Mosquitoes can quickly ruin a spring or summer evening with their incessant buzzing and biting. Besides being annoying, the pests transmit a number of serious or fatal diseases to humans and animals such as encephalitis, yellow fever, malaria, dengue and heartworm. Once mosquitos hatch, little can be done to discourage their presence around the home. It is best to eliminate mosquitoes in their earliest stages to prevent them from becoming a problem later on.
Things You'll Need
- Garden hose
- White cup
- Insecticide containing bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (BTI)
Eliminate standing water sources around your home, where mosquitoes breed: Overturn flowerpots, wheelbarrows, tires, tarps, neglected kiddie pools and all other items that collect water. Change water in birdbaths, kiddie pools and pet bowls daily or discontinue using them outdoors. Irrigate your lawn and garden regularly and fill in holes in the yard with mortar. Rake the gutters by your curbs and clean out leaves from rain gutters on your roof to promote water drainage.
Examine standing water where you suspect the presence of mosquitoes. It is easy to see mosquito larvae in shallow water with a light bottom — larvae are 0.2 to 0.5 inches long and translucent white in color with a rod-shaped body, a hairy, translucent head with big black eyes and a siphon tube used for breathing at the water's surface. If water is deep or has a dark base, collect a sample with a white cup to check for the presence of mosquitoes. If you notice mosquitoes, you may treat the area with insecticide.
Apply an insecticide containing BTI, a bacteria toxic to mosquitoes, to the target area. BTI will kill mosquitoes in their early stages without harming fish or other wildlife. Follow the directions on your BTI package to determine how much to add to infested water.