Treatment of Mosquito Breeding Sites
Source reduction is generally preferred, however, treatment may be needed on a temporary problem or on a site that cannot be eliminated.
An oil film on the water surface has been the traditional method of controlling mosquito larva and pupa. Commercial larviciding oil is available. A light film sprayed over water gives much better coverage than just pouring the oil in. Re-treatment may be needed each week in permanent water. Don't just treat it once and forget it.
With the development of safe, effective chemical and bacterial larvicides, the popularity of the more environmentally damaging oil larvicides has been decreasing. Trade names of some of the products now available from chemical suppliers include Altosid, Bactimos, and Vectobac. These come in various formulations suitable for a wide range of applications.
Whenever you apply any pesticide, be sure that the material you choose is labeled for the intended use and that you read and follow all the instructions on the label. Do not use products that are not labeled as pesticides just because they are handy and you think they might work.
Treatment of Adult Mosquitoes
Killing adult mosquitoes is not as effective a method of control as elimination or treatment of the breeding site. When an outbreak occurs, however, several things can be done to make life more comfortable.
- Screens: Be sure that window and door screens are tight and in good repair.
- Sprays: Flying insect aerosols are effective indoors, but have a very limited effect outdoors (Be sure to read entire label and use accordingly). Small power foggers or mist sprayers will provide temporary relief outdoors but will require daily use if the source of the mosquitoes is not eliminated.
- Traps: Insect traps may help if properly placed. However, they may attract more insects to your yard or patio from other areas and add to the problem. They can also trap or kill many beneficial insects.
- Repellents: Insect repellents will help if you must spend time outdoors when mosquitoes are present. Use these only according to label instructions and remember that they can be washed off by swimming or heavy perspiration.