Mosquito Season-what you can do

Look around your property and find the places where you are inviting mosquitos to breed and live.  Lots of us use chemicals and zappers to control insects, but the most effective way to control pests is to prevent them.

What you can do:

By taking simple preventative measures, citizens can help reduce the number of mosquitoes in our county and minimize mosquito-borne diseases.

  • Stop Raising Mosquitoes PDF file
    • Empty water from flower pots, garbage cans, recycling containers, wheelbarrows, aluminum cans, boat tarps, old tires, and buckets – any item that can hold water.
    • Flush birdbaths and wading pools weekly.
    • Flush ornamental bromeliads or treat with BTI, a biological larvicide available at home stores.
    • Clean roof gutters, which can become clogged and hold water.
    • Change the water in outdoor pet dishes regularly.
    • Keep pools and spas chlorinated and filtered.
    • Stock ornamental ponds with mosquito-eating fish.
    • Cover rain barrels with screening.
    • Check for standing water under houses, near plumbing drains, under air conditioner drip areas, around septic tanks and heat pumps.
    • Take steps to eliminate standing water, improve drainage, and prevent future puddling.
    • Protect your skin from mosquito bites when outdoors: wear mosquito repellent (products containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus) or long sleeves and pants. The threat of virus, although minimal, is present throughout the year, and precautions should be taken during outdoor activities. No virus has been detected in Pinellas County’s sentinel chickens this year.

Mosquito Myths – Among the many misconceptions:

  • Bug zappers are effective against mosquitoes. Bug zappers do not control mosquitoes and can reduce the populations of beneficial insects.
  • Electronic repellers keep mosquitoes away. No, they don’t; save your money.
  • Residential vegetation can produce mosquitoes. They may be resting in the vegetation, but standing water is required to “produce” mosquitoes.
  • Bats, owls and other birds can control mosquitoes. Although they may include mosquitoes in their diet, they do not consume enough mosquitoes to
    make an appreciable difference in their populations.
  • Some mosquitoes can be two inches long. They don’t get that big. What you may have seen is a crane fly.
  • Mosquitoes nest in vegetation. Mosquitoes do not nest.
  • Spraying for adults is the best method of mosquito control. Adulticiding is the least efficient method. Eliminating mosquitoes before they become adults is preferable.
  • Mosquitoes can transmit AIDS. False.
  • The citrosa plant repels mosquitoes. Although citrosa oil (citronella) has been used widely as a mosquito repellent, the undisturbed plant itself does not release these oils and is thus not effective as a repellent.

For more information or questions:

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