Fight the bite

    

Mosquitoes are synonymous with summer and balmy outdoor evenings. There’s nothing worse scheduling an outdoor event with your family and friends and mozzies making a meal of you all. So let’s understand mosquitoes; what they’re attracted to and what you can do to reduce their presence.

A quick biology lesson!

Female mosquitoes are the ones that bite – they are after a blood meal prior to breeding. They are attracted to carbon dioxide (the air we exhale) and can sense human presence from a good distance. They are poor fliers and rely on the wind to carry them from one destination to another. They rest before and after a feed and lay their eggs directly on or near water, soil and at base of plants that may fill with water.

They have four life stages including egg, larva, pupa and adult. The entire life cycle from egg to adult takes approximately 8-10 days. The first three stages occur in water, but the adult is a flying insect.

Mosquito Prevention

To help prevent mosquitoes around your home:

  • Fit fly screens to windows. If this is already complete, check for any holes or tears in the mesh.
  • Cover water containers with well fitted lids.
  • Do not leave standing water in places like bird baths, flower pot dishes, tyres, pet bowls and watering cans.
  • Keep windows closed after dark and block out light where possible
  • If you have a garden pond, goldfish will eat mosquito larvae (natural predator!)
  • Try natural repellents such as citronella, peppermint oil, witch hazel, garlic, and lavender and eucalyptus oil.

Get help from the experts

Contact a professional pest controller and enquire about programs that are designed to deal with all stages of a mosquito. Mosquitoes are present all year round. Regular service visits are required to manage mosquito populations for the long term.

Reputable pest controllers will use:

  • Larvicide (granules) – apply these to stagnant water to address common breeding areas containing mosquito larvae
  • Adulticide (spray) – apply this to issue areas reducing the adult mosquito population

Chat with your pest technician and discuss recommendations to address problem areas as mosquitoes only require 1 bottle cap of water to breed.

Kathryn Birett

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