With the onset of the summer and its warmer days and longer nights comes mosquitoes. It may seem that their bite may just be a mere annoyance but it can be much more severe than that. Mosquito bites can spread diseases like West Nile Virus and Zika. Mosquito-borne diseases do not only affect humans – they also kill countless birds, reptiles, animals and endangered species each year. Joseph Conlon, AMCA Technical Advisor stated on the subject, “We are continually importing the diseases they carry. We must be prepared to prevent their spread throughout our public health landscape – and this requires safe, effective, sustained mosquito control and awareness in our community.”
National Mosquito Control Awareness Week – June 23-29
June 23 – 29 is “National Mosquito Control Awareness Week” by the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) to help spread public awareness about the importance of mosquito management practices. As part of “National Mosquito Control Awareness Week”, Teton County Weed & Pest District would like to share their top abatement priorities for mosquitoes, which are as follows:
- Vector control for West Nile virus prevention
- Bio-rational approach to vector control – utilize larval surveillance and treatment as primary means of control to reduce off target impacts. BTI larval treatment is a selective pesticide.
- Survey and trap adult mosquitoes to determine need for Ultra Low Volume (ULV) fogging.
- Larval control is the most efficient way to reduce mosquito abundance
- Encourage a reduction in man-made sources of mosquito breeding habitat
Though one of the major banes of summer that seem inevitable, there are still measures you can take to ensure you and your loved ones have an enjoyable season. What are a few things that landowners and the public can do? You can help identify and report mosquito habitat, help us fill in the permission gaps for surveillance and treatment, dispose of any unused tires on your lot, drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers, clear roof gutters of debris, clean pet water dishes regularly, check and empty children’s toys, repair leaky outdoor fauces, and change the water in bird baths at least once a week, encouraging neighbors to take part in the same preventative measures, and make sure to always practice the 5 D’s of mosquito prevention below:
5 D’s of Mosquito Prevention
- DUMP – By periodically dumping standing water you can prevent mosquitoes from growing into adults that feed on you
- DRAIN – Regularly draining standing water sources like pet water dishes, water troughs and kiddie pools. Reduce mosquito breeding habitat by not allowing water to stand for long periods of time.
- DRESS – Dressing for outdoor activities by wearing long pants and long sleeve shirts made of lighter material like linen are ideal for hot summer months. Consider hats with mosquito netting.
- DEET – Use an insect repellant that lists DEET or alternatively lemon eucalyptus oil to prevent mosquito bites. DEET is proven to be the most effective mosquito repellant.
- DUSK/DAWN – Mosquitoes are most active during the early morning and evening hours. Try to stay indoors during these time periods. If that’s not possible be sure to dress to prevent bites and use a DEET repellant.
With a few pre-meditated measures, you can help ensure an enjoyable summer, free from the worries and annoyances of mosquitoes around every corner. Take the time to protect you, your family, and community from the grievances of mosquito pests this summer season. Follow Teton County Weed and Pest’s Facebook and Instagram accounts to learn more preventative measures you can take to control mosquitoes throughout the summer season.