Mosquito Management and Control
Mosquitoes often make life miserable for humans, poultry and livestock. When temperatures remain at 70 degrees or above, mosquito development in pools of standing water soars. They are vectors of important human and animal diseases and may need to be controlled either through individual or community efforts.
In cities, resident cooperation and city managed abatement programs are essential in controlling and managing mosquitoes over a large area. Individuals who live in the country, either on large farms or small home sites, are largely responsible for the control of mosquitoes on their property.
Approach to mosquito abatement focuses on two areas: 1.) suppression of mosquito populations capable of vectoring or transmitting disease agents; and 2.) education. Cities often work with universities and the Texas Department of Health to monitor mosquito populations for the presence of diseases viruses. If these viruses are detected, public announcement of the detection is made for an area and often area wide abatement measures are placed into effect.
What can you do?
There are many steps that everyone should take to reduce mosquito populations around their home. Stagnant water pools are ideal breeding sites. These pools can be formed from rain water runoff or from irrigation runoff. Controlling or eliminating this runoff is one of the ways everyone can help in mosquito abatement. The more people are involved the greater the amount of control.
Mosquito species are very particular in their breeding sites. The reduction, elimination or treatment of these various sites are the best and most cost-effective means of abatement. Populations of floodwater, woodland, artificial container and stagnant water breeding mosquito species may occur in any part of the state. While most of the species are just a nuisance, stagnant water breeders pose the leading health risk. Nutrient rich, stagnant pools of water are the preferred breeding site for the Culex species. Culex mosquitoes are a major transmitter of encephalitis viruses.
Guidelines for abatement of stagnant water breeding
Nuisance Floodwater Mosquitoes
Floodwater species become a problem seven to ten days after a rain. Higher water flow and water collection in normally dry areas stimulates egg hatch and development of these mosquitoes. After developing into adults, floodwater mosquitoes are generally only a nuisance for a week or two because of their short life span. However, many species can cover twenty miles or more in search of a food source. Local floodwater species usually come from the flood plains of nearby creeks and rivers, roadside ditches and other area drainage ways and flooded agricultural land.
Wood and floodwater species often utilize cavities in trees that can receive enough rainfall or water from sources such as sprinklers as breeding sites. The adults of the woodland species emerge and become a nuisance in a similar time frame to floodwater species.
Artificial container floodwater mosquito species prefer such items as jars, cans, tires or any other item that can hold sufficient water long enough for breeding, usually longer than three days. These mosquitoes are frequently a major source of backyard annoyance in urban areas. Adults tend to remain very close to their breeding sites so removing these containers is a good control method.
Prepare to live with nuisance mosquitoes
Last modified: July 15, 1998 by Andrew Perrone