Baltimore, Maryland (PRWEB) August 31, 2011
The record-setting rain along the East Coast brought by Hurricane Irene may be over, but there’s one more plague coming in the soggy aftermath of the storm: mosquitoes.
“The heavy rainfall and flooding will create lots of standing water where mosquitoes can breed in the next few weeks,” said Jonathan Cohen, mosquito control expert and president of Summit (http://www.summitresponsiblesolutions.com), which makes Mosquito Dunks® and other mosquito control products. “This is a ‘perfect storm’ situation for mosquitoes because the warm late-summer is when mosquito breeding is naturally at its peak.”
Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, and there will be plenty of pools of standing water that will become breeding grounds. Homeowners are advised to be vigilant in eliminating places where water can collect and stand in their yards and gardens. “Mosquitoes can breed in a coffee cup of standing water in less than a week,” says Cohen.
Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, old tires and other items that can collect water. Turn over wheelbarrows and empty children’s wading pools. Clean clogged roof gutters, which can become prime mosquito-breeding pools. Drill holes in in the bottom of recycling containers that are left outdoors. Periodically empty the saucers under ceramic pots to make sure they are not harboring mosquito larvae.
To keep mosquitoes from breeding in areas of standing water that cannot be drained, such as ditches, ponds, low areas in the landscape and birdbaths, use a natural mosquito larvicide such as Mosquito Dunks. The active ingredient in Mosquito Dunks is called B.t.i. (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis), a bacterium that naturally kills mosquito larvae but is harmless to other living things. When placed in ponds, ditches, rain gutters, birdbaths and any area where water collects, Mosquito Dunks will kill mosquito larvae for up to 30 days. Mosquito Dunks, which are approved for all organic uses, are available in hardware stores, garden centers and home centers.
To control adult mosquitoes, insecticidal sprays can be used to keep insect pests out of yards and gardens. Many of today’s mosquito sprays use less environmentally toxic active ingredients to kill biting mosquitoes. Summit’s Mosquito & Gnat Barrier, packaged in a convenient hose-end sprayer, contains permethrin, an insecticide that kills insects and repels a wide variety of insect pests including mosquitoes for up to four weeks.
“Spraying a backyard can help to reduce suitable mosquito resting areas in landscape vegetation and therefore reduce the chances of being bitten by mosquitoes and other insects,” said Cohen. “Spraying the wooded areas that your dog frequents can also aid in reducing the risk of tick-borne illness for pets and humans.”
To reduce the chances of getting mosquito bites, limit your outdoor activities during the times of day when mosquitoes are most active—an hour before and after dawn and an hour before and after dusk. To repel mosquitoes, use a product containing DEET, which sets the standard by which all other repellents are judged.
Also, don’t forget that clothing is an excellent barrier between you and a mosquito. Wear clothing that will protect more of your body, such as long-sleeved shirts and long pants, especially during the evening hours.
“The heavy rains bode for a bumper crop of mosquitoes,” according to Joseph Conlon, technical advisor for the American Mosquito Control Association. “If you’re outside and not wearing repellent when the mosquitoes begin hatching out, you’d better be wearing your ‘big boy’ pants because you’re going to need them,” said Conlon.
Mosquito Dunks® is a registered trademark of Summit Chemical Company headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland.
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