which in descending order are Texas, South Dakota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Michigan. Nearly half of the cases are from Texas.”

So if you haven’t taken mosquito control seriously yet. Now is the time. There are several weapons that the do it yourself pest controller has access to in the battle against the mosquito. If you are going to do your own pest control, you will need to know something about the pest that you plan to control.

Mosquitoes, for instance, need water to lay their eggs in and larvae need that moisture to grow into full fledged biting mosquitoes. So, first, you need to remove as much standing water every and anywhere that you can around your home. This includes, bird baths, buckets, low lying areas in the yard, kids toys, stored tires, etc. If you have areas of standing water that cannot feasibly be drained, there are chemical options for treatment. You can use a larvacide with an insect growth regulator which will stop larvae mosquitoes from developing normally through the pupae stage. These products do not treat adult mosquitoes, but if you can stop the life cycle, you minimize the exponential reproduction of mosquitoes in your yard.

Bacillus thuringiensis is also a useful tool home pest control. BT is a biological toxin to mosquito larvae and fly larvae. It is used in products called Bactimos Briquets which can be broken into portions for use in many outdoor applications near the household, such as standing water in bird baths, old automobile tires, rain barrels, ponds, abandoned or unused swimming pools, ditches, tree holes, roof gutters for collecting rain water, flower pots or any other location near the household where water collects and remains for a period of time.

Insecticidal product such as permethrin, can be sprayed using a back pack sprayer or misting unit. These products also control flies and kill fleas. So, when treating your yard with this, you will reduce a number of other pests. Look also for pyrethrin, which kills flying and crawling insects including mosquitoes, biting flies, cockroaches, moths, beetles, ticks, weevils, mealworms, gnats, pillbugs, silverfish, spiders, wasps, waterbugs, yellow jacks, ants and more. Pyrethrin products are often used in personal home misting systems for do your own pest controllers.

Misting systems are a useful tool for home pest control. There are misting systems that small and easy to work or newer systems have been developed that can be programmed onto a set misting schedule to treat any adult mosquitoes that do make it into your yard. This takes the hands on element out of mosquito control and protects your home and yard from return mosquito pests.
Utilize these techniques to control mosquitoes and the possibility of exposing your family to West Nile Virus.

Monica Bird (928 Posts)

Monica’s compassion for her customer's struggles with pest control issues and passion for pest control stems from over 10 years in the industry. With a master’s degree in entomology, she uses her knowledge and experience in chemistry, insects and pests to educate her customers.


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